Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Legislature is supreme in a Parliamentary democracy

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended action against Anna Hazare on the ground that the Gandhian leader's bid to impose the civil society's version of the Lokpal bill on the government is contrary to every constitutional principle.

"I am not aware of any constitutional philosophy or principle that allows any one to question the sole prerogative of Parliament to make a law," the PM said in a statement made to both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday.

In explaining why the government is not ready to engage with Anna, the PM said, "the path he has chosen to impose his draft of a bill upon Parliament is totally misconceived and fraught with grave consequences for our parliamentary democracy." ..........

And for once, I find myself in complete agreement with the Prime Minister on the limited issue of the supremacy of the legislature in a Parliamentary democracy. It is indeed the sole prerogative and responsibility of the legislature to legislate - laws cannot be passed at the whim of any motley band of self appointed "Civil society" activists.

Who elected Mr. Hazare, Mr. Kejriwal or Ms. Bedi to force their vigilante laws down our throats? Mr. Hazare keeps mysteriously robust health for a fasting octagenarian!
And I may hold a contrarian view to the gullible Indian Twitterati, the few thousand upstart Facebook activists who usually cannot be persuaded to get away from pointless social gaming on Facebook even when the nation is under attack from Jihadi terrorists. Contrast the deferential treatment accorded to Mr. Hazare by the #BROKERMDEDIA, ex: Burka Dutt of NDTV, with the derogatory and defamatory treatment meted out to Baba Ramdev - for the sole fault of identifying himself as a Hindu (gasp).

Contrast also the token "imprisonment" of Mr. Hazare in the salubrious environs of Tihar jail with the brutal suppression of Baba Ramdev's movement. There are stark parallels to the kid glove treatment accorded by the British colonialists to a certain Mohandas Gandhi Vs. the brutal torture, incarceration and suppression of nationalists such as Veer Savarkar, Shri Aurobindo, Bhagat Singh and Lokmanya Tilak.

The company that Anna Hazare keeps - is distasteful. My gut instinct is that anything advocated by a brutal anti-Hindu thug like "Swami" Agnivesh alias Father. Frank Anthony is surely against the nation's long term interests.
Mr. Hazare's deliberate effort to dissociate his "movement" from Hindu nationalism
and Hindu nationalists does not endear himself to us.

There is also a sinister conglomeration of assorted anti-nationals and anarchists like Sandeep Pandey (of ASHA) and Medha Patkar around Mr. Hazare (Yes, I will choose to refer to him, Jinnah like - as Mr. Hazare, not "Mahatma").

The gang of "eminent" activists, Magsaysay awardees et al, and pompous posturing by the US State Department (BTW, conspicuously absent when a Hindu Swami Ramdev's mass movement was brutally suppressed) - also gives a ring of truth to Manmohan Singh's suggestions of a "foreign hand" behind Mr. Hazare.

Apparently, the infamous "Justice" Rajinder Sachar, the proponent of Muslim reservations in the Indian armed forces has also added his voice to the cacophony clamouring for a "Lok Pal" - a voice that is completely devoid of credibility, more so after the Ghulam Nabi Fai expose, which also stripped him naked - as a recipient of the ISI's hospitality in various anti-national endeavours.
This seditious judge is also a part of the so-called civil society's intellectual masturbation.

"Jasmine revolutions", (Ukraine), "Solidarity" (Poland) etc. have traditionally been CIA/ Vatican operations. Corruption is admittedly a very real and annoying problem in India that has grown in scale in the past couple of decades. However, Hazare style anarchy is not the way to address the issue. The corrupt politicians, judges, bureaucrats etc are born out of the same "civil society" as the "reformers". Let's admit it - in the present day, we are a corrupt society - for various reasons, including 1300 years of subjugation under foreign rule.

An appropriate way of dealing with this - is the traditional Hindu way of self realisation, character building, man building, nation building - as espoused by the RSS and Baba Ramdev. The extra constitutionalism embodied by Hazare's "Civil society"
is a recipe for disaster - it will pave the road for unraveling of the Indian state and intervention by hostile foreign powers.

Incidentally, why is Mr. Hazare so reticent about addressing the issue of the approximately $20 trillion of Indian money stashed away in foreign tax havens?

And why is the "Civil society" group so exercised about this one proposed vigilante rogue institution of "Lok Pal", that will do nothing, except empower the chosen ones in the same "Civil society" group?

We already have a surfeit of institutions - the CAG, the CVC, the CBI, the Supreme Court, PAC, Parliament etc. Much to my distaste, I find myself in agreement with Manmohan Singh regarding the supremacy of Parliament. If Manmohan Singh is growing a spine, in the background of the Shroud of Turin's much lamented indisposition - that is a welcome development too.


nizhal yoddha said...

the only problem, though, kk, is that it is not parliament that makes decisions or passes bills.

it is a shadowy, unelected, dubious bunch of people called the NAC. they propose and dispose legislation.

Raj Kumar said...

जनता को जन-आन्दोलनों और जन-संघर्षों माध्यम से शिक्षित करने की जगह पर, उनसे अलग करके, व्यक्ति पूजा में रूपांतरित करने का काम किया जा रहा है, जो दिखता है की पूंजीवादी प्रचार तंत्र कितनी चालाकी से जनता (मुख्यता मध्यवर्गीय) को मूर्ख बना सकता है..
Some Observations: अन्ना की गिरफ्तारी, स्वतंत्रता और जनवाद का हनन, और "सभ्य-समा

karyakarta92 said...

Indeed, and there is little to distinguish between the "Civil society" parasites in the Shroud of Turin's illegal and extra constitutional NAC, ex: Harsh Mandher and the "Civil society" conmen in Mr. Hazare's merry group. India is doubly cursed by these sets of thugs. The distinction may be a subtle one, such as the slow Jihad of the PLO vs. the more rapid Jihad of Hamas. And it is a huge irony that it is left to the selected PM, Manmohan Singh to talk about the supremacy of Parliament, elected representatives etc.
After all, HE was never elected himself and actually lost the ONLY direct election he ever contested, I.e. Lok Sabha
elections of 2004 - when he gave the BJP its solitary seat from Delhi!! Sadly, he speaks the truth about Hazare's "Civil society". Why has the BJP ceded the opposition space to these anarchists? Why aren't they speaking out more vocally and also burying the UPA in litigation regarding the Shroud and her dubious NAC??
The BJP also appears impotently silent regarding the proposed "Prevention of communal violence" bill. They should be agitating against it not indulging in fratricide over Yeddyurappa etc.

san said...

Parliament has to be responsive to the public and inclusive to the public opinion from which they draw their mandate. They cannot just discuss amongst themselves in closed-door meetings what they will then impose upon the public. That's ridiculous - no public should accept that.

To treat democracy as a once-in-5-years exercise, is to reduce it to mere blips in the life of the nation.

There is a Straw Man argument being put forth here that Anna Hazare was somehow blackmailing parliament, usurping parliament, disrupting parliament, etc. If he was not running around the parliament building waving a gun, and was only fasting, then sorry, but no blackmail or coercion was occurring. He has a right to believe in his views, whether he feels the Earth is round or flat, and he has the right to fast in support of his beliefs.

That the govt was willing to arrest a 74-year old man to prevent him from protesting, shows how cowardly and fearful the ruling govt is of any political threat to their power. They think they can play whack-a-mole with every dissenting personality that pops up in their field of vision. Well, they're about to discover the Aurangzeb Principle, like all Indian tyrants before them. Everytime they whirl to hammer down one guy, a dozen others will jump on their back from all directions.

Inferno said...

“SrEyAn swadharmO viguNah, Para dharmathsvanuShThithaan
swadharmEni dhanam SrEyam, para dharmO bhayaa vahaha.”

"Better one's own duty though destitute of merit. To attempt to do someone else’s job is dangerous"

Let those whose job it is to enact laws do their duty. Even if our law makers are screwed up, it is not the common man's job to make laws.

Saying this, I endorse KK.

(I will go further -- I have never been comfortable with Swami Ramdev either -- I don't see in him a real yogi, period)

Non Carborundum said...

On San's points

Parliament does not have to be responsive to majority public opinion in a representative democracy. In fact such a thing would almost ensure the growth of entitlements, affirmative action and national collapse. BTW, our parliament proceedings are televised.

The second para is a straw man argument in itself. No politician can afford to ignore public opinion.

I don't see any straw man arguments by the Govt. as far as dealing with smokepal is concerned. Wrongly attributing a logical fallacy is a logical fallacy in itself.

The Jan Lokpal is unconstitutional and makes a mockery of the principle of separation of powers that is the foundation of democracy.

san said...

Sorry gentlement, but what I'm hearing from you is absolutely ridiculous. Parliament must only be the servant of the people, not its master. Parliament's entire basis for legitimacy is derived from the public. Democracy can't only exist once every 5 years, but has to exist continuously by the parliament being responsive to the people. Anything less means that the people become the serfs under MPs whose only loyalty is to their own feudal fiefdoms. This is how all developed countries do it, and we can't aspire to be any different - the laws of physics and human nature will not magically spare us.

People don't depend upon the parliament for their legitimacy, it's the parliament which depends upon the people for its legitimacy.

Politicians who sneeringly talk down to the people from their ivory towers must be thrown out like the elitists they are.

Regarding fears of populist politics, the fact is that so much of the country lives in blight and suffering because of the elitism that keeps them marginalized, that this automatically feeds socialist populist politics. Meritocracy can only gain popular support by uplifting the people and demonstrating to them its greater benefits. Meritocracy can't simply be imposed on people by ramming it down their throats against their will. People have to buy into the concept, by being shown its benefits and the better choices it offers to everyone.

Arvind said...

kk, there is a problem in your argument? who appointed the parliament in the first place? nehru and his cabinet had no authority from anyone except their british masters to rule over india. if a small band of bandits can impose their arbitrary rules over the people, the people can do the same to the small band of bandits.

secondly, democracy is not something sacred. there have been monarchies with greater freedoms than the so-called indian democracy.

nc, you argument on jan lokpal being unconstitutional is true, but the indian constitution is rubbish. it embodies no principles and does exactly what you complain about - it ensures the growth of entitlements and panders to special interest groups.

so what if parliament proceedings are televised? it is still a corrupt body with the corrupt judges helping out the members of the parliament. the members of this body plunder the wealth of common people. the sole purpose of parliament is to loot the wealth of people so that sonia nehru and other members of parliament can live it up.

so your argument is wrong.

seadog4227 said...

Vox populi, vox dei?

karyakarta92 said...

@Arvind, It is nobody's contention that the Indian constitution is perfect. It does have flaws such as the obvious lack of a Uniform Civil Code, special status accorded to Kashmir etc. Agreed that the system as it exists was a result of Nehruvian Stalinism. Yet, there is hope for reform within that Parliamentary system. The anarchy of Hazare and the JNU fellow travelers will be much worse than the current system. If a revolution is what it takes to revive India's pristine glory, I would prefer a Hindu revolution - not a Communist one or a Gandhian (sic) one or one scripted by NGO's accountable only to their foreign paymasters. An unelected dictator like Hazare cannot be allowed to legislate draconian laws and create institutions that have no precedent anywhere in the world.

san said...

Everyone knows that Hazare's Jan Lokpal bill would have to be adjusted, but the problems with his bill are sufficiently clear that his bill is easy enough to modify to meet the needs.

The more important issue is the ugly excuse of a bill that has been introduced by the ruling crooks, and that one presents a greater hazard due to its built-in boobytraps and sophistry.

The need of the day is to expose the crookedness of the rulers, and not to become apologists for them, or to distract from their vile antics and stunts.

Whatever you dislike about Mamta Banerjee, she is not as bad as Prakash Karat. Whatever shortcomings you see in Anna Hazare, his viewpoint is a vast improvement over the Congress ruling clique and their goose-stepping minions.

Anna Hazare is quite obviously being advised by the likes of Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Bhushans, etc. They've made it known that they're willing to negotiate on their bill. But there's a dire need to ensure that the ridiculous sham of a bill introduced by Congress doesn't get turned into law, thus sealing the Congress rule from now until forever.

Hazare's bill is easily modifiable to fit the needs. Whatever your fears are about NGOs, etc, just first focus on the contents of the bill, so that the Lokpal is effective and not toothless.

Arvind said...

@kk, i myself said in an article on this topic that the government has no business abdicating its duties and handing over power to a small band of unelected people.

however, anna hazare is free to demand what he wants including asking that his input be taken in exchange for ending his fast. he has every right to fast even if such a fast holds the government hostage. it is the government's fault that it got into this position.

none of anna hazare's actions are outside the scope of the parliamentary process. even if he drafts a bill, the parliament will be the one enacting it into law. having said that, india's system is rubbish and not worthy of any respect.

india's constitution is not merely in the "not perfect" category but complete nonsense. it is a stupid document not rooted in principles and has all sorts of drivel written into it. i guess this is why it has been amended more than a hundred times already. when they want to throw some trash, they need to dump it in the garbage pile and so they dump it into the constitution.