November 16, 2012

Lessons on inner-party democracy from the American elections

Today, India is at a critical juncture with all socio-economic as well as political ills engulfing the nation from almost all possible directions. Starting from a series of bribery scams that are being exposed, to our plummeting ranks in almost all economic indicators – everything corroborates the hope for the rise of a fourth front (considering the third front still exists and is potent) in the form of Arvind Kejriwal’s political debut with India Against Corruption, along with an emerging coterie of social activists, who are gradually morphing the political landscape and are all collectively reshaping the political couture of the nation.

Without even an iota of apprehension, Kejriwal has been able to create a wave of passion and excitement among common Indians for a probable better political future. Through his campaign against political parties and leaders, he has been instrumental in giving a vent to the pent up anger of the public against the corrupt, inefficient and slothful political outfits. However, the top brass of such parties can get their feet wet and get away with it, because even today, there is a dearth of intra-party democracy in almost all political parties in India. This very opacity guards the elite big bosses of the parties, who thus can never be replaced from their esteemed chairs, which eventually provides an incubation environment to corruption, favouritism and intra-party dictatorship. The most potent example of such perceived bravado is the Indian National Congress’s obsession with the Nehru-Gandhi family, whose grip on the party is absolute. Therefore, despite the Congress party and their allies getting embroiled in one expose’ after another involving multibillion bucks, no eyebrows are raised and no fingers are pointed against its leadership from within. None of the Congress members have ever demanded explanations or enquires for the series of scams. The same is true for almost all political parties, except a few... in fact, except too few – which again is a temporary phenomenon. The dictatorial and dynastic rule of political parties is endemic to India; it is just the baton that gets passed from generation to generation.

The root cause for such a contest of attrition of democracy is that our Constitution does not enforce a structure for inner-party democracy and does not account for the fact that the electorate should have the right to choose the leader of every political party. This very loophole of our Constitution is undermined and exploited by almost every political party, who treat their fiefdom as a new business venture to stash up piles of cash and benefit their personal interest. Consequently, the recruitment and development of party members are not based on competencies but rather on loyalty and lobbying.

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12 comments:

Deepak Verma said...

I don’t think Indian democracy stands anywhere even close to America’s.

swati gogia said...

If the system of ‘selecting’ the favorite candidate had not prevailed in India, situations would have been much better today.

Ravi Rawat said...

Don’t think it really is wise to expect such things in India…..years have passed; many things have changed but this is one thing that seems to remain constant.

Nutan Xalxo said...

If technology can change to such a huge extent then why not the political scenario in India.

Rajesh Sharma said...

Nothing is impossible and if these politicians really want to improve conditions of their country then they should come up with proposal to change some of the hard and fast rules of Indian political system.

suman kumari said...

The recent elections in America does have lots of lessons to teach to the Indian system.

Apoorv said...

I have not seen politicians like we see in India anywhere else in the world.

Dipti Nayak said...

At present, the only positive thing I see in Indian politics is Arvind Kejriwal, the rest are shame!

pankaj said...

They can’t take any lesson from any one in the world; forget about seeing changes in the system.

Atanu said...

The level that America or any other nation has reached can’t be reached by India simply because we don’t want to come out of the traditional system and methods.

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