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Of Democratic Institutions

Democracy in the subcontinent may not be of centuries old vintage, but has it really struck roots, that’s the question. I seriously doubt if it has. Certainly, not even in the largest democracy where it dates back to at least 75 long years since 1947 when it was born. However, it’s possible that some diehard ‘patriots’ may think otherwise. And that may be because at least the electoral part of democracy in India predates its practice in other countries in the subcontinent. But that’s all there is to say in support of the democratic dispensation in India. Here’s why?

Consider India’s be^te noire, the neighbouring country where indeed it has been military dictatorship in place for the better part of that country’s existence since 1947. Now how deep rooted is the democracy there? If anything, it’s pretty shallow, and for good reasons. That having been said, let us now compare the two countries in terms of the extent to which they have monopolised and taken control of their democratic institutions. In the case of India, it’s common knowledge how the police, the judiciary, the investigating agencies or the election commission have been turned into personal fiefdoms of the party in power, especially so of the party which is in power in India right now. This is evident from how these institutions in India have been arm-twisted to play a second fiddle by working to stack the odds in favour of the government and going after its adversaries hook, line and sinker. For a change, however, the situation across the border looks to be altogether different.

Come to think of it, it goes without saying that the Imran Khan govt. is finding itself in the line of fire from the opposition. However, what’s surprising is to note how the judiciary and especially the Election Commission (EC) of that country, who by no means have been acting with grace and dignity since Khan’s ascedency to power, but in cahoots with the opposition to obstruct everything that’s being done by the IK govt. to put that country back on the rails. This is to be seen in the way the EC has been lending its weight behind the thoroughly inapt and corrupt oppostion to put paid to the string of legislations being contemplated by his government in the National Assembly which are designed to steer that country out of the woods. This is because his continuation in power is to be seen as much a threat to the opposition as to those soapy, servile beneficiaries of their largesse when the latter were in power. The resulting threat to the IK-govt in the event of a deadlock in the NA would be sweet music not only to the opposition but also to their beneficiary officers and bureaucrats now holding important positions in the judiciary and the EC.  This closing of ranks of these institutions with the opposition only to torpedo the long overdue process of delivering justice and good governence there is unprecedented even in the best of democracies, what with the singular aim of the opposition and its lackeys in the judiciary and the EC to see an end to his government so that they could revert back to their old insanely corrupt practices and shady deals to continue robbing that country dry, once the incompetent and thoroughly corrupt opposition was back in the saddle.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by M A Sofi

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