Good Governance and Accountability in India

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Day in and day out, we are tired of listening this blah blah of how the bureaucrats and politicians be accountable to public’; that the government which fails to govern must go etc.etc.

No one ponders to think deeply how it is possible in the democratic system like ours where the governments are run and formed by a majority party whether it has been elected by the electorate or not. Even two or more minority parties can join together, irrespective of the ideologies they subscribe, to simply get power by conglomerating under a new name,

Whenever there is public outcry for non-accountability and failure to govern like recent Mumbai terrorists attack; the governments and concerned Ministers either repeat their assurances of not tolerating such acts or by enacting a strict law to deal with; or at the most rolling a few heads at the top government echelons. Besides that no concrete change takes place, Same parties and ideologies and their style of governance to appease “Vote bank” continue to remain unaltered. In spite of changing faces, no concrete change happens in governance. Even the "tainted” persons may get important portfolios and no amount of protest from the public will have any effect; because the person is necessary for the survival of ruling party / Government... Some inept party leaders are foisted on public simply because they hold a big chunk of vote bank. Now if the new party or the conglomerate of parties again fail to deliver the goods, what option the public have to change them except, wait till next elections?

Just by crying hoarse to remove the govt. which fails to govern, will not have effect unless this present party based governance system of British origin is changed to some other viable and effective democratic system.

While retaining our democratic republic fabric unscathed, I may think of the following:

  1. Let us get the RIGHT TO RECALL. When the voters feel that a politician has failed to deliver, we should call him back at any time. Once this right is with us, every elected politician / Government will have fear in their mind, and will thrive to deliver, if he want to remain in power till five years.
  2. The executive head is the Prime Minister in India who is necessarily not elected by the people directly, but is foisted on us by the party who has the majority of MPs in Lok Sabha. The person can be a member of Rajya Sabha (not elected directly by people, but either elected by the MPs, MLAs and MLCs from Indian States or can be a nominated member.) Initially the person even may not be a member of either house but may get elected within next six months. Such highest executive authority will thus first remain loyal and accountable to the party / parties who are supporting him / her and not to the people, who did not have any say in his / her election.

SO LET THERE BE A CHANGE IN OUR CONSTITUTION FIRST. LET US HAVE THE PRESIDENTAIL FORM OF GOVERNMENT WHERE THE POWERFUL AND ACCOUNTABLE PRESIDENT IS DIRECTLY ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE and he runs the government and delivers with accountability not by the elected and corrupt no-voices as cabinet members but highly experienced professionals and statesmen in their own fields by way of APPOINTMENT.. He is not bothered of any ill effect on his party if he removes any Minister for non-deliverance.

Therefore, once we change this Banana democratic system, by introducing the above two constitutional changes, then only we can enforce accountability and deliverance from the GOVERNMENT.

In the present party system, to start with for such a change, let us demand this specific provision in the election manifesto released by the contesting parties and independents and caste our votes only to such people / party who promise these reforms.

After election, it is possible that in spite the promise made in the manifesto, the party in power may fail to get these changes. In next election, therefore, such failing parties and individuals should never get our votes. That will be a lesson for them to always fulfil the promises made in the manifesto. Thus the democratic process of change may take further twenty years to fructify, but then after suffering from a defective political system for last 61 years, it will be worth waiting for.


Written by: 

Mohan Siroya


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