M.P. Election – 2019
A view point of The Association of Premier State College Seniors, Manipur
By Dr. A.K. Chishti
“Over 200 writers urge Indians to Vote Out hate politics in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls” as appeared in the Indian Cultural Forum Published as an open letter (PTI New Delhi April 3) and also in Sangai Express Daily dated April 4, 2019 engage ourattention fairly with increasing concern. It is timely and really soul searching thought and opinion in an endeavour towards saving democracy and their country mates who have full faith in their holy constitution that promised/ guarantees all its citizens equal rights, the freedom to eat, pray and live as they choose, freedom of expression and the right to dissent. “But in the last few years, we have seen citizens being lynched or assaulted or discriminated against because of their community, caste ,gender, or the region they come from”. The observation is really well founded. We have the same feeling as they harbour. By doing so they are playing their role as our mouthpiece. We are parts of the whole. It is our bounden duty to keep the whole intact structurally and functionally in the comity of Nations.
Our association of retired Premier State College Seniors as a part of the whole surely holds this view .As record speaks, the Association has been fighting relentlessly for strengthening the working of a vibrant democracy in our State since 2005-2006 that can be seen in our conducting debates, essay competitions at the University level and also the public contact including discourses with the former MLAs and MPs etc. As we also published a number of articles before the general election (Assembly) and MP Elections. Today we feel more heartening to find the publication of such articles of great significance for the solidarity, stability and integrity of our sovereign country. It needs well thought out plan and strategy to bring more understanding among the parts of the whole; our idea of having a Home Assembly in each constituency is worth experimenting all over the country in line with the above proposition.
While endorsing the appeal to our country mate citizens from the quarters of reputed academics, writers, authors, film makers, artists, musicians and other practitioners in different fields of interest, we also do join them in urging the electorates to exercise their collective wisdom correctly with no mistake in electing the right candidates to run the 5 years business of their own affairs. The view point of the Association published in 2014 before the MP election once again reproduced here in the best interest of our citizens for a better understanding and appreciation in impacting on the result of the MP Election 2019 .
Whereas the democratic system of Government demands full participation of the people more precisely the electorate in running their own affairs by involving themselves and investing their hard earned money in the form of taxes, in practice however, it is otherwise. People involved themselves only once in five years. The so called people’s Government thus run in the last 70 years of free India cannot be said to have done justice – social, economic and political and also cannot claim to have given equal status and opportunity to all sections of people for reasons known only to the people in the helm of affairs. A deep introspection is therefore called for and is the need of the hour.
We can begin with the M.P. Election 2019. Let us seize this rare opportunity that is given only once in 5 years. To start with, this should be our first resolution not to repeat the same mistakes in choosing MPs in the past. The regard and respect shown to us by the candidates during election campaign may confuse us, we must be very careful. Self-respect and regard is more important for us to command respect. The candidates cannot but respect such prudent electorate and will have no moral courage to force purchase votes, to lure, to trap, to communalize, to mislead, to threaten, to capture booths, to disturb and forfeit rights to vote for the right candidates. We should believe only in the virtues of the candidates in the field. Competency, Honesty and Integrity (CHI) should be the qualifications to be elected democratically for the job. Incompetent representatives will be misfits. From such a category of misfits came out the fortune seekers often changing their colour a phenomenon in India observed during party ticket distribution before election. This phenomenon is nothing but the reflection of the mind of the politicians with no conscience and CHI. Record shows that they created nothing but havoc to tarnish the image of the nation (regular disturbances in both the houses of parliament etc.). Five year’s term is too valuable a time for the people to be represented by such elements or parties with such elements. Representatives with CHI would never indulge in negative activities.
Here, the APSCS consider it paramount to set qualifications (not University Degrees specifically) for the candidates to be elected as people’s representatives. The introduction of a Home Assembly (HA) in each constituency is also essential for the electorate concerned so that deliberations on matters of importance is held democratically as and when required. It may be conveniently recalled here that in regard to the above propositions for bringing forth a qualitative change in the parameter of running a democratic government in the country, representations were submitted to the President, the Prime Minister and the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission of India in the years 2006 and 2007 for favour of consideration. Copies of the same were also released in the local dailies.
The Association further continued its mission to strengthen the democracy in the country inter alia, by publishing some more articles in this direction and by meeting with people in different areas during 2011. The opinion of the people including that of the Ex-MLAs, Ex-MPs was in favour of the propositions. We agreed, the above suggestions if considered will be the bedrock of democracy and will work wonders in this country. This step alone will empower the electorate who used to remain as titular masters in the democratic system of Government. Not doing so, so far, has faltered the system in its function and performance. When the elected representatives and electorate put their heads together and take decisions in a democratic manner, there cannot be a better and stronger decision than this for the HA. The object of the HA is to follow this procedure or protocol always. At the same time the CHI of the representatives will also be put to test. Electorate may also note as to who are active participants in the deliberations in the HA during the course of five years of working together. This is very crucial for the next election of representatives. The choice cannot be wrong and the contest will be free and fair. The candidate with the highest score point of CHI will be the ultimate choice. Election expenditures incurred will also be nominal for both the Election Commission and the candidates.
It will be in sharp contrast to the existing modus operandi of the system practiced in the country where the MLAs and MPs are elected with no consideration of their CHI certification in this country that any legislator can be made Chief Minister/Prime Minister. He can hold any portfolios and run the Government by occupying the driver’s seat with no hesitation and fear for meeting with accidents causing damages. It is taken for granted that the legislators are masters of all trades. They think that electorate have certified their CHI in electing them. The constitution also gives them powers, privileges and immunities that they are above electorate and all. Often they forget to carry out their responsibility in the best interest of the people of the constituency regardless of who are or are not in their favour at the time of election. Party interest cannot be above the interest of an assembly constituency, a concept they do not believe. With the end of the election, their concern for the constituency is also over and they will leave soon for the capital (State or National) to remain confined there and keep themselves busy with other jobs of their own interest.
Post-election, the electorate find no role to play in their own affairs and will be dethroned once again to be dumped for five years. Who will find faults with whom in this situation? In fact, it is the creation of both the electors and the elected. We the electors are to blame ourselves for this miserable situation; prima facie we are responsible for choosing the representative. He did not elect himself to become legislator or minister. The trend set so is continuous and has become a normal feature today. If we allow this trend to continue further the present anarchy will never end in this country.
Empowering people alone can overturn the course of the history. M.P. Election 2014 is an opportune moment for the people to seize and demonstrate their determination and action for a radical change. Let there be hundreds of candidates in the fray but one with the full knowledge of:
1. the constituency’s statistical information on various subjects like population, social, educational, economic structure/condition, employment and problems,
2. organising and conducting public meetings to ascertain their views relating to the state, regional, national and global concern in a democratic manner,
3. the presence of intellectuals, specialists and experts in the field who can give advice/suggestions at times,
4. the suitable or convenient area in the constituency to open his office and/or the Home Assembly venue,
5. conducting interviews and recording individual or group grievances with concern,
6. different languages, traditions and customs of various communities,
7. making out cases clearly for the higher/concerned authorities or the august House where he will present the people’s case and defend it to clinch the argument or issue confidently,
should be elected as MP without two opinions/reservation. The most practical and successful democracy lies in our hands, the opposite of the same is also true. It is a double-edged weapon. This time, let us not commit the same mistake as before and choose the best as our MPs.
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