Crumbling democratic institutions mirrors what India has to achieve: British journalist
New Delhi-based British journalist John Elliot said Friday the crumbling of democratic institutions like parliament is a pointer to what India is yet to achieve or should have achieved since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
Giving an overview of his book titled "Implosion: India's Tryst with Reality", Elliott told participants at a discussion organised by the Ananta Aspen Centre at the WWF here, that he was of the particular view that the effectiveness of these democratic institutions have taken a harsh and severe beating over the past two decades.
"The crumbling of democratic institutions like parliament, law and the political behavior is like a fig-leaf to what the country hasn't achieved what it should have actually. Each of these institutions effectiveness has reduced over a period twenty years," Elliot said.
He cited the incident of the use of pepper spray by a member of parliament on others in the house during a heated debate on the Reorganisation of the State of Andhra Pradesh Bill, as an example of collapsed administrative processes.
Elliot, however, said the nation is brimming with all the potential and poised to leapfrog to the next level, but was being stymied by the high degree of corruption and collapse of institutions.
He gave a contrast as to how in other countries like in China and Malaysia, there is high amount of corruption, but at the end of the day, the work is done. This was not the case with India.
According to him, "corruption stops things here (India), instead of making things happen."
He made a point about how the judiciary is widely believed to be corrupt, while the media was independent to a degree, but controlled by vested interests, and therefore, does a great disservice to the country.
Elliot said the best way to bring in reform is through protest movements, which he added were started by Anna Hazare, and later, by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a political force . The AAP, he said, was a hope in order to make behavioural change in the system for good.
Elliott was categorical that dynastic politics does not serve the country, but in the pall of gloom, there were exceptions. He was all praise for young Congress leader Sachin Pilot who he believed does aim to serve his constituents and the state.
(Posted on 09-05-2014)