Perhaps Manmohan Singh is in a very romantic mood in Indian democracy. Among lovers silence speaks a lot. They can remain for hours together without uttering a word and yet communicate a world of meaning through their silence. It seems that India’s Prime Minister has not lost his romance yet. Remember, he went all the way to the US to speak some words of love to the Junior Bush.
Perhaps he had to speak those few words as he was communicating not his own love but the love of the people of India to the Bush. He told him blatantly that ‘the people of India love you’. What level of deliberation went into this communication is anybody’s guess. I for one cannot imagine that I have an iota of love for this annihilator of innocent masses and sovereignties of nations.
A country cannot be governed by sheer romance. It has to deliberate rationally with facts and figures. Deliberation has to pave way for dialectics in order to achieve progress. CAG report has placed some ‘facts and figures’ before the government that have come to a point of deliberation in the Parliament of India.
Bone of contention! The citizen has also chosen to speak with silence emulating the model of the PM. Their representatives in the meantime have succeeded to take their street fights into the centre of the Parliament defying the sanctity of a democratic institution that spells the future of more than a billion people.
The citizen perhaps is bored to the core of his being. BJP has set a pattern of deliberation that is much worse than street brawls. Even L K Advani had to swallow his humble pie in the recent past as Sonia opted to break her silence and whack him with her words. A tingle, a touch, an indication was good enough for the minions to spring into a verbal duel. The Parliament was filled with words without communicating anything to one another. The citizen is bored because he has begun to see this unproductive match as the order of the day in Indian democracy.
It is a stereotype. The BJP would dig into one or other issue to paint the ruling Congress in unpalatable colours. They are not good artists in any case. The color of their painting is the same always. Call it corruption. They get defeated in their brawls. Congress has better capacity in getting the better of everyone else in the country in such games, from Bofors to Coalgate, they have a proven capacity to browbeat the citizen.
The citizen actually elects not only the ruling party but also the opposition with a faint hope that both will have some deliberation in the Parliament leading to dialectics and ultimately to a synthesis that will lead the nation to progress. Belied hopes, year after year! Hopes are belied in Indian democracy mainly because both the ruling order and the opposition gain their legitimacy only with about 25 to 30 percent of votes, election after election. Very confident that they have to browbeat only that many of voters! The rest of the votes go into the dustbin or the dung-heap of Indian democracy.
A small peep! You are awestruck at the sham democracy that we have been collectively practicing. Escaping from a serious responsibility of governance is the best thing that elected representatives can do in such sham. The stereotype has led to a show, the show of stalling the Parliament at the slightest provocation. The provocation is often invented. ‘The government must not be allowed to function.'
The best possibility to stall the government is to stall the Parliament. What a skewed deliberation. The underbelly of BJP keeps on churning this democratic filth as a set pattern. The citizen ultimately is screwed wholesomely, all in the name of democracy. If Bush and Obama can screw the entire world in the name of democracy, why not our elected representatives have the small pleasure of doing the same to their own citizens?
Actually the credit for fabricating silence as an answer must legitimately belong to Vajpayee. Since he has become senile, Manmohan picked up the courage to steal it from him. The crescendo of corruption is being raised not by leaps and bounds but by lakhs and crores.
We shall soon arrive at a stage in Indian democracy wherein stealing people’s money in lakhs will be laughed at. Our representatives will laugh at those others who are incapable of looting public money in thousands of crores. Capacity in governance may soon be equated with capacity for looting. This is how Kautilya advocated governance in the East, Machiavelli followed it up in the West and Colonial democracy assiduously established all over the world in the modern and postmodern era.
Manmohan’s silence has evoked a great bit of ridicule and now he has reached the zenith of ridicule by professing to govern by his silence. Let us be fair to him. Silence often is an answer to many designed questions. Questions are often designed not out of ignorance but out of deep knowledge. When you know that the answers are with the questioner then your silence may be the best answer.
Your painstaking answer may very well fit into the outcome that the designers want to evince. All the same, in this case of Coalgate the Indian Prime Minister has actually asked for a deliberation. It is the opposition symbolized by BJP that has to take the gauntlet. As usual BJP is adept at tucking its tail at the end of the game plan.
Manmohan Singh cannot however, make this as an easy escape route to shy away from the opposition forays. He may not see a need to face the opposition with his words, but the citizens of India deserve and need a verbal explanation. They need an explanation for Bofors, for 2G, for military purchases, for Commonwealth Games, for Coalgate etc. Such deliberations with citizens are needed in the best interest of democracy. The best interest of Congress is not always the best for India. India is not Congress. Similarly the BJP and other parties in the country also owe their words and not their silence to the citizens of India.
The demolitions of Babri Masjid, the hatred against the Muslims in the country, the Godhras, the Khandamals etc. need serious levels of deliberative democracy. It is when both fail that outfits like IAC pick up the courage to camouflage their self-interests under the sugar coating of democracy, governance and integrity. Clowns will be on the prowl in the name of democracy when elected representatives fail to deliberate. Criminals will be dictating terms to democracy when elected representatives shirk their responsibility for deliberations.
Caution: Democracy and governance will weep when both silence and deliberation are overdone in the central hall of the Parliament. The citizens will be left with no other choice but to lament. Rulers must realize that lamentations of citizens may ultimately lead to power being taken over by them. Then they will decide the type of governance that they want to have. I do not think that India can afford the emergence of such a revolution, as it will spell a doom for all historically excluded people.