he role of the Opposition is extremely vital to create a healthy democratic system. The present situation in India, however, is building up to a point where the people in power are unwilling to accept the existence of a differing voice. Our parliamentary system has also been tailored in such a manner that the government comes up with prepared legislations that are unflinchingly set in style and content. The idea of Discuss, Debate and Decide is only a ruse to pacify a certain section that is agitated by the actions of the government. Legislations moved by the government come printed and are presented to state assemblies or to the Houses of Parliament in such a manner that no amount of amendments filed by non-government parties can be taken into consideration. That means, the Decide factor is already taken care of before any new law is brought before the legislative houses. All that is discussed and debated holds no value whatsoever. This form of governance has created an environment of complete inefficiency and total corruption at every level.
The ability or the desire to question is something inherent for a healthy democracy. In a society like the one we see in India, the desire to question needs to be protected and also nurtured. For long centuries, we have been ruled by kings and landlords whose abilities to govern should have been questioned during their lifetimes. With our feudal mindset, we not only accepted but also adored those perverted rulers and made them look attractive to the common man’s eyes. This has altered the very DNA ingrained in our existence. Scores of invasions and ruthless foreign rulers followed our indigenous kings and landlords. They not only raped, pillaged and plundered us but they broke the very essence of intellectual questioning in the average Indians’ mind. The effect of these long term assaults left the Indian psyche stillborn. We have become mentally poverty stricken. Following somebody or the other with the hope that an individual or a tiny group will deliver us from all our miseries has landed us in deeper miseries.
Take for instance the present situation. Whenever anyone questions the inept handling of the India-China border stand-off which has resulted in the deaths of 20 valuable young Indian soldiers, the nation’s attention is immediately diverted to how Aksai-Chin was lost by Nehru to the Chinese. The desire to deny and deflect the attention of the populace eventually damages the interests of the nation. Similarly, when the problem with China is discussed, the ruling party informs the nation that a Congress-led Foundation had received funds from the Chinese embassy and the government. While it is perfectly sensible to expose the wrongdoings of the previous governments, it is also equally important for the government to create an atmosphere of transparency. Had the BJP-ruled Union government wanted to be transparent, it could easily have come out open with data on how much the PM-Cares Fund has received from various sources including Chinese corporates. Had the government not taken PM-Cares out of the ambit of CAG Audit and RTI queries, needles of suspicion would never point towards that fund. This has created opportunities for the Opposition to allege that massive donations have come into the PM-Cares Fund from Chinese companies. When a modern democratic government constantly shrouds its activities under a cloak, it is but natural that questions will arise. Whenever any individual or group questions, that is being labeled as Opposition or even anti-national. Those in power must remember that the very essence of democracy is changing. A Five-Year mandate presumes that no one is permanent. Keeping this in mind, the performance of political leaders needs to be such that answering questions will be an integral part of their duties.