Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perils of multi-party democracy

There must be a God somewhere in this universe. Because I find no other way to explain how our beloved country is not only running but also growing at 7% per annum despite the corruption in legislature, in bureaucracy and in judiciary; bureaucratic red tape, the aristocratic mentality of our government machinery, the apathy of our people, the anachronous mentality of the society at large among other things. We may be a country of several hundred (or rather thousand) dialects, we may have people from all religions, we may have terrains as diverse as what mother earth can offer and we may go gaga about having a unity in diversity but the actual fact is that it is just a false hand that we have kept at our disposal whenever someone criticizes the state of this once a great nation. 

Over the past few weeks, we have been reading a lot about Naxalite violence in some of the states. There have been all kind of statements from different sections of the society. Some of them have called this an act of self preservation whereas some others have denounced them severely. Its true that tribals in Indian have been exploited for long and the fact that successive state and central governments have turned blind eye to it had make such an upsurge inevitable. But I am still sceptic about the ideologies leaders of these movements purport. Given the way the mass media plays into the hands of the governments  its difficult for an outsider to know which side is right and which is wrong. But in between all this mess, there is a certain truth that people from both sides are getting killed every day and that our government is doing nothing about it.

There are some perils of a multi-party democracy and a coalition government. Regional parties propagates policies that are essential for their survival but are sometimes contrary to the national interest. Also the fact that they are regional ensures that they can't be held accountable in the other parts of the country. Given that one of the alliances in the UPA has in past (and possibly even now) defended and supported such movements, it is difficult for the government to take a clear stand. It seems the impasse that has been created would continue for some time to come.

Another instance of a coalition government going wrong is that of the telecommunication minister A. Raja. He has been charged for allocating 2G spectrum to the telecom companies on a first come first serve basis at a throw away price. The fact that auction of 3G spectrum has earned government an amount of Rs. 70,000 crore, several times more than what was earned from selling of 2G spectrum has brought this topic to the fore. But the fact that Raja belongs to DMK, another one of UPA alliance would ensure that he would go unhurt despite the fact that the amount the government lost is almost equal to the health budget of the country.  Abdul Karim Telgi might have been jailed for a fraud of this much amount but Raja will not be. In fact, he might even flourish in all probability.

There are many other cases in which coalition government have crippled the country. But given the structure of our democracy, a coalition government looks inevitable. We will have to continue to bear with the likes of Lalu, Mulayam and Mayawati. What India desperately needs is a national party with a complete majority at the center and also in states. Otherwise the nation may never realize its full potential.


Spontaneous said...

Clearly, A. Raja has been saved by his party. If Shashi Tharoor had to relinquish his post for the allegations regarding his interests in an IPL team, Mr. Raja has a lot more serious allegation against him to answer. But DMK being a regional party (rather a fiefdom) having no concern for morality (because it does not fetches votes) is only expected to take decisions based on vote bank. Hopefully national parties perform well in major states like UP and Bihar and shut the crap out of parliament. I wanted TMC to win in Bengal but with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at helm, I am not so sure if that would be the right thing for West Bengal.

Ankit said...

Thats true. If Tharoor would have represented any other party, he would have definitely stayed. Its only the national parties that are accountable to a certain extent.