Few days back an interesting but disheartening news item was published in this news paper. For ready reference and interest of the readers it becomes essential to reproduce the text of the news. The following is the partial text of the distressing news item.
[A ruling National Conference MLA cried bitterly in the Assembly today alleging that his demands regarding his constituency were treated with indifference by the authorities and admitting failure in getting justice for the people he represents.————————————-If an MLA has to be dictated by officers and can do nothing to ameliorate the conditions of people he represents, he has no business to be in the assembly, he said and wept on the floor of the House uttering, “I have failed”.]
Legislature and bureaucracy are the most important and vital institutions of governance; any lack of synchronization between the two will make governance a miserable affair and the ultimate sufferer will be the common man. In a democratic system the elected legislature is supreme and bureaucracy by all means is subservient, or to be polite enough, subordinate to the government working at the pleasure of the legislature.
The above news item is self explanatory and illustrates the present state of relations between the bureaucracy and the people’s representation, where an honorable member of the legislative assembly (MLA) expressed his extreme annoyance on the floor of the house. Wept, for denial of justice and fair deal to his people! This incident portrays the desperation of the MLA over his failure and his honest and sincere effort to concede that he has failed to mitigate the problems of his voters. For all this he has squarely blamed the bureaucratic setup of the state administration directly and in clear words. Wail, just for a meager grant! How shameful on part of our system? He had to beg before the officers of the public works department and ultimately his all pleading proved futile to mobilize blinkered eyes and plugged ears of the intoxicated bureaucracy. If this will be the fate of people’s representatives, then what will be in store for public aspirations and their genuine demands?
For this rot every one is responsible. Firstly, under prevailing conditions of uncertainty public often chose their representatives out of political hysteria generated by the politicians rather than judging them with the barometers of performance and merit. At many occasions instead of electing the real representatives people are forced to facilitate and indirectly encourage unscrupulous elements to grab power of representation with a free hand to resort to all sorts of exploitation. Secondly the political fraternity and elected public representatives themselves indulge in pampering the administrative system just to expand their political constituencies and clout at the cost of public exchequer and people’s power. This game of deceit and pampering has given more un-lawful authority to the bureaucracy; they have become much more arrogant and bother least about the aspirations, sentiments and genuine demands of the public.
In present political system politicians have become more aligned to the bureaucratic setup than their constituencies and the voters, but I am unable to make out why the concerned MLA went off the track and could not go well with the real power brokers and get his things materialized in the corridors of administration, nicely and smoothly? May be he has not yet graduated to the level of politics where his fellow politicians have got their masters and doctorate in maintaining the harmonious relation with the bureaucrats and excel on all fronts. Either he should learn the trick of political trade and believe in ‘do what Romans do in Rome’ or he will have to leave political arena for good of his reputation and his voters. He should get acclimatized to symbiotic political, bureaucratic nexus instead of establishing a new political order which will lead him to more sobs not only in the well of the prestigious house but even in the valley of picturesque Gurez.
Autocracy had its own order and the system, where cronies and chums were the eyes and ears of the dictators both for the good and bad of the people and the dictatorship. But it is very saddening and unfortunate that sixty years of democracy could not get us out of the influence of cronies and the sycophants. Democracy can never be bad, but defective and exploited democracy will dispense only bad and unjustified governance. These incidents of shame! where an honorable member was pushed to the wall of desperation, so hard that he had no other option but to shed tears in the house and shout loud and clear ‘I have failed’. He has not failed but the system has failed! It is not that he was sobbing and inviting attention towards sick governance, but the democracy was crying and cursing the way it is being handled and implemented at the hands of existing political system and its cronies.
People’s representation is a holy profession and most vital and pivotal instrument to run a system- system of governance, next only to God. In real sense the prestigious task of people’s representation is bestowed by the Almighty to very few, who can do justice with the people’s mandate. The present shape of representation seems to be either polluted or they might have lost the judicious patronage of supernatural power due to their ignorance and lack of holiness. Both representatives and their subjects should resort to introspection and look for the creeping rot that has been eating the values and basic principles of representation and ultimately eroding the system of governance and people’s representation. The enormous powers vested with the people’s representatives are as old as the documented history of mankind and any invasion into this quantum of power, particularly during much hyped democratic system will make mockery of the people’s representation and will encourage autocracy and dictatorship. Every sect of people’s representatives, irrespective of their affiliation and ideology should rise to the occasion and condemn such acts of intrusion within people’s representation structure and exercise their power of lawmaking to restrain and restrict such elements.
This present episode of desperation expressed by the honorable member should have been dealt severely by the honorable speaker of the house as breach of privilege and matter handed over to the proper house committee for thorough investigation. Pushing an honorable member to desperation is the ultimate act of intruding into his amount of privileges and in no case can be tolerated by any civilized society. And why should the system tolerate all this abuse of people’s mandate? It is peoples trust vested with the member and the house and no authority within the government should encroached upon it, or otherwise it will amount to breach of people’s trust which is paramount and more important than the privileges of the house and its members. This is what democracy is all about and what we as people have embraced in the shape of democracy.
Public representatives are no where accountable in the system of governance, instead they govern the system, but yes, they are accountable before their people and derive their power from the people’s consent, so people’s authority should not get trampled by few cronies and sycophants. The whole of bureaucracy or the administrative setup can not be blamed for this rot, but the odd moles of sycophancy have made the whole administrative setup murkier. Present chief executive (read Chief Minister) of government should act fast and put an end to the abuse of peoples mandate or otherwise his sincere efforts to restore people’s writ will get lost in the murkier acts of few egoistic officers who had occupied their seats either by virtue of nepotism or hypocrisy.