The pitfalls of democracy.

The best system we have made the worst of.

Democracy is the only best system of governance in present contemporary global scenario of all-round progress. The four pillars of democracy—Legislature, Executive, Judiciary and Press (precisely, the right of information) are inseparable and any one of them cannot deliver without the forceful existence of the other three. Legislature derives its power directly from the people and is bedrock of democracy. In our parliamentary system of democracy People elect their members and vest them with absolute authority to decide about the matters of governance and law making. Legislature is not only fountain-head of power but temple of etiquettes, decorum and mannerism. People look up to it as torch-bearer and seek guidance.

Imagine a democratic system devoid of values and impeccability; it will imply a noble lady without a shroud of cloth on her virtuous body. The recent confrontation between the members and the presiding officer within the Jammu and Kashmir assembly portrays a depressing image of parliamentary democracy, discrediting the basic conception of democracy. The exchange of remarks and gestures ultimately leading to filthiest diatribes has belittled the prestigious house and tarnished its image. No doubt, invectives traded within the house stand expunged from the records of the proceedings of the house but the impression of shame and acrimony cannot be erased and will remain there in every corner of the house, for years to come.

Our honorable members of the legislature like all other human beings are bound to lose their cool on the slightest provocation, but losing sense of behavior at a place where fate of people is determined, is nothing but inanity. Members have every right to agitate against any unsatisfactory ruling of the chair but creating a ruckus ultimately leading to row does not augur well for democracy. In this recent episode of face-off, first time ever even the speaker of the assembly got severely entangled in a complex situation of argument and parliamentary language. This awkward position taken by the speaker has eroded the credibility of the chair and dishonored the house. Instead of resorting to awkward gestures and foul language against any aggressive member speaker could have gracefully, but authoritatively utilized his absolute powers within the house. The traditions of parliamentary democracy beyond its written rule book lays certain understood rules of decency and self restraint for members as well as the person sitting on the highest chair of practical impartiality.

The usual noisy scenes and very often intervention of marshals portrays a dismal image of this dignified house. Members shouting on top of their voice, flinging and using every object within their reach as handy missiles and tearing apart the decorum of the house makes no sense as noble members of the dignified house. Members require mending their behavior and work as role models for their followers in particular and the people in general from whom they derive their power to rule. Speaker as most honored presiding officer directly responsible for order in the house should maintain his status as embodiment of impartiality without any malice and ill will. Every entity within the house is empowered only to uphold the democratic rights of the people. This whole concept of privileges and powers was designed by the architects of the democracy to strengthen the concept of governance by the people through their most respected representatives. If this conception of empowerment is distorted by the people’s representatives for their personal pride and ego then whole democracy will get blotted and people will get dismayed.

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