Jammuites should throw out Kashmir-centric politics
Mahadeep Singh Jamwal
An incompetent person in a responsible position may cause huge damage, an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops and incompetent, incapable public representative can demolish the whole society and in turn whole state and the country. India is a country which is governed by Indian Constitution and the constitution supports the concept of Government i.e. of the people by the people and for the people. The people elect their representative as per the provisions of Representation of the People Act, 1951. The Act is defective as to make representatives accountable to their electors. Hence most of the times their electors are disappointed and people have no option except to tolerate under-performing/non performing representative before the term ends. If we visit the section 16 of the General Clause Act, 1897 that provides power to make the appointment shall also have power to suspend or dismiss any person appointed. The missing of this provision in Representation of the People Act, 1951 is vulnerability. When we ponder on this issue, only one viable elucidation percolate into the mind of right thinking people and that is recall of these representatives. The legislators derive authority from the people, so the people should have the right to recall the under-performing/non performing legislators. This is one shot counteraction to procreate representative accountable to those electing them.
Recall is the right or procedure by which a public representative may be removed from a position by a vote of the people prior to the end of the term of office. Right to recall the under-performing/non performing elected fraternity is need of the hour. This noble cause will never be taken up by politicians as most of them are to fall in this dragnet. The irony and the clumsiness of the electoral process in India is that it has not been able to keep out criminal, anti-social and undesirable elements from participating in the elections and even dominating the political scene and polluting the electoral and parliamentary processes. It can be corrected only by putting voters in control and ‘Right to recall’, is an excellent accountability tool.
The concept of recall originated in Switzerland but became operative in several American States. In India we trace its footage during ‘Total Revolution Movement’ launched by Jayaprakash Narayan in November 1974 against Congress Government followed by the Janta Government in 1977 and again during the National Front Government in 1989. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has once remarked that he is personally in favor of “Right to Recall” system in our democracy, as the people were the ultimate judges to decide the performance of their representatives. The demand for it caught momentum when Anna Hazare called for it. It is in the interest of the nation to remove those incompetent, inefficient and dishonest legislators, who once elected by hook or by crook, continue to bleed the state exchequer for the fixed term. It will definitely ensure good performance of the chosen representative and will keep this fraternity away from lucrative commitments and promises to woo and exploit the voters as they will be realizing that they can be removed and kicked out due to non-performance and in not keeping promises made during elections. The representative would be in constant vigil and feel pressure to work the way people want from him as he has opted himself to serve the society. Realizing that their continuity for full term is not certain he would be serving the public as to avoid the provision of right to recall being applied to him. This uncertainty would force him to make and implement plans/policy decisions yielding instant as well as substantial results in long term. To get the public expectations fulfilled the right to recall provides a way for citizens to retain control over elected officials who are not representing the best interests of their constituents, or who are unresponsive or incompetent. This mechanism holds that an elected representative is an agent, a servant and not a master in a democratic state.
Many have shown concern that representatives would keep spending lots of money just to please people, those representatives who exercise power in smaller constituencies would use force to threaten people who dare to demand re-election under right to recall, constant political turmoil and politicians would be busy saving seat instead of working for development, political opponents might bribe a group of people and prompt them to demand the elections under right to recall against present candidate, recall election would imply more expenditure of tax payer’s money to organize re-elections time and again. But these expressions can well be looked when we have a healthy democracy and people awareness. And above all will to strengthen the electors.
Provision for recall is necessary in democracy because elected representative at all levels give the impression that they have protection from all laws of the country and majority of them acts only for profit earning not for the welfare of the state. The performance and the functioning of the parliament/legislative assemblies as well as its members would improve if people who elected their representatives to voice their grievances are loaded with the gun to be termed as ‘Right to recall’. But, it is not such an easy thing to be resolved in our parliamentary democracy as all the political parties have to arrive at a consensus, which may be a difficult task. It is well established fact that political leaders are reluctant to enact any legislation which depicts that they are hesitant to maturing into participatory democracy. Right to recall would make India a democracy in the true sense. No need to tolerate a corrupt or incompetent person for a full term, that is why it is the call of the time that sane society should launch a crusade compelling this fraternity to go for providing the ‘Right to Recall’ to electors, only then we can see a healthy democracy which appears to be on crutches in India. Let us wait as the future is just an immense void in this direction but every second that passes is like a door that opens to allow in what has not yet happened. The Jammu based politicians that are stooges of Kashmir centric politicians are required to be thrown out of the scene for a rightful and honest politicians that have actual urge for doing away the discrimination with Jammuities.