'Executive powers to legislators eroded democractic ideals'

Highlights: 
Politics have now become 'Kula Kasubu' (family vocation)
Soon after Independence, politics was deemed to be a service

Political activity has intensified in all parties. While a few parties have released lists of their candidates for some constituencies for the upcoming Assembly polls, aspirants for the remaining constituencies are busy lobbying for party tickets.

While the Election Commission has put a ceiling on the expenditure per candidate at Rs 28 lakh, people who know politics are of the opinion that this amount is just a fraction of the total expenditure of a candidate, which includes the 'expenditure' to get a party ticket.

The residents of the city feel that the provision of executive powers to the legislators - MLAs, MLCs and MPs - has eroded the basic principles of democracy. "If the legislators are limited to their responsibility of law-making, the parties would have to scout for the right candidates. Soon after Independence, politics was deemed to be a service. Unfortunately, politics has now turned into a full-time vocation, business and further 'kula kasubu' (family vocation). The candidates invest in the election and reap the profits once elected," said S Subramainam, a senior citizen.

"The provision of executive powers to the prime minister, chief minister and their council of ministers is inevitable as we have adopted the Parliamentary form of government akin to the United Kingdom. While the chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, B R Ambedkar, was looking for the government that would suit Indian conditions, he might have found the British model suitable for some reasons. It has to be recalled that the British ruled a major portion of the Indian sub-continent for a considerable time. Ambedkar was also educated in the UK. So, it seems natural for him to extract from the UK constitution for his compilation," said J Puttaswamy, a political science lecturer.

"However, the social, demographical, economical, ethical and political culture in India cannot be compared with that of the UK. In India, the first scam was reported just a year after Independence. As the Jeep scam was unearthed in 1948, India's high commissioner to England V K Krishna Menon had to resign. However, the case was closed in 1955 and Menon, then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's trusted aide, went on to become the Defence minister. As Parliamentarians with integrity started questioning the irregularities in the government, powerful politicians of those days thought of means to keep them busy with some executive work. Now, both, the people and the people's representatives, have forgotten the definition of a 'legislator'," he said.

"Now, when people meet either an MLA, MLC or MP, they do not ask them to either amend or make a law to solve the problems facing the society. The people usually seek funds for some development works. They complain about civic problems. Further, a few people seek financial help from the representative's personal funds. Some even seek help and support for illegal activities. The subsequent governments have been increasing the executive powers of the legislators. Now, the legislature and the executive have merged and overlapped," said S V Chandrakanth, an economics lecturer.

"If not for the interference by politicians, the country would have been in a better position. It is enough for the officials to stick to the rulebook for the welfare of the people. If the people are facing problems, the legislators should raise them on the floor of the House. They should discuss the issue and explore ways to solve them legally. Now, if an official's action is not in favour of a person, whom the legislator supports, the representatives go to the extent of issuing life threats. They want the tender of development works issued to their supporters, friends and even relatives. They prevail upon the officials to explore short-cuts for nepotism," said E V Rudrachar, a retired government employee.

 

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