LAW Courses

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More


History tells us there was a plague for three years during 430BC that devastated Athens killing 1,00,000 people. Such epidemics have even caused the downfall of powerful empires and brought about unprecedented social, economic and political reformations. India has already experienced when one of its major buzzling Port town was eliminated from its map overnight during the end of the year 1964 when a super cyclone hit Dhanushkodi in South Coastal Tamilnadu wiping out more than 2000 innocent people. Now, COVID19 proves to the entire humanity that the rich and poor, the healthy and weak are equally incapable of resistance, all alike being swept away, irrespective of their wealth and lifestyle as many lost their lives due to rampant neglect and non-adherence to lockdown guidelines and others due to lack of immunity or ignorance about the  dreaded virus.

While this pandemic has successfully silenced all the election related and political affairs of the country it has also given adequate room for thought to ponder as to how our democratic values are safeguarded in terms of the letter and spirit spelt out in our Constitution. It is evident that both the elected and the governed are caught in a mess in the process discharging their duties and responsibilities to combat the pandemic as the infected and fatality figures are rising day by day. The elected having extraordinary powers to fight the virus should not become a burden on people once the pandemic is brought under control. It always tries its best to ensure that all welfare schemes announced reach the real beneficiaries both on short-term and long-term basis but still the ground reality reflects an entirely different picture. One really needs to check up as to whether the funds officially spent in the management of Covid19 by State Governments and Central Government in terms of Health Care, Health Infrastructure (including supply of PPEs, Hospitals, Manpower, etc) would have exceeded had a notional amount of say Rs.5000/- was credited to the bank accounts of 40 crores population falling under the BPL category including migrant and jobless youth in the country for the last three months. Estimates from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) show that over 12.21 crore people lost their jobs in April 2020, which includes labourers and small traders. It also reiterated that 18 million business persons are estimated to have gone out of business in April 2020 itself.

It has been nearly three months since pandemic stepped into our country but Judiciary has been the only one pillar of democracy that is relied upon in the governance of the other three which was never envisaged at the time of framing of our Constitution by our forefathers. Judiciary is vibrantly questioning the blatant omissions and commissions that are apparently visible in the current affairs all round in the management of this pandemic. The governed are passionately listening and obeying to all the dictates and guidelines put forth by the elected with a hope that the pandemic is defeated and decimated. This amply suggests the fact that Democracy and its values will still be safeguarded and can never be destroyed by any pandemics.

LESSONS LEARNT FROM COVID19

While constructive criticism is a part and parcel of any robust democracy and serves as a catalyst of for better administration. Hence it is time to introspect as to how our invaluable resources should have been deployed in activities to combat against pandemic once lockdown 1.0 was announced with just four hours’ notice during the end of March 2020 keeping in view of the life and livelihood on citizens. However we still find:

  1. hatred, greed, intolerance, inefficiency in governance, corruption, unethical journalism, neglect of the sufferers, lack of medical research infrastructure, hospitals  etc despite the fact that the life of every human is put under serious threat for its’ existence by the virus.
  2. some people buying and keep stock of essential commodities as if they are going to be infected and all others are going to die of hunger.
  3. many unverified medicines and treatment for COVID is doing rounds in the social media and even promote practice of superstition thereby spreading lot of disinformation.
  4. some indulge in hatred and against a particular religious community holding them responsible for spread of this virus.
  5. some people trying make maximum political advantage of the crisis by influence the masses and carve out an unquestionable authority of themselves through self-publicity.
  6. lack of solid policies and scientific allocation of funds to the vulnerable population in terms of size and density and geographical entry points for visitors from abroad.
  7. some leaders are more concerned about their power and wealth and at the exchequer of honest tax payers’ money enjoying all entitlements, perks and privileges to stay in comfort zone.
  8. street dwellers, slum inhabitants, sex workers, agricultural and industrial workers, migrant labourers, indigenous folks, marginalised brethren are the worst affected.
  9. even the rich and powerful countries under the United States and Europe have been exposed to the world about its limitations and  inability in handling the pandemic.
  10. aggressive testing and contact tracing never reached its expected level considering the size of population in the country. The entry points to our country were never shut down when it was first breaking out.
  11. lack of conservation of resources and alertness to envisage the economic conundrum resulting in the inevitable collateral damage to the livelihood of more than half of the population.
  12. lack of social security to the poor and the downtrodden that included the life and livelihood of migrant workers who were forced to go back home after they were evicted from the rented shanties or didn’t have food to eat.
  13. absence of prioritisation of emergency tasks due to inherent weaknesses in the co-ordination between the Executive and the Bureaucracy.
  14. relief and revival package of twenty lakh crores has been alleged as only eyewash and apathetic as the targeted beneficiaries are still under financial distress for survival.
  15. created a sense of uncertainty and trust deficient on the efficacy of governance in crisis management.
  16. Loss of credibility and goodwill on the elected after seeing the successive breach and miscommunication in statements on the National Wealth and Finance.
  17. no new pandemic specific laws enacted as only age old laws like Epidemics Diseases Act,1897 and Disaster Management Act, 2005 could be invoked to manage this first time health distress faced by the contemporary generation.

ROLE OF DEMOCRACY TO AUGMENT SCOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT IN OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM TOWARDS BEST GOVERNANCE DURING GLOBAL CRISIS

It is the tireless search of every common man who belongs to the silent majority in the country to find efficient governance with honest agenda to take the country to inclusive growth to secure the life and livelihood through exercise of franchise while choosing his representative and designate him with the power and authority at least for five years. Democracy therefore gives him the unquestionable licence and authority to fix with the undermentioned criteria to govern our world’s largest democracy. Let us dream hope that our temples of democracy which are instituted as State Legislative Assemblies and Parliament are occupied with people having:

1. Zero Criminal Track Record and are fully compliant to all laws on the land with utmost honesty and public integrity in life.

2. Without any single case or compliant pending under corruption at any point of time in his political career

3. Devoid of Lust for power enjoying portfolios for generations in the name of ancestral succession irrespective of political merits.

4. A political affiliation having complete transparency in all its donations or funds collected / received irrespective of the status of donors.

5. A party headed by a leader who always walk the talk and never mislead the people in the Manifestation of Political Ideologies with false promises or incorrect and unviable information.

6. Leader who frequently interacts with every single tool of Media and regularly feel the pulse of the democracy to ensure preservation of composite culture.

7. Leader who honestly responds in action and engage in corrective measures to every genuine issues raised by citizens on any platform including opposition parties related to Corruption, Poverty & Unemployment {CPU).

8. To show complete Transparency in Governance and decentralisation of power centres optimizing technology for development.

9. Always Respect people's mandate without engaging in resort politics or horse trading and bring reforms to obsolete election laws to ensure the rule of law is respected to the core.

10. Ensures that every component of CPU is eliminated from the system through strict Regulations and establishment of a transparent administrative framework.

11. To guarantee that every citizen finds means for livelihood to ensure that availability of all basic civic amenities for livelihood and eliminate the class of “Poor” or “Poverty” from the system.

12. Never engage in a centralized power centre for promotion of perverted Policies and ideologies and encourages creative sparks and nurturing ideas emanated from people from all walks of life.

13. Respect, profess and practice every word and sentence spelt in the Constitution and its Basic structure and ensure vibrancy and flexibility to the changing needs of the society.

14. Never indulge in making or amending any laws unilaterally even with the strength of brute majority for implementation of any religious or political ideologies.

15. Never misuse or interfere into the affairs of autonomous institutions like CVC, CBI, ED, EC, IT, Courts, Media, Police, etc for personal and political gains.

16. Always strive hard to maintain the spirit of Federalism in its true letter and spirit respecting the autonomy of every State on our country irrespective of whether the party is in power or Not.

17. Maintain amicable Centre- State Relationships to ensure inclusive growth rejecting mono-cultural domination and reaffirm the value of pluralism in our country.

18. To protect our Natural Wealth and Resources at any cost and fully support Agriculture Sector exploring all avenues to produce all our basic essential commodities.

19. Never support or patronize any politician to shield his Corruption and Criminal track record and publish all details of arrangements of alliance with any other political party for information to all in the public domain.

20. To ensure that all the four pillars of democracy function with its autonomy and support each other in strengthening the nation and maintain Unity in Diversity and the leader connects to the grass root levels to understand the plight and sorrows at a micro level vision through a robust administrative infrastructure hierarchy to sense the real-time scenarios.

One might be wondering to find out as to what is the connection between our Democracy and Pandemic. It is to be understood in simple logic that our Constitution that richly safeguards our democratic values in its basic structure has propounded the duties and rights of both the elected and the governed to ensure that the life and livelihood of the people are protected through efficient governance especially during such hard times. Pandemics and Natural calamities are only the tests that Nature poses to the elected to prove their efficiency or inefficiency of the elected which is directly linked to our Democracy and the Principles laid down in our Constitution. It amply exposed the strengths and weaknesses of its four pillars.  This could be achieved only when citizens never fall prey to the whims of fancies of hero-worshiping to protect the values of our Independence so that people don’t lose confidence on our Government and its values for democracy as there is a desperate need to preserve the Constitution in which we have sought to enshrine the principle as, Government of the people, for the people and by the people. This has to be achieved only on the basis of our social and economic objectives.  Pandemic situation can be combatted not by hero-worship which may lead to degradation and demolition of democracy and must give opportunities for both the elected and the governed to safeguard the Rule of Law. Hence, there is need to learn from these lessons giving no room for complacency and come back strong in this fight against the pandemic through every possible tools prescribed to explore good and effected governance by the elected.  This Study has to go on and on till we find more innovative solutions to strengthen the values spelt in our Constitution and to ensure that People’s Power is the core strength in our democracy to combat even the worst of dreaded viruses on this Universe.


"Loved reading this piece by Parthasarathi Loganathan?
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"






Tags :


Category Others, Other Articles by - Parthasarathi Loganathan 



Comments


update
Post a Suggestion for LCI Team
Post a Legal Query