In this hamam, all our political leaders are together

Rare show of unity from all parties in stopping clean-up of politics

ashishm

Ashish Mehta | August 2, 2013


Political leaders at all-party meet: They all seem to be united – against any attempt to clean up our politics.
Political leaders at all-party meet: They all seem to be united – against any attempt to clean up our politics.

It was an exceptional get-together of our political leaders cutting across party lines. On Thursday, they deliberated in a rare spirit of camaraderie. No shouting against each other, no hurling of accusation and counter-accusations. When was the last time you saw such a scene? The great leaders who – more than any other class of people – decide our collective future were deliberating on matters of such importance that they were all unanimous.

Was it food security; was it about providing one square meal to the proverbial Last Person, the poorest of the poor? Was it about finally doing something about two things that need most attention – health and education? Was it about a security threat to the nation of the kind that would unite all parties?
No. It was about a matter of even more importance. About allowing criminals to contest elections. And also about protecting the turf from advances made by the supreme court.

It was on the expected lines. All parties united to oppose the supreme court’s verdict of early July that disqualifies MPs and MLAs immediately on conviction. They also expressed concern at the erosion of parliament’s supremacy due to “activism” of the apex court.

That was not all. On the same day, the government – as the leader of the pack – decided to amend the RTI Act to undo the central information commission’s (CIC) decision to throw some light on the inner workings of political parties. The government, following a unanimous call from the leading parties, decided that while all other things in public domain need transparency, and while “people have a right to know” and all that is fine, political parties can do without transparency.

As our esteemed columnist Jagdeep Chhokar has repeatedly pointed out in the pages of Governance Now with full evidence [read his latest article on the apex court’s orders here], this is not the first time any move to reform politics has been overturned by the executive. Any initiative to clean up politics a bit – from the supreme court, from the CIC or from the election commission (EC) – is countered by issuing ordinances and passing relevant amendments in parliament. And in this one matter of supreme national interest, all parties are together: the NDA did so in its time, and the UPA has been contributing to the august club now.

If the Congress, which on some other day will claim to be the torchbearer of transparency and the party that gave us the revolutionary transparency law, has some argument why it itself can do without RTI, we are yet to hear it. If the BJP, otherwise so vocal in slamming the Congress for a systematic decimation of the constitutional bodies, has an argument in defence this time, it is yet to formulate it.

Not a word of criticism is coming from any political leader – neither the one on the white horse nor the other.

Comments

 

Other News

Covid-19: Vigorous testing leads to fatality rate drop

India has been registering more new cases of Covid-19 infection than any other country for the past seven days, yet its rigorous push on testing and thus on early identification is bearing fruits, with the case fatality rate (CFR) going further down to 2.1. In a new high, India has scaled th

Election manifestos and voters` Right to Know

Recognising the importance of election manifestos, the supreme court directed the election commission (EC) of India to frame guidelines directly governing the contents of the election manifestos in the case of S. Subramaniam Balaji v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. reported in (2013) 9 SCC 659. Although th

No support from govt, says ad veteran Sam Balsara

Advertising veteran Sam Balsara has lamented the lack of support from the government to the industry and said that it has completely ignored the sector. Balsara, the founder, chairman and managing director of Madison World and Madison Communications, said that the government needs to provide

Covid-19: New cases are increasing, but so are recoveries

Even as India continues to record more than 50,000 new Covid-19 infections every day for a week now, there was some hope in the rising number of recoveries as well, with a drop in the case fatality rate and a spike in the recovery rate. Thus, the country recorded the highest single day recov

Breaking new ground in Ayodhya: History is created

History was created as prime minister Narendra Modi participated in the foundation-stone-laying ceremony for the new Ram Temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday, ending centuries of controversy. Modi performed Bhoomi Pujan at `Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir`, in the presence of a very limited number o

How to encourage and support breastfeeding amid pandemic

The most joyous moment of a woman’s life is to breastfeed her baby for the first time. Breast milk is the foundation to build a strong bonding between mother and child and must not be missed by any newborn in its nutrition uptake. The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging people to “su

Governance Now 5th PSU IT Forum

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter