I’ve just realized that the Indian parliament is highly efficient. Yeah, you heard me. Most of us are only familiar with the slow lumbering system taking years to get basic laws passed with opposition parties blocking important bills every step of the way. Every movement forward is debated, agonized over…all with both eyes firmly on vote bank politics. So naturally the ordinary citizens of India can be forgiven for thinking that this machine is a creaky old elephant that takes its own sweet time to do its job.
All that perception has changed in the past few weeks. A groundbreaking decision by the Supreme Court and the CIC saw politicians discovering their lost efficiency. Not only have they evolved a consensus to change certain laws, they also agree on Constitutional amendments! First the court said that people who have been convicted can’t contest elections when their appeals are pending. Second, the CIC said that the RTI applies to political parties as well. Both of these landmark judgments are clearly aimed at cleaning up the joke that parliament has become. So much so, that political parties are at a loss to determine who is going to fill their seats!
Instead of viewing this as a victory for the Indian people, the panicked reaction of all the politicians is to try and nullify these decisions. Forget about opposition parties and “ideological differences”, and the usual stalemate of Indian politics. The truth is finally out. They’re all the same. I don’t hear the BJP fighting the UPA on this issue. This would have been an excellent time for both the BJP as well as Modi to gain my confidence. With one stroke, Modi can put to reset some of my reservations against him. I desperately want an alternative to the Congress, but haven’t found one yet. It’s clear that when it comes down to it, there’s no difference between any of the parties. They’re all crooks interested in pursuing their own welfare and to hell with what is good for the country.
It’s the blatant shamelessness that appalls me. No hint of sheepishness. No sign of hesitation. Do they think the courts are some kind of football to be kicked around? Do they think the Constitution is merely a set of guidelines that can be amended whenever it says something they don’t like? The courts haven’t taken too kindly to legislation specifically designed to counteract their decisions in the past. I won’t be surprised if it strikes down any Constitutional amendment if it goes against the “Basic structure” doctrine.
But don’t worry. The people of India are not idiots even if the politicians think so. They feel no one is watching and judging. We are. They think that corruption is just a middle class concern and that their vote banks are going to elect them based on caste, religion, and other stupid freebies. They’re wrong. Times are changing. I don’t know how or when we’ll be able to move the fear of god into these louts, but that time is coming soon. And the weapon is our vote. We’re just waiting for a chance.