Democracy in Danger; We Must Change the Law for Election of the Speaker

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Makers of Indian Constitution were individually and collectively proud of their concern for the country and were eager to finalize the Constitution for expediting emergence of Indian Republic. This eagerness made them make such mistakes that now expedites the ruin of the Republic.

That, Indian Republic is in ruins does not need any proof, because we all have seen how the entire winter session of the Parliament collapsed as the Prime Minister of the tainted government did not agree with Opposition demand for constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate into the 2G Spectrum scam.

It was natural on part of Dr. Manmohan Singh not to agree for a JPC.

He has the experience of how injurious could be a JPC to his position.

In 1992, he had tendered his resignation after being held guilty by the JPC constituted to probe into the securities scam that owed its origin to his role as the Finance Minister of India. Many a Congress members of the Parliament had put tremendous pressure on everybody that mattered for removal of the adverse comment of the JPC on Dr. Singh; but the JPC did not buzz. He had to resign and he resigned from the post of the Finance Minister. If Prime Minister Narasingh Rao were not under the spell of Chandraswamy, his bed of tryst with the USA, Singh’s resignation should certainly been accepted and the country could surely been saved from the pernicious grip of the traitors that have transformed our democracy to plutocracy.

So, Manmohan Singh is bound to be afraid of JPC.

And, therefore, his government is not supposed to welcome the proposal for formation of JPC.

But was the consent of the government necessary for formation of the JPC? No. It was not at all necessary.

The Speaker should have constituted a JPC to probe into the spectrum scam and any or all other such financial loot that has occurred during Singh’s regime or even from the day the country has been subjected to globalization. But the Speaker did not appoint a JPC. This resulted in collapse of the entire session.

The year 2010 has progressed into 2011. But India will never progress into democracy again if the provision for election of the Speaker is not changed. As mentioned above, makers of our constitution, in absolute haste to expedite establishment of the Republic, have made many wrong provisions that have damaged our democracy. Article 93 as well as Article 178 are two such wrong provisions. both of these Articles are identical. They provide for election of the Speaker from amongst the members of the Houses. This provision equips the ruling party or ruling coalition to elect a person from its/their side as the Speaker and once elected, the power that position bestows upon the person is so alluring that it is not surprising if a Speaker sides with the government. If the role of Chatterjee in nuke deal matter in the last Loksabha could be cited as an instance, non-formation of JPC over the spectrum scam by the Speaker of the present Loksabha may not be any different.

Hence it is urgent that the Speaker should be a non-political person and should be directly elected by the people under direct supervision of the election commission. There must be a blatant ban on political parties taking any interest in the Speaker’s election. This is essential for health of Indian Parliament.

Otherwise, as Dr. Ambedkar had portended, Indian sovereignty would crumble down due to commission agents taking over as Prime Ministers and birds of their feathers in both the sides of the Houses creating environment of continuous adjournments and collapse of their businesses.

IF NAXALS ARE FOR COMMUNISM, THEY ARE TO SHUN TERRORISM


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Mainstream communists, hobnobbing with capitalists, even with the direct agents of the imperialists, have almost forfeited their credibility.

Ever since the impatient ultras ripped apart the Communist Party of India and formed the CPI (M), communism has suffered set back in the country where it could have been the natural refuge for the massive majority of the countrymen. There was time when not only the common man in India was dreaming of emancipation by allying with the communists, but also eminent intellectuals, patriotic poets, authors, artists, professors, jurists and lawyers were priding in supporting the Communists. There was time when despite their lower numbers in legislatures, Communists were the politicians that were rated highest in political credibility.

But eagerness to grab power divided the party. And the same eagerness divided the branched off segment leading to subsequent fragmentation thereof in blatant disregard to the urgent need of Communist unity.

The development has become so chaotic that when mainstream Communists are making compromises to capture or stay in power, ultras are using guns in pursuit of power.

Both the syndromes are killing Communism.

People are no more being educated on why Communism is necessary. No time for this. Cadres are shrinking. Confusion is rising. Communist credibility is receding.

Change of this scenario is necessary for the country.

But the mainstream Communists have fallen so pathetically deep in the labyrinth of power that they will no more be able to extricate themselves unless they identify India as a plutocracy and refuse to participate in elections that only help plutocracy to emerge stronger. By refusing to participate in elections, the Communists can generate a shock wave that would make Indians think afresh about democracy and define their duty towards the motherland as was dreamt of by martyrs and freedom fighters.

Mainstream communists should convince the people that their attempts to save India from plutocracy through their parliamentary participation have failed; because elections in a plutocracy further weaken democracy.

So, in order to save democracy, people must first be educated on and against plutocracy.

Participants in elections cannot convince people about this.

Hence, mainstream Communists should declare to stay away from elections and if they really refuse to stand for or plant candidates in any constituency, a new thinking process shall start to save Indian democracy from plutocracy. If they fail to do this, they should be viewed as equal with the capitalists and entirely rejected.

In fact, the people have started rejecting the mainstream Communists because of their participation in electoral politics. This has helped the ultras such as the Maoists or Naxals to grow in stature as they are perceived as people without selfish motive for power.

But their activities are in no way conducive to Communism.

Killing contractors or corrupt officials or small traders or political sophomores is not Communism.

Because of this mistake, the exploitive State has been projecting them as terrorists, even as they are in such restless run that they are unable to educate the people about how the State is exploitive.

On the other hand, by raising guns against individuals they have failed to raise revolution against the capitalist system. This is evidenced in the fact that there is no revolution against the system in the areas they are active. People have stayed distant from them, even though they know; it is only because of them the pro-rich government makes provisions for their welfare.

These ultras are the last hope for our country. They are the ones that are far from electoral politics. They can maintain their aversion to election under the pro-rich constitution. Therefore, they can raise the revolution against the plutocratic system if they shun killing any human.

They ought to understand that the exploitive State might be engaging hired killers to kill persons in their name just to project them as terrorists. As long as they use guns against any in the areas they are active, there would certainly stay scope for misleading the gullible people to believe that such planted killers are also ultra Communists. Thereby distance between the common man and Communism will continue to grow. The real revolution will fail to rise.

Hence, if the Naxals are for Communism, they should shun terrorism.

ORISSA NEEDS RELIEF FROM THE DISEASE CALLED BIJU PATNAIK


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

BIJU Patnaik was the tallest man of Orissa during his days and he was a charismatic man whose foes were also his admirers on various grounds.

Many people say, he had noticeable respect for his critics. Yet, during his last term in office, the Press Accreditation Rules was amended with retrospective effect to demolish my professional status, because my animadversions on his public life were not palatable to the power hankering man. Lest the hidden design comes out, the mandarines had used the amendment against my group. We had challenged this mischief in the Orissa High Court and won the battle. His government had got a stricture.

But I must admit, he was a man, who had profound appreciations for the brave. I will narrate an experience.

bijubabu watchig scpDespite failure of conciliation, the Government was not referring an industrial dispute for adjudication.It was a dispute between a working journalist and a newspaper with which the then Chief Minister was directly involved. I was the Secretary of Orissa Union of Journalists and was conducting the case from the journalist’s side. The Industrial Disputes Act has given a carte blanche to the Government to decide whether or not a dispute should be referred for adjudication. As this carte blanche was being misused in the instant case, I had declared to set fire to the I.D.Act before the Assembly in order to force legislative attention to misuse of the law. On being notified of this, Biju Patnaik rushed to the spot. The Assembly was in session. The area was full of armed police. Setting fire to a law of the land in front of the Assembly when the House was in session was certainly not without risk. But with Biju Patnaik witnessing the event, the police stayed transfixed. Such was his charisma. The Government had to declare instantly in the House that the dispute shall be referred for adjudication sans any delay.

I feel sorry to say that his son Naveen Patnaik, incumbent Chief Minister of my State, has made this charismatic man a posthumous political disease from which Orissa needs relief if democracy is to be kept in good health.

The two latest instances of the mischief are Biju Kandhamal Yojana and Biju Gajapati Yojana,for which the state Exchequer is being forced to cough up funds. These are of the same genre as is the existing exchequer eater Biju KBK Yojana.

In these two new designs, every Block of the two districts of Kandhamal and Gajapati would get Rs.1.5 crores each from the state revenue for injecting into the minds of the most illiterate, undernourished and gullible inhabitants of those undeveloped areas that it is Biju whose posthumous grace is being available to them through his son in the form of basic amenities.

The CM has kept a set of words like “dreams of Biju Patnaik” to attire these State funded works for their use as political traps to catch voters. Everybody knows, though an alien to Orissa, he could become its Chief Minister, when after Biju’s demise, his sycophants shrewdly cultivated the common man’s obituary sympathy for his family to grow into ballots in his favor in the immediate elections that followed. And, he knows that as long as the peoples are kept befooled by coinages like “dreams of Biju” matching every possible State funded welfare programme getting named after him, there should be no difficulty in goading the gullible voters into his support. This is why Navin has been forcing the State Exchequer to fund projects named after his father.

No doubt, Biju was a big man with many fans. But he was such a man who had more foes than fans in Orissa. He had made many of his fans become foes because of his practice of corruption when in power. As here in these pages we have shown several times, once successful in hoodwinking gullible people of Orissa to grab power, he was soon being marked for contempt against the peoples and all-round corruption and the people of Orissa were not taking rest till terminating his tenure. Records of election show that once elected, he was being turned down at least twice in elections in Orissa. So naming welfare programs after him like the three noted supra is nothing but misuse of State exchequer by the incumbent Chief Minister for self and family glorification, which read with the September Order of the Supreme Court against UP CM Mayawati’s statue building spree, is illegal.

Glorification of players of power game at the expense of the State Exchequer is a disease that has affected democracy in India. The name of this disease in Orissa is Biju Patnaik.

Democracy needs be saved from it.

IF DEMOCRACY IS TO BE SAVED, BJP IS TO BE HELPED

FACTORS OF POLITICAL FACTOTUMISM MUST BE DEFEATED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

India is in the battlefield to save her democracy. It can be saved only if Election 2009 rejects political factotumism.

All the political parties except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the left parties are parties of political factotums.

The non-BJP and non-Left parties have no internal democracy. They of course have their respective party constitutions and on provisions thereof, committees like working committee or political affairs committee etc. But these are only contrived to show that they honor democracy and therewith to hoodwink the election commission and the gullible peoples of this country. In reality, individuals own them. The factotums claiming to be members of any of these parties call their masters or owners as high command; but the media has developed the habit of describing the owner of such a party as supremo. A supremo or the high command appoints any of his or her faithful factotums to any post in the party at any point of time and the person so appointed feels no shame in celebrating the said appointment. K.P.Singhdeo’s proud assertion, after being “appointed” President of Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee, that he is a Sainik of Sonia provides us with an instant instance.

There are only two political ideologies in the world: Capitalism and Socialism. In India, BJP has its real creed in Capitalism (in Indian language, Punjivad), the Left parties in Socialism (Samajvad). Political Science recognizes these two isms as isms of democracy (Ganatantra). Hence we can say, Punjivad and Samajvad, notwithstanding difference in application, are applied form of Ganatantravad (Democratism). But the Congress and its descendants like Trinamul Congress, Rastravadi Congress etc and individual outfits like the Biju Janata Dal of Orissa do not belong to any of these two ideologies. Their common character suggests that they have developed Factotumism, which in Indian language can best be called Golamvad.

Election 2009 has called upon the citizens of India to choose any of the two isms: Democratism and Factotumism. To say if they support Ganatantravad or they support Golamvad.

If India is to be saved, Ganatantravad is to b supported and Golamvad is to be discarded.

In other words, in the present context, if India is to be saved, BJP is to be supported. This is unavoidable for a democrat, as the other practitioners of democracy, the Left Parties, have established that they are too confused to be relied upon.

The allegation of communalism raised against the BJP is not relevant; because every political party in India is communal.

Communalism is display of personal religious preference in public. Any display of religious symbols or manners in public that may not match with the religious practice of everybody in the society is communalism. Why a Manmohan Singh displays his turban in the public? Just to project himself as a Sikh. This is communalism. Why a Navin Patnaik starts electioneering from the citadel of Sri Jagannath? Just to display that he is loyal to the Almighty of Sri Mandira in whom the peoples of Orissa find the unending stream to quench all their religious thirst. Is he not communal? Who of the Communists have opposed public worship of Durga or Kali in Kolkata? Are they secular? Or conversely, are they not communal?

So communalism is not the crux of concern at the moment.

The crux of concern is whether India shall stay a democracy.

India cannot survive as a democracy if political parties afflicted with supremo-syndrome occupy power. The factors and practitioners of factotumism must be kept away from power to ensure that democracy is put in hands of parties that practice democracy in their own organization.

In view of this, Communists having forfeited their credibility by shameless hobnobbing with agents of imperialism, Manmohan Singh yesterday and Navin Patnaik today, the only available practitioner of democracy in India is BJP.

And hence, if democracy is to be saved, in Election 2009, BJP is to be helped and helped by all the progressive people so that post-elections, it may morally distance itself from Arun Shouries and Pramod Mahajans and discard the plutocratic tenets that the Congress party under Sonia Gandhi with Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister has crippled the country with.

WHY SHOULD NAVIN QUIT AND WHAT SHOULD THE GOVERNOR NOW DO?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Navin Patnaik should quit the Chief Minister post simply because he was in this post as the leader of a pre-election coalition that has now collapsed.

His continuation in office would be illogical, immoral, imprudent and illegal.

If he does not resign on his own accord, the Governor should dismiss him on the ground that termination of the coalition has automatically terminated his position as leader of the coalition. He was the CM in the capacity of the leader of the coalition. When the coalition is dead, navin has no capacity to be treated as head of the coalition. So he is no more entitled to continue as the CM.

The only legal act that is bound to take place in this context is resignation or dismissal of Navin Patnaik from the post of the chief Minister.

To retain him in this post for a moment would be disregard of democracy on part of the Governor.

But the Governor can appoint him as the CM again within minutes after accepting his resignation or dropping him from the CM post. The Governor can even proceed to appoint the members of his cabinet under advice of Navin after he is appointed afresh as the CM.

The Governor ought to know that anything other than this will be illegal and anti-democracy.

JUDGES ARE NOT LORDS OVER THE REPUBLIC

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Every Indian is proud of the fact that he / she belongs to the Republic of India. But every patriotic Indian is embarrassed over the fact that this Republic stands synonymous with contradiction and corruption. This is because; post-independence India has failed to honor the wishes of its founding fathers.

The father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, had expressly wished that in free India, the Governments must keep in mind the poorest person while drafting the Plans for the country. His followers reduced his wishes to mere wishful thinking. When Congressmen are busy in competition to become factotums of Sonia Gandhi, why should we think that they could at any point of time have given importance to Mahatma Gandhi? History cannot but say that the Congress Government that stepped into power immediately after independence would be remembered for two things: one, for failure to save Gandhiji from the assassin and two, for declaring the Communist Party of India illegal so that in Constitution making, the propertied class should face no problem in safe guarding its own interest.

Giving vent to his deep dissatisfaction over failure to protect poor peoples’ interest in the Constitution, in his concluding address to the Constituent Assembly, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar had noted, “On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradiction. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic rights, we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man and one vote, one value. In our social and economic rights we shall by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny one man, one value.” (Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.979)

This inequality, as analyzed by Shibanikinkar Chaube in ‘Constituent Assembly of India’ (PPH, 1973), was caused by “the pressure of the propertied class”.

When President Rajendra Prasad was to admit that “the defects are inherent in the situation in the country”(Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.993), Dr. Ambedkar had expressed serious doubts over longevity of the Republic. “We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”, he had warned.

But Governments of India have never heeded to his warning as a result of which India has already become two Indias.

Political equality has kept the geographical India in tact, but economic inequality has brought majority of Indians look at a handful of Indians as of a different India, best captioned in apolitical popular slogans like “Tere India mahan, mere Bharat pareshan”, which roughly means, your India may be great, but my Bharat is in turmoil.

We must try to stop this rising feeling of two Indias. We must cast off hypocrisy to admit that Ambedkar’s warning not heeded to, the victims of inequality have started to “blow up the structure of political democracy” that the founding fathers of Indian Republic had “so laboriously built up”. Terminating Naxals by military guns or using State terror to silent the oppressed poor will not close up the gap between these two Indias. Elimination of economic inequality will do.

But how has economic inequality become so massive? A man who was working for a paltry sum of Rs.300/- only per month three decades prior to his death died as the owner of around Rs.70,000 Crores and the luminaries of this country beginning from the Prime Minister to newspaper editors, instead of telling the nation as to where from and how he earned this massive money, cried over his death like widows cry over the pyres of their husbands!

This syndrome has encouraged the mafia. And, in our country, where Laws are so rampant, no mafia could have grown without backing of the Law Enforcement Authorities (LEA).

This gives us a sad feeling of black sheep presence in our LEAs that includes also the Judiciary.

It is not for nothing that a demand for disclosure of properties of Judges is so constant.

Many a judges even of higher judiciary have exhibited such conduct that not only the Chief Justice or Collegiums of Judges have felt the need for action against them, but also the general public has started looking at Judges askance. Peoples have started believing the Cinema depictions that behind every high profile mafia, there must be a Judge!

In such circumstances, it is better for the republic if property-list of every public functionary including the members of Judiciary, whosoever draws salary from taxpayer’s money is disclosed.

To avoid embarrassment over disclosure on demand, the property list of every public functionary should be authentically posted in the Internet in the portals of the institution he or she works with.

The Chief Justice of India Hon’ble Justice K G Balakrishnan in a recent response has disapproved the necessity of property disclosure in respect of senor Judges.

It is really indecent to ask the Judges to disclose their properties list. It connotes to expressing no confidence on Judges. Ethically it is not proper.

Personally I may stand with the views of the CJI as to me, Judiciary being the last refuge of our peoples, Judges should never be subjected to peoples asking for their properties list.

But as India is crumbling into two Indias, as observed supra, it is imperative that to equip peoples for defeating plutocracy and for putting leash on corruption that has so far served plutocracy and savagely widened the gap between economically unequal peoples of the country and to save the motherland from the “contradiction” so correctly pointed out by Dr. Ambedkar, the Judges should post their properties list in the respective portals of the High Courts and the Supreme Court for anybody to see that without indulging in demands to know of their properties under the Right To Information Act.

It should be appropriate for the Judges to appreciate that notwithstanding all the respects, we the general public of India unambiguously pay them, they are not and cannot be the Lords over the Republic.

DEMOCRACY DEFILED: HOUSE OUSTS CONGRESS MEMBER FOR A WEEK; REALITY ENTOMBED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Legislative Assembly has ousted Congress member Tarakant Bahinipati for seven days as on adoption of a treasury bench motion to suspend him the Speaker decided to enforce it on 11th December.

Bahinipati attracted the harsh decision by venturing to hit the Speaker with an earphone though that had missed the target. It was an affront to dignity of the House, members felt. Bahinipati also felt the same way; but explained his action as a reaction to anti-democratic conduct of the treasury side.

After successfully stonewalling the House the preceding day on the ground of absence of a white paper in respect to the official notice calling attention on killing of Laxmananand and consequent communal violence in Kandhamal that turned into exposing the government’s reluctance to provide the same for use as the base of debate, the Opposition on 11th December allowed the House to proceed so that its own version as well as the government’s could be kept on records and the reality could be known.

And, thus the House started to proceed on Kandhamal issue.

And, thus the House came to hear what the Deputy Leader of Opposition, Narasingha Mishra, known for clear comprehension and in-depth analysis of any issue in hand, was to say on Kandhamal.

Mishra began his speech by razing down the “rosy picture” painted by the initiator of the debate, government chief whip, B.K.Arukh on the present situation in Kandhamal. This district, he reminded the government, is one of the most backward districts of India, where Schedule Tribes constitute 52 per cent and Schedule Castes 17 per cent of its total population. But 90 per cent of its population perish Below-the-Poverty-Line (BPL) with an average per capita income of Rs.4, 743/- as against Rs.5,264/- in other districts of Orissa in the same segment, he showed from statistical reports. And roared, is it the evidence of development that the government boasts of? And then, as he proceeded, he cited certain documents on records in print media to show the darker side of the communal flare up at Kandhamal, the core issue of the particular debate.

Giving vent to his suspicion that Laxmananand’s murder might have been the BJP’s handiwork in executing its stratagem to cultivate communal support in approaching elections, he went ahead to support his apprehensions with circumstantial evidences, to the utmost discomfort of the BJP members of the treasury benches.

He cited newspaper reports to show how contemptuously Togadia of saffron combine had alleged that it was Chief Minister Navin Patnaik’s chilling nonchalance that had facilitated the murder of Laxmananand.

And, as bruised BJP members were at a loss to understand how to stop Mishra’s trigger, he went on to show how Laxmananand was a destroyer of societal solidarity in the affected district in the name of religion and how he was the arch villain behind the 1994 caste conflicts that in acrimony had surpassed every conceivable violence in that district.

Even as no action was taken against perpetrators of that crime against the community, it is the BJP’s alliance government that surreptitiously withdrew the security cover from Laxmananand before his murder in the night of August 23, 2008, although as many as 26 hours before the murder, he had informed the Police that there was threat to his life.

After the murder of Laxmanananda BJP has tried to use him posthumously for consolidation of its vote bank, but its coalition government has not net in the real murderer.

This, he said, points the needle of suspicion for the murder of Laxmananand to the BJP and its allies, which they might have done in thirst for votes.

He cited the instance of Kendrapara where a BJP leader had organized bombardment on the house of another leader of his own party with the motive to project the crime as an act of Muslims, so that communal passions ignited against the minority community could have helped the saffronists in having a new polarized vote bank in their favor. There is no reason not to see the same modus operandi in the murder of Laxmananand, Mishra thundered.

Referring to Togadia’s tirades as reported by the Press, Mishra wondered as to how and why the BJP Ministers sharing the dais with Togadia at that time were not taken to task for having not protested against the acerbic words hurled at their Chief Minister. Recitation of the reported words by Mishra was unbearable for the BJD members and even as they squealed, Mishra went ahead to cite Puri Sankaracharya who had alleged that it is the Chief Minister who alone should be held responsible for the murder. The CM, Mishra wondered, was unable to stop the crime as he was dependent on the Sangh Parivar to stay in power and the Sangh Parivar was to make a sacrifice of Laxmanananda at the altar of their ambition that could be fulfilled only through electoral politics. To put his apprehensions on a supportive base, he read out a letter of the Sangh Parivar that was pregnant with the conspiracy as published in a printed edition of Lokamat.

This was more than enough for the BJP members and their BJD allies to digest. They rushed into the well of the Hall demanding deletion of Mishra’s citations.

Under the waves of uproar that soon engulfed the House, Kalpataru Das of BJD was allowed to raise a point of order when Ms. Draupadi Murmu of BJP was in the Chair and as Das started saying, the microphone of Mishra was laid inoperative. The Opposition stood in protest and the pandemonium took a turn towards the worse. In that oral free for all environment inside the Hall, Bahinipati ventured the most condemnable offense against the Chair. He whisked out an earphone and hurled it at the august authority. Democracy was defiled as never before in the very heart of its throne.

Rightly he has been put under suspension. His is an offense that no lover of democracy can tolerate.

But it is also a fact that had the House not been goaded by the treasury bench members into the environment that precipitated the offense, what happened might not have happened at all.

If the peoples of the State are now unable to know the behind the screen reality that could have addressed appropriately to the issue put on agenda of the Assembly by the treasury side itself, whom to blame except the treasury side?