Friday, March 20, 2015

Elected vs. Nominated Whose Idea Should Prevail?

India has been at cross roads of two distinct ideas since national election of 2014. Party that got elected getting popular support wants to build roads, rails, ports, housing, schools, hospitals etc. Yet efforts of elected members are blocked by members that are nominated and occupy Rajya Sabha, upper house of parliament. In Rajya Sabha, political parties with left of centre ideology have majority. Apart from Congress, Trina Mool Congress, Janata Dal United, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party etc, a prominent and vocal member of left of centre parties is communist party of India (Marxist) also knows as CPM. 

Seat share of CPM in parliament has declined from 43 in 2004 to 9 in 2014. Moreover, CPM has been displaced from its seat of power in West Bengal. Yet, nominated members of CPM disrupt parliament and block passage of bills. At the state level, CPM has ruled West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala. Of the three states, West Bengal had uninterrupted CPM rule for thirty years, with virtually little opposition. Yet, West Bengal remains one of the backward states from all indices of economic and social development.  Prevailing indices suggest that economic ideas of left do not work and people also are losing their faith on the political philosophy of left.  

Yet, left has assumed the role of national conscience keeper. I was reading an article in a Hindustan Times of March 10th, 2015, where a prominent leader of CPM, Mr. Sitaram Yechury wrote in an op-ed piece titled "Weighing in for private profits". Mr. Yechury proclaimed "The government will seek to use its tyranny of majority in the Lok Sabha to have laws such as the land acquisition law, passed even without permitting the scope for meaningful discussions and deliberations." Strange that member of a party that has been rejected by people of India, a party that cobbles up a majority in Rajya Sabha by using nominated members of other parities,  take such a moral high ground on majoritarism. Infact, role of left is even more unprincipled because by cobbling up an opportunistic opposition, it is preventing elected members from discharging their duties and their promises.

I was reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Rand is a believer of capitalism and individual excellence over community effort. In  her novel Rand described how production of high quality steel and its use in building rail road is stopped by a think tank built by tax revenue. Think tank, instead of pursing excellence, is worried of social consequence  if good steel reaches the market. Poor quality material manufactured by state will not sell and many workers will become jobless. I see uncanny similarity of Any Rand's novel with current Indian political scenario.  Ruling party, with majority in parliament, wanting to create infrastructure and help people pull themselves out of poverty are being prevented by nominated members that subscribe to left leaning ideology. This second group wants to tax rich, forgetting that it is the rich that creates job and employs people.  For the past 60 years, our politicians have been trying to eliminate poverty by taxing rich and giving poor a dole.  Now people have rejected the ideas, at least for next five years. I think, people who have been elected promising to deliver certain things to nation, must be allowed to deliver. Those who do not fight election, should have lesser say in the matter decided by elected members.

Tags: Ayn Rand, Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress, CPM, Kerala, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party, Sitaram Yechury, Trina Mool Congress, Tripura, West Bengal,



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