India – Democracy under Siege

August 16, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

Ironically, following India’s Independence Day commemoration on August 15, 2011,

Anti-Corruption – Indian citizens’ backed Lokpal bill is threatened with the political class’ undemocratic action in prohibiting civil society leader Shri Anna Hazare and team members from peaceful assembly.

It is a direct violation of constitutional right invalidating republic rule with the civil society representatives’ arrests marking a sad day for the world’s largest democracy.

Non-violent civil disobedience pioneer Mahatma Gandhi founded Congress Party is compromised in the clash between politics and ethics.

Now the major political party aggressive intervention is implicative of oppressive governance denying civil rights guaranteed to every citizen in a democratic society.

Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh is requested to honor the democratic principles and recognize the individual rights to freedom of expression without any further suppression.

Shri Anna Hazare and team along with Lokpal bill supporters are pledged to non-violence and peaceful gathering.

Jan Lokpal or civil society participation in national issue is not an imminent danger to national security as claimed by the government.

Prior to the scheduled fasting, reportedly the government detained Shri Anna Hazare and team moving them to undisclosed location.

Such action does not reflect democratic course and proactive measures confirming government crackdown is deeply disappointing not to mention the hard line approach to quell dissent.

The ruling authority is urged to respect constitutional law by immediately releasing Shri Anna Hazare and others held in custody.

As taxpayers. Indian electorate grievances on the crippling corruption overwhelmed with tax evasion at every level is legitimate and deserves national attention.

Obstructing Lokpal bill reveals the government efforts to thwart anticipated progress provoking unwanted public anger and frustration detrimental to national law and order.

The government bears responsibility to restore fundamental values and exercise democratic means rather than replicating past erroneous decisions endangering the core civil right viz. national rally behind monumental Lokpal bill.

Indian leadership is taken to task in maintaining national image causing no harm to the people across the spectrum for that would exemplify Congress party commitment to the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Meanwhile citizens around the country are encouraged to remain peaceful and non-violent in their support to Lokpal bill aimed at corruption eradication.

Shri Anna Hazare and esteemed members involved in national rescue from debilitating corruption due to eroding morality ought to be commended for their crusade and not apprehended by the political power.

Congress government credibility is at stake with the unlawful and unconstitutional response towards civil society.

Congress party loyalists defending the arrests of Shri Anna Hazare and other peaceful participants clarify hierarchic appeasement creating the opportunity for the inevitable Lokpal bill,

Notwithstanding the formation of Lokpal party as the formidable challenger to the political establishment conspicuously departed from Gandhian Congress that ended foreign rule in India.

With the world watching Indian democracy under siege, the people power could no longer be bystanders and it is time to mobilize the nation in recovering lost sovereignty.

India is at the crossroads to lead others in the battle against corruption and Indian democracy through peace and non-violence must rise to the occasion once again to save the nation from the growing epidemic.

As for the government, reconciliation and not retaliation is beneficial to sustain peace and stability.

It is indeed a critical hour and politics has no place in national drive to sanitize the contaminated environment.

Democracy prevails when power remains with the electorate and the elected officials submit to transparency and accountability.

Any political system in defiance of meaningful checks and balances is anything but constitution-governed democracy.

Lokpal party in the national and Lokyukta at the state governance is the future for India.

Jai Bharat!

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

International Politics – India’s General Election Results

May 16, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

Heartfelt Congratulations! to DR. Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi on the impressive victory and re-election of the Congress Party to lead the world’s largest democracy towards further progress and prosperity.

India is at the crossroads in the peace process particularly with the nuclear neighbor Pakistan, currently dealing with challenges threatening the national and international security. There is an opportunity for the nuclear nations to develop peaceful bilateral relationship and revive mutual trust as the foundation to promote trade, economic and cultural exchanges beneficial for the entire sub-continent.

Now is the time to lay the historic discord to rest and begin a new chapter by guiding the younger generations on both sides to coexist in harmony. The best strategy for prolonged peace in the region and global security is nuclear disarmament.  Perhaps, it could begin in the Indian sub-continent leading other nuclear nations to follow suit.  Such unprecedented move would be symbolic for the nation set free by the renowned pioneer of peace and non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi.

Indian leadership desperately required in the peaceful resolution of the Sri Lankan crisis. The escalating violence and the recent death toll among the minority Tamil civilian population are unacceptable. Again, there is no justification whatsoever in the ongoing military action by the Sri Lankan government focused on the minority Tamils’ displacement and replacing them with the Sinhalese settlement.

It’s incumbent on India to refrain from aiding the Sri Lankan government anyhow in the hostility and persecution of the minority Tamils. Sri Lanka well armed with ammunitions supplied by nations prioritizing profit over people needs no further assistance in the crime against humanity. History is testimony that when all things fail in securing equality and justice, uprising by marginalized population is a natural course of action against oppressive power.

However, violent means by the minority representatives are worthy of condemnation and India could play a decisive role in the peaceful negotiations between the two sides. Indian involvement would be legitimate considering the significant representation of Tamils in the southern Indian state of Tamilnadu.

It’s equally important for India to remain vigilant on the recent developments in the northern side of the border concerning Nepal and China’s unnecessary influence. In the other international matter, India should renounce any ties with the repressive regime, Burma. India’s continuous trade relationship with the nation in defiance of humanitarian laws and suppression of democracy raises credibility issue and potentially controversial for the world largest democracy.

Finally, the Congress government should expand attention to the poorest groups apart from the farmers in the society. Again, it’s imperative to provide housing, education, jobs and health care to those at the bottom of the socio-economic strata. India’s progress will truly be reflected when prosperity shared among all rather than the privileged few.

Best Wishes to DR. Manmohan Singh, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and the Congress Party in all endeavors.

Padmini Arhant