Lowdown of Simultaneous Election

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When it comes to the celebration of festivals, probably no other country in the world can beat us in terms of sheer numbers which we have here in India. The dates of our annual calendar are always filled with colours, signifying one festival or the other. Festivals are generally a cultural and historical attribute of the society. But they are not only restricted to these aspects. Like other democracies, we have political festivals too in the form of elections, but here also we outnumber the other democracies.

We have adopted three tier of government in our polity. First at Central level, next at state level and third at local level. To elect the representatives of all three levels we have separate elections of Parliament, state legislature and to the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayats. In recent years, on an average we had two elections each year and many ULB elections. To conduct an election is a massive exercise in India, reasons are: humongous size of country as a whole as well as states (many of them are large than many European Countries), diverse population, administrative and infrastructural cost and many more.

 So the idea to conduct simultaneous election has been in and around in past also. But recent aggressive push by current government under the stewardship of Prime Minister has made the pitch higher. The only difference in the demand of holding simultaneous election is that the PM has pitched to hold the election of all three elections at one shot including Panchayats.

What’s the history?

Simultaneous Election is not a new concept to India. We had first general election in 1951-52. After the first Parliamentary Election, we had the simultaneous election to the parliament and state legislature till next three times also i.e. in 1957, 1962 and 1967. After 1967 general election, the stronghold of single party domination in India got loosened in few states and it gave the space to the regional parties. But at few occasions regional parties formed coalition government which did not complet its full terms and resulted in premature dissolution. Same thing happened to the Central Government in 1970 and due to lack of majority the Parliament, it got dissolved and fresh elections were held in 1971. Since then the sync which has prevailed over the Parliament and state election finally broken and we reached at point where every year we have more than one elections.

Argument for Simultaneous Election:

The proponent of the joint election rightly points out several benefits. One of the major flaws of having multiple elections, they say, is that it always keeps the government in “Election Mode” and they are hardly able focus on governance. Every election to the state is seen by the political analysts and commentators as the litmus test and they term them as quarter final, semi final to the General Election. In democracy no party wants to lose the momentum, hence government indulges themselves to the populism leaving space of prudence in governance.

When election dates are declared, Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes in to force, where there are several restrictions on government to announce or materialize the schemes for the welfare of the people. Having multiple elections means several MCC and government find themselves hamstrung.

Conducting various elections means administrative as well as financial burden on the limited resource of the country. Requirement of the relocation of police force, election equipments, and mobilization of district administration is cumbersome as well as costly.

Government Teacher plays a very crucial role in conducting the election. But this is not their primary task. It affects the education of the students of the government schools who are already at the disadvantaged side due to several limitations when compared to their counter part of private schools.

There is no doubt that election commission as well as government is trying very hard to reduce the corruption in the election, but despite of several measures, corruption is rampant in election. Money power speaks loudly during the election. Hence more election means more use of dirty money and more loss to democratic ethos.

Frequent Elections also disrupts the normal life by suspending or affecting the supplies of the essential commodities, by jamming the traffic for election rallies, huge rise in noise pollution etc.

One of the debilitating features of the Indian election is that many parties tries to divide the society on  caste, communal, gender line etc. for their vested interest of winning the election, which is highly undesirable for the social fabric of life. When more election happens there are more chances of division in the society.

So keeping all these points in mind, holding simultaneous election seems plausible and desirable thing to ponder upon.

Ideas against it:

Former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi has notably mentioned that “Having simultaneous election is desirable but not feasible”. There are multiple constitutional, practical and administrative restriction prevents this idea from materializing. Indeed, the concerns are genuine.

The first concern is that it negates the principle of Parliamentary Democracy (PD) and Constitution. In Indian PD a government at center is entitled for five year of governance if they secure majority and can dissolve it according to the whim of the ruling party and can be removed by passing no confidence motion. This idea is true as well for the state legislature. So when holding both election will be materialize, this principle has to die down.

The second concern is that this is against the idea of Federalism. Imagine a situation when no party will be able to secure majority in the state election and neither nay coalition government is formed, then according to prevailing procedure President Rule will be applied. So will the President rule be for the entire five year period when the next election will be held? And what if the Central Government falls in mid way? All the 29 state would have to go in for the election again, even when there is a stable government in states?

The next concern is that, state and national issues are different and hence the elections are held differently. But according to IDFC, a research institute, there has been a tendency with the voter that they increasingly vote for the same party if the elections are held together. In recent times that number is about 77% percent which is huge. Keeping this figure in mind, it appears that it will only help the national party and the regional party will be seriously disadvantaged and which is against Democratic Principle which provides level playing field for other.

The other advantage of the separate election is that it keeps the government at toes all the time and prevents them from being despotic through the exercise of their voting power. Last but not the least is the concern of “Political Consensus” on such a contentious issue which needs Constitutional Amendment.

Expert and Panels opinion:

Way back in 1999 Law Commission in its 170th report on “Electoral Reform” has suggested the idea of Simultaneous Election. Though, it was kept in cold storage since then. Recently Parliamentary Standing committee setup for the specific purpose also suggested the holding up simultaneous election but with some modification and further suggestions. Out of many, one is of having state election twice, one with parliament and other in midterm of it. Former President Shri Pranab Mukharjee, while addressing joint session of parliament, also opined in favour of simultaneous election.

So overall we can see that there are numerous benefits lies in holding all the elections at one go, but there are genuine and serious challenges occupies in its implementation which certainly can’t be ignored. The most serious challenge is the constitutional, challenge to the idea of Parliamentary Democracy and Federalism. But looking as a whole, the benefits outnumber the challenges. Prior to GST, Centre had different tax means and the state had different ones. Post implementation GST is touted as “One Nation, One Tax and One Market”, which apparently can be seen as from being a federal subject to Central Subject. Now both are clubbed together for the benefit of both and all party came to consensus along with states,  what we call it a greatest example of co-operative federalism.

Same idea and principle should be applied here. A rigorous discussion and deliberation should be held inviting all the stake holders which includes all the political parties (including regional ones), member from the academia, civil societies, expert from the constitutional realm and if needed foreign experience should also be taken in account. Finally, to quote Victor Hugo “no force on earth can stop an idea, whose time has come” seems quite reasonable here. The whole idea of democracy hinges on consensus, we have to see that are we able to reach to consensus on this idea or not?

शुभकामनायें!

मेरी तरफ से आप सभी को हिंदी दिवस की असीम शुभकामनायें. चुनौतियों से भरा प्रहर है. आज जब भारत में अंग्रेजी भाषा बुद्धिजीवी व्यक्तियों का परिचायक बन चुकी है, तो अन्य भाषाओं में विचार व्यक्त करना एक चुनौती है इस विषम परिस्थिति में दृढ विश्वास और गर्व के संग हिंदी भाषा का ध्वज वाहक बने रहिये और स्मरण रहे कि यह विश्वास काल्पनिक न हो, हिंदी रचनाओं का यदि हम अध्ययन संवेदनशीलता के साथ करेंगे तो, तो इसकी महानता अनायास ही दृष्टि में आएगी…

मातृभाषा हमारी अलग हो सकती है (मेरी भी अलग है, हिंदी नहीं) पर राष्ट्र को एकीकृत करने में हिंदी से श्रेष्ठ और कोई नहीं. तब जब कि आने वाले कुछ दशकों में हम विश्व की दूसरी सबसे बड़ी अर्थव्यवस्था बनाने के कगार पर हैं, तो स्मरण रहे की हमारी बोल-चाल की भाषा उधार की न रहे. क्योंकि उधार ली गयी चीजें सर्वदा बोझ ही रहती हैं

 

भारतेन्दु हरिश्चन्द्र ने लिखा था, जो आज भी प्रासंगिक है:-

निज भाषा उन्नति अहै, सब उन्नति को मूल।
बिन निज भाषा-ज्ञान के, मिटत न हिय को सूल।।
विविध कला शिक्षा अमित, ज्ञान अनेक प्रकार।
सब देसन से लै करहू, भाषा माहि प्रचार।।

भावार्थ:
निज यानी अपनी भाषा से ही उन्नति सम्भव है, क्योंकि यही सारी उन्नतियों का मूलाधार है।
मातृभाषा के ज्ञान के बिना हृदय की पीड़ा का निवारण सम्भव नहीं है।
विभिन्न प्रकार की कलाएँ, असीमित शिक्षा तथा अनेक प्रकार का ज्ञान,
सभी देशों से जरूर लेने चाहिये, परन्तु उनका प्रचार मातृभाषा में ही करना चाहिये

Simplicity? Not Really..

Simplicity is considered as one of the great virtues that we as a human hopes to strive for. Everybody claims that they are simple or wanted to be simpler but ends up in being complex.

So after hearing my argument on a contentious topic, when one of my friends told me, “why you are complicating things even when it is simple”? At that time, I did not respond immediately and looked at the case and asked myself, Am I really making a mess out of it? With a little reflection I came to the conclusion Yes, I was making it messy, even though I was not intended to do so.

When I sit alone, I find myself at my best. That doesn’t mean I am having homosapien hysteria. No, absolutely not. The only reason for that is my ability to think independently without any pressure and prejudice of the society increases manifold when I remain in seclusion. So on that day when I sat alone and asked myself why sometime I become complex even though I don’t want to be. After a lot of deliberation and discussion to myself, I devised a hypothesis and would like to share with you all that why we become complex despite knowing that simplicity is the best way to live a peaceful life.

I find society, where we live in, has a great role in it, if not all. Remember your childhood when we were least complex. We loved to play, sing and even study without any fear or pressure. As we grew older then came the notions and process to turn a simple plain person in to most sophisticated and complex being.

You have to score more to get recognized in class, then you have to submit sophisticated projects to get accolades, then came the big IIT, NEET exams, where more and more complex problems to be thrown at you, if you able to pass these complexity then you get respect in society. If you want to look rich, then you have flaunt complex gadgets. If your house has complex architecture then it will give you additional reputation in the society. If you are able to speak something that was only understood by microscopic minority, the so called intellectuals of society, then you are considered as a great orator.  etc. etc.

I observed, we hardly aspire anything simple and yet want to be simple. How is it going to happen? Contemplation on complexity and sophistication will only make us a sophisticated robot, certainly not a simple human being.

If we want to be simple we have to recognize and value simplicity in every walks of life. But before valuing, we must recognize what the simplicity really is?

2012 to 2018: Same Story

2012 की शोरगुल, हल्ला गुल्ला, प्रतिरोध, प्रदर्शन, रोष, एकजुटता सबकुछ मेरे मानस पटल पर आज भी अंकित है. मैं भूला नहीं. कारण यह कि शायद 2012 आते-आते मेरी संवेदनशीलता अपना स्वरुप ग्रहण करने लगी थी. उस घृणित कृत की पुरजोर भर्त्स्ना कुछ इस कदर हुई थी कि मुझे लगा कि यह भारतीय इतिहास में एक ऐतिहासिक घटना के तौर पर याद किया जायेगा. मेरा मानना था कि इतने व्यापक प्रदर्शन और दोषियों का पूरे समाज द्वारा एक स्वर में निंदा, लज्जित एवं न्यायलय द्वारा कठोर सजा के एलान के बाद ऐसी घटनाओं की पुर्नावृत्ति नहीं होगी.

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मैं गलत था. शोर-शराबे से कुछ नहीं होता. और शोर शराबा होता भी कहाँ हैं. टी.वी. पर, सोशल मीडिया पर, कुछ लोग ब्लॉग का सहारा लेते हैं, तो किसी को अपनी राजनीतिक रोटियां सेकनी होती हैं.. आदि आदि …पर समय के साथ सब ठंडा पड़ने लगता है और वे कहते भी हैं न कि Time Is The Greatest Healer. हमारी स्मरणशक्ति का क्या कहना ..जीवन के संघर्ष में सब खो जाता है ..सभी यादें धुल जाती हैं…

फिर कोई कठुआ में तो कोई उन्नाव में, सूरत में या तो सासाराम में उन घटनाओं की पुनरावृत्ति होती है.. समाचार वाचकों को कुछ नया बोलने को मिल जाता है, कवियों को काव्य का नया विषय मिल जाता है, प्रतिपक्ष, पक्ष को घेरने में लग जातें हैं, निंदकों को भारतीय न्याय व्यवस्था पर सवाल उठाने का मौका मिल जाता है…और मुझ जैसे बेकार को कुछ नया सोचने को मिल जाता है…और इन सबके बीच कोई लड़की (नाम, जाति और धर्म तो आप सब जानते ही होंगे) कहीं और की यात्रा शुरू करने को विवश हो जाती है.. और शायद ये उसके लिए भी अच्छा ही है कि वो यात्रा करे, यदि वो यहाँ से नहीं निकलती तो भी लोग उसे जीने तो देते नहीं …

#SolidarityWith****** #JusticeFor****** #WeAreWithYou***** #RIP*****

हा..हा..अच्छे शब्द हैं ….हैशटैग का जमाना है…..चलने दीजिये …..

Being Lakshman

So, when demon Marich came in a disguise of a magnificent golden deer and roamed around the hermit, where Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshmana were staying, Sita immediately became magnetized by seeing her beauty. She made a request to Lord Ram that she is so moved by the exquisiteness of that deer that she wants it immediately. Lord Ram, knowing that it may be an illusion, tried to convince Her about its futility and possible consequences but Devi Sita’s was unappeasable. She argued, “I have spent nearly thirteen years of my youthful life in the forest, caves, mountains and away from any form of luxuries without any regret, I never requested anything except your company, this is my only desire that I am extending to You, please accept it.” Lord Ram was touched by Her plea and agreed to chase down and bring that golden deer. He cautioned Lakshman to guard Devi Sita and not to leave the place until He returns.

ram
Credit: Internet

The chase began. The deer was fast and frantic, but it was chased by none other than the Supreme Being. After going deeper in to the forest, by taking appropriate position, Ram shot an arrow and it pierced the heart of the deer. But to the amusement of Lord Ram, the deer suddenly turned in to a Demon and started wailing and calling “Oh! Lakshman Oh! Site!!! Oh Site!!! Oh Lakshman!!!”

Sita and Lakshman who were still in the hermit, heard the excruciating voice in which their name were being called. Sita immediately became anxious, perturbed and thought that Lord must have been fallen in a great danger and hence He is calling for help. She was in tears and asked Lakshman to leave immediately and go for help to his elder brother.

Lakshman was unusually very calm 🙂 and told her to not worry as no one in this three worlds can inflict any pain and danger to Sri Ram. In front of His strength even the demigods would not withstand, what to speak of the species of this planet. But Sita was unmoved by the argument and was constantly thinking that Her husband must be in great danger. She was constantly making request to Lakshman to go for the search of Ram. Lakshman was constantly reminding Her that Lord has told him to not to leave Sita alone, as this can be a trap.

At last Sita became furious and enraged on the arguments of  Lakshman and chastised and labeled atrocious allegations. She rebuked Lakshman “Even after my constant request to go for the help of your elder Brother, who seems to be severe in danger, you are in constant mode of denial. Now I got to know the real purpose why you came with us all along the forest leaving a Royal life. You had an attachment towards me and you must have thought that in forest when Lord Ram will not be there with me, you could enjoy me. Now that time has come. Even you are listening the desperate call of your brother for help, but you are so fallen that you are not willing to leave me!!!You are attracted by my beauty and have lost all your morality ”

I will stop the narration here. Everybody knows the story (at least Indians) what happened after that.

I was just thinking how it would be like “Being Lakshman” in that situation? A devoted brother, who left a royal and luxurious life a prince of a Chakravarti Kingdom, was faced an allegation of moral misconduct and lose character from none other than the lady whom he consider as mother throughout his life. How much pain he would have gone through, when these charges were labeled against him.

I was just thinking that even when we commit mistakes or any offence against other of any kind, and when someone admonishes us we feel so much burdened disheartened. And there in Lakshman, innocent of any crime and an epitome of sacrifice, how he could have tolerated those harsh words.

Ram is real. Ramayan is not out dated. It has several stories and characters which is even more relevant these days, when society is grappling with so many gruesome, atrocious, despicable, heinous, monstrous and abhorrent events. You know what I mean, Don’t you?

If time permits read Ramayan. Listen the Stories of Ramanyan from bonafide source. Discuss it. Deliberate on it.  Things will happen, either good or bad. It’s up to us to be a participant, in either good or bad.

Thank You!

जाल ..

“मानव ईश्वर की सबसे श्रेष्ठ रचना है” एक वक्ता को जैसे ही मैंने कहते हुए सुना, मन में सैकड़ो ख्याल सरपट दौड़ने लगे. अब क्या कहूँ, कोई योगी तो हूँ नहीं कि एक बार में एक ही ख्याल से मनोरंजन कर सकूँ या विचारशून्यता की सतत स्थिति में रहकर परम आनंद का अनुभव ले सकूँ! हाँ भाई, विचार शून्यता भी आनन्द है..कभी खुद अनुभव नहीं किया तो उनसे पूछिये जो विचारों के अनंत प्रहार से सतत छत-विछत होते रहते हैं और सोचते हैं कि मन में कोई विचार न आता तो श्रेयस्कर रहता..

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खैर, वापस विषय वास्तु पर आते हैं “मानव ईश्वर की सबसे श्रेष्ठ रचना है”. क्यों भाई? यदि कुत्ते आपस में बात कर रहे होते तो वे भी यह कह सकते थे “कुत्ते, ईश्वर की सबसे श्रेष्ठ रचना है”!!! या फिर गधे!!! या शेर !!!

पर मनुष्य उनकी बातों पर विश्वास नहीं कर पाते. क्यों? कारण स्पष्ट है. मानव अपने विचारों का उपयोग करके जितने भी जीव हैं उन सब पर नियंत्रण कर सकता है. अपना प्रभुत्व जमा सकता है. अपने बुने हुए जाल में अन्य सभी जीवों को फ़ांस सकता हैं. अन्य जीव ऐसा नहीं कर सकते. क्या कभी सुना हैं कि मनुष्य मछली के जाल में फँस गया!!! हा!!! लोग पागल ही कहेंगे, यदि आपने अपने मन में ऐसा विचार भी लाया तो!!!

तो फिर मनुष्य महान क्यों ? और अधिक गहन चिंतन करने पर मेरे मन में यह विचार कौंधा. ब्लॉग पर विचार व्यक्त करने कि आजादी होती है, चाहे विचार कैसा भी हो, जो दूसरों को आहत न करे. और भारतीय संविधान के आर्टिकल 19(2) के तहत यह मेरा मौलिक अधिकार भी है. अब आप सम्भालिये इसे..

मनुष्य महान इसलिए कि यह वह जाल बुन सकता है, उस जाल कि विशेषता यह है कि अगर अन्य प्राणी जाल बनाते तो उसका उपयोग वह दूसरे प्रजाति को फांसने में लगाते. पर मनुष्य तो श्रेष्ठ जीव हैं, तो कुछ अलग तो बनता है. मनुष्य श्रेष्ठ इसलिए कि वह आपने बनाये जाल में खुद ही फँस सकता है और अक्सर ही फँसता हैं, खुद ही फँसकर उसमे तड़पता है, छटपटाता है, और जब कष्ट असह्य हो जाता है, तो वह पुनः मुक्ति का मार्ग ढूँढता है….

खुद ही जाल बुनो, उसमें फँसो और फिर मुक्ति का मार्ग ढूंढो…यह चक्र मजेदार है न??

चलिए अभी जाते-जाते संस्कृत की एक उक्ति आपके लिए छोड़ जाता हूँ.. ज्यादा चिंतन मत कीजिये.. क्योंकि अत्यधिक चिंतन भी एक जाल हैं

सा विद्या या विमुक्तये।
ज्ञान वह है जो मुक्त कर दे!!