CHURUMURI POLL: Right to recall MPs, MLAs?

The “resolution” passed by both houses of Parliament last night that saw Anna Hazare accepting coconut water and honey from a Dalit girl and Muslim girl this morning, marks a defining moment in the brief history of the Indian republic. In having to give in to his three “sticky” demands, the MPs and through them, the government, have had to listen to the millions who joined him physically (and silently) in the outrage against unbridled State-sponsored corruption.

In a democracy that had become a one-way, top-down monologue, where “We, the People” had to meekly accept whatever “They, the Politicians and Political Parties” dished out, the conversation has been restored, even if at gunpoint and even if many in government and Parliament (and their paid pipers in the establishment media) do not like the sound of it. That much should be clear even to a school girl and should be heralded as such.

Still, as Hazare himself points out, it is half a victory, and a more treacherous road is ahead. But what even this half-a-victory—achieved without a drop of blood being shed, achieved without a gunshot being fired, achieved without a life being lost—shows is that there is nothing impossible beyond our reach if we want it badly enough. We only need to ask, and ask for it loudly enough across the country for the deaf souls of our democracy to hear.

Corruption is certainly not going to end with the passage of the Lok Pal bill, if and when that happens, but it is a step to put the fear of the good lord in the crooked. Hazare has indicated that electoral reforms are next on the agenda, and has spoken of demanding the right to recall representatives who do not measure up to our expectations, and the right to reject candidates put by political parties to represent us.

Questions: Will a right to reject or recall achieve the same kind of traction as the more secular, universal issue of corruption did among the people? Is it feasible? Will parties and politicians accede to such a demand as easily? Or are Hazare biting off more than they can chew?

 

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36 Responses to “CHURUMURI POLL: Right to recall MPs, MLAs?”

  1. Satish Says:

    It is possible to have Right to Recall, if we use technology into our Voting system via using UID, identify people or voter where ever he is he can place his Vote and recall if he is not efficient to our Parliament, How and when this should be done much be known, can we track people voted and should he null or others can decide on him need to worked out

  2. chetan krishnaswamy Says:

    resounding yes…!

  3. Pramod Says:

    Its essential that we have this right because we vote candidates to address our grievances n not to create scams

  4. Sacredfig Says:

    Well well, before you get any more misty eyed and husky voiced, please remember what the initial demands of this tamasha were:

    (a) The Jan Lok Pal Bill should be passed by the parliament in its drafted form (b) It should NOT be referred to the standing committee; (c) All this should be passed before Aug 30.

    When I last checked none of the above three demands were met (thankfully!). All that happened after all this heartburn was that the parliament agreed to consider 3 broad demands and promptly passed on the bill to the standing committee. Not exactly a victory, unless you’re self-deluding.

    But when everyone is so busy enjoying this crapfest headed by a dodgy old man with scarcely a clue about the constitution or parliamentary democracy and merely capable of mustering the prescriptive powers of a sarpanch, and the media is so utterly blinkered, we’re in for some very interesting times. Armed with the threats of fasting unto death, we now have the neighbourhood dadaji pressing the buttons of a nuclear weapon. Stay tuned.

  5. twistleton Says:

    Do stop thinking in monochrome…

  6. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    We should not have the right to recall candidates, because if the voters have made a mistake in the first instance, then they deserve to be penalized.

    Why should the entire country pay the price for the mistake that voters in any particular constituency have made?

    While voting people need to do a thorough research and then vote for the right candidate. They can’t keep changing their mind every second day. For instance, if you buy a TV today, you can’t go to shop tomorrow and say that I have changed my mind, I want a different model. You are allowed to buy only once.

    Elections are not cheap, it costs hundreds of crores of rupees to conduct elections, we can’t keep wasting money became the voters are fickle minded.

    An election is like a marriage between the voter and the representative. Once the marriage has been solemnised it would be unethical to break it before the next election.

  7. DRM Says:

    We the people of india got accostumed to everything mediocre and have stopped raising our voice against anything. Right to reject should certainly be a reality otherwise we only get to choose the fairest of the buffaloes offered to us!

  8. Suneel Sardana Says:

    There should be minimum qualification (atleast 10+2 or eqv.) for contesting all state assembly,Council,Rajya Sabha & Lok Sabha.No one against whom the criminal cases like Corruption,murder,kidnapping,attempt to murder,decoity & other sever crimes be permitted to contest any election till he/she gets clean chits from the designated courts. I support the vital condition of REJECTION OF CANDIDATES BY MAJORITY VOTERS & RIGHT TO RECALL.

  9. The Gagged Says:

    Now Read This from Col Shivraj:-

    Yesterday I went to the Ramlila grounds. Like you, me too have been glued to the TV from the day the drama started. So, I wanted to get a “feel” of the happenings on the ground. More specifically I wanted to make some contribution (financially) to the cause.

    I’d like to share with you what I experienced. First the donation part.

    I approached the vounteer at the counter (there are two/three huge counters and help desks set up by the India Against Corruption volunteers.). “But Sir, we are not taking any donations.” Shocked; I informed him that I am not paying by cash, I have brought my cheque book. (They are extremely meticulous in maintaining their accounts. I had experienced this when I had visited their fast site at Jantar Mantar in April. Even if somebody gave them 10 Rupees, they would insist on giving a receipt with details of address, phone no. etc. This had caused long queues. They know that the scoundrels in the Govt. are just waiting to pounce on them with allegations of irregularities in accounts). “Sir, we are not accepting even cheques now. We have stopped collecting donations.”

    I pulled out my copy of the Times of India of the day and showed them the report where it said they had a special cell for collecting donations. “We know it Sir, but thanks to generous people like you, we have collected enough money for our needs for the time being and since last night, we have stopped taking any more money.”

    In more than 65 years of my existence, this was the first time I was coming across an NGO/ Institution/ Movement which was not taking money. I am more used to their pestering.

    Just to double check, I approached a few other volunteers at different desks. Same response. But doesn’t an ongoing movement like this constantly need funds ? The response was that they will restart the collection drive in that situation. But for the time being, they had enough for their needs ! “Besides Sir, most of the activities that you see here on a large scale, e.g. water, tea, food distribution etc. are being organised by individuals / organisations. We are not doing anything on that front.”

    (OK, I have made my main point and you may stop reading any further. I am just wanting to put down on paper other tit-bits that I saw, but you may not have the time to go through the same. I am not making any effort to “condense it”!)

    Talking of volunteers, they are so young and well educated. Replace their “India Against Corruption” T shirts with normal office attire and you will see they fit into finest of the companies. A large no. of them indeed are from very professional organisations. Clearly overworked, they presented such a dedicated face. Not a single case of losing temper, at least as long as I was there. Some achievement, considering that a huge no. of not-so-educated people surround them at any given point of time. Some were not even getting time to sip a cup of tea. The relief on getting a chance to do so was so palpable on their face. There must have been more than a hundred of them there. The true heroes and heroines of India.

    Every few minutes, a trailer van would be leaving the grounds after collecting all the litter that was filling up the large bins kept all over the ground. These bins kept getting filled up so fast because there was an enormous amount of food being distributed free by individuals and private organisations. There were long queues at the counters distributing full meal (not just snacks). The food, served in clean thermocole type trays and with plastic spoons was wholesome. Rice, Puri, Subji etc. They reminded one of Bhandaras or Langars ! Snacks (Parle G biscuits, Grams (chana), some bananas and sundries), water pouches, tea etc. were being so enthusiastially distributed . They were literally catching anyone passing by and handing over the same ! One such person (a Sardarji) was distributing biscuits; so I asked him if he had come all the way from Punjab. “Nahinji, I am from Faridabad”. My chest swelled with pride; people from my town were also doing their bit. Shook hands warmly, but couldn’t talk much; he was so busy.

    The irony of it all was not lost on me. Here were these multitudes who had come in support of a fasting man and were being filled to the brim by rest of the society !

    Reverting to the topic of litter and bins, the ground, slushy and muddy as it was, was full of litter. Despite the best efforts of the volunteers. After all, we are Indians. How can we live in cleanliness ? Then I saw a very well off, middle aged lady, the kind you will see in your (posh) neighbourhood; pick up a cane basket and get down to the task of picking up littered plates, trays, plastic pouches etc. and transfer them to the bins. It was a strange phenomena. A high caste lady cleaning up the muck thrown around by (metaphorically speaking) Dalits and lower castes ! This was the new, emerging India. For the first time, during my stay at the Ramlila grounds, I felt so ashamed of myself.Instinctively, I too bent down to pick up a few of these. But within 3/4 minutes, realised that my back won’t support me. The hardest thing to remove were the plastic spoons that had got embedded in the mud all around.

    That was not the only place where our sense of hygiene was on full display. An artist had put up a very large no. of thoroughly enjoyable Poster Cartoons on a wall. High quality. I believe they are also on Facebook and Twitter. (For example, there was one showing one politician telling another, “How can they call us all corrupt ? When half of us haven’t even got the ministries where we can make money !”). Yet it was so difficult to stand and read all the cartoons. The Pee stink was so strong. My countrymen were merrily peeing on the adjoining wall (at right angles to the Cartoon wall), despite authorities having provided toilets just outside the gates. If that was not enough, consider this : The wall on which they were peeing was the side wall of a temple !

    When you looked at eye level, you saw a sea of humanity, tricolours fluttering, massive and un-co-ordintaed slogan shouting, but when you looked down, you felt sick. Muddy and uneven grounds with pools of stagnant water every few steps (it has been raining heavily here). So difficult to walk around; often having to jump around. This was Ramlila ground, where every year, Ramlila celebrations take place on a large scale and any no. of political rallies take place every alternate week, so to speak. Could the Municipal Corporation of Delhi not pave it all these years ? You automaticlly turned your face down when you saw a foreigner try to negotiate the grounds. Yet, you just had to turn your face 90 degrees to see a massive (32 stories, I believe), super-modern, massive building just on the other side of the road. I was convinced it belonged to a top notch MNC. Finally, I caught hold of a smart, though grey haired Police Officer and asked him whose building was that. He was surprised, but let me know it was the MCD HQ building and has been there for a few years. What a contrast and what a shame. The rascals (MCD is currently controlled by BJP) can’t see the pathetic condition of the Ramlila grounds from their windows every moment of their working day ? And BJP is lecturing us how the entire mess in the country is because of the Congress.

    Well, enough of the side-shows and tit-bits. Let’s come to the main picture. Simply amazing. Huge no. of people. I think the media is grossly under-reporting the same. They talk of the crowd size at a given point of time. A static measurement, if you please. When I was there (it was afternoon; supposed to be at its thinnest), there were at least 20,000 at any given point of time. Yet the actual crowd is far, far bigger. Probably 3 times the estimates. For, people are constantly streaming in and streaming out. Just like me. Families, the rich and the poor, handicapped people, I even saw an almost 100 year old villager, barely able to walk, just a loin cloth around him, panting very badly, come up to the main tent with the help of what I believe was his grandson. Whoever has been spreading the canard that it is a “middle class” phenomena needs to have his/her eyesight examined. I saw far greater no. of very poor Indians from all over the country than the so-called “middle class”. The enthusiasm is amazing. Slogans, patriotic songs and Bhajans are the dominant theme. The crowd does not fall silent even for a minute. When I was there, Manoj Tiwari, a popular Bihari singer was belting one patriotic song after another. And the entire crowd was singing with him and waving with their hands raised up (no space for any horizontal movement of the hands). For full one hour. And that dynamo of a 62 year old lady called Kiran Bedi. She was waving a large size tricolour vigorously from one side to the other on the stage. For that full one hour. Try doing it for 10 minutes ! Besides them, a quite old, dark complexioned villager, looking just like your or mine grandpa was sitting cross legged on a wooden cot, wearing a constant smile and often swinging his head or clapping lightly with the music. The epicenter of it all : Anna Hazare.

    While the main crowd keeps up with the Stage, there are a thousand side shows of patriotic commitment going on. Every group, some very small, enter the grounds shouting their own slogans and waving the national flag. So, in a sense, you also have a sense of cacophony. I saw a family consisting of a mother and 4 daughters (I presume) enter through a gate and immediately launch into “Vande Mataram” and other slogans. Irrespective of what slogans or songs were being sung from the stage. They had to let the world know how charged up they were. Total commitment to the cause. Huge no. of (mostly handwritten) placards and painted faces greet you.

    So, overall, did I feel happy ? Or, proud ? Yes, immensely. This can happen only in India. It was an authentic Indian Mela. For a very serious cause. Where else in the world will you find such lofty ideals existing peacefully with physical filth; where else would you find feasting co-existing with fasting ; where would you have such massive crowds with no leader, yet not a single case of violence. First time that I saw so many policemen and policewomen with not a single one carrying a lathi . Where would you find thousands to keep standing on their feet for 24 hours, for there is so little of dry space to sleep or sit. When I was on my way to the grounds, I stopped at a petrol station to fill in. I heard one attendent telling another that he had returned at 3.30 am. Presumably from the Ramlila grounds. It seems people like him are on duty upto 11 p.m. or so; then take the Metro or some other transport, go to site to support Anna and team; take the first available Metro in the morning to reach home or place of work. What commitment!!

    I never saw Mahatma Gandhi (seen Vinoba Bhave though). But I got a great feel for what mass movements of those days were like. Let’s all pray that this semi-literate man’s health remains good and the SOBs in Govt. and political parties see reason. Maybe, just maybe, we might yet see within our lifetime, India move up dramatically from the 87th rank amongst the most corrupt nations in the world. And instead of Gods and Goddesses, start worshipping Anna’s team members. The likes of Arvind Kejriwal. Have brought a lost cause to center stage. With their leadership, immense hard work over the years, zeal, sacrifice in personal life and with an intelligence that has completely outwitted the entire Govt. and political class.

    Till then, enjoy your TV show !

    There is more:———

  10. The Gagged Says:

    Continued:-

    P.S. Just when I finished typing the above, I saw a news item in today’s TOI that indeed “India Against Corruption” folks have stopped accepting donations, because they have already collected “60 Lacs”. What a joke compared to what the policians want to collect. I remember, when my state’s former Chief Minister Chauthala was charged with illegally amassing Rs. 1500 crores, his retort was “What is 1500 crores for a politician these days” ! And here are these folks saying a mere 60 lacs is enough to run this countrywide movement. Long live the new India!!!


    Col Shivraj

  11. vinay Says:

    yes both rights are need of time to make democracy in real sense.

  12. Augustine Kuriapilly Says:

    If democracy should mean 15 seconds of power in a poling booth every five years, then the word demo+cracy should be redefined. Right now the concept of democracy has been a safe bet for the powerful to become more powerful and rich to become richer and the corrupt to become more corrupt. We elect powerful “leaders” who hardly have any quality that belongs to true statesmen. Such people take offence at an artiste or a social activist for attacking their parliamentary privileges. When I return to the booth after say, five years, I am left with no choice. Exasperation leaves me chocked and desperate as a citizen. India would do well to lead the way and reform its electoral practices for all democracies to follow.

  13. The Gagged Says:

    And There is much more to the above:-

    When one digs deeper into why the Jan Lokpal Bill is not progressing, and tries to analyse the reason why the mainstream media appears to be stuck on the ‘small corruption’ angle, while the business media maintains a discreet silence on what is happening, one hits on huge numbers
    Earlier yesterday we had the PAN-IIT group of young and old alumni from all the IITs across India, on stage with Arvind Kejriwal and Team Anna. This was, for all observers, one of the few organised groups of influential people who actually came on board and declared where they stand on the issue of corruption in India in no uncertain terms. By comparison, industries and industry bodies of repute who otherwise would not think twice about throwing glamorous functions on issues related to corruption and never fall short of suitable comments on the issue of corruption, have been absent from making or taking any coherent and cogent position on the issue.

    # Now, the grapevine is rife with talk about how certain NRI and NRI-linked politicians, with British, European and US linkages, who have stacked funds abroad in tax havens allied to those countries, have been informed that certain tax deductions by the authorities abroad would now be applied to these funds before they can be released back. This includes Switzerland, which is already doing this in the case of the United Kingdom, and proposes to do so with countries in the European Union too. Look carefully, the body language is beginning to say it all.

    # Some members of the electronic and print media were at an informal get-together, when one of the most influential ‘perception-benders’ or lobbyists-call him what you may-explained to them how the Jan Lokpal Bill would not only impact politicians and public servants, but also the media and industrialists. The tone of some of the TV channels and newspapers/magazines appears to be changing slowly, if you read carefully, between the lines. Looks like advertising support from the strangest of organisations, for example ESIC, which is sponsoring an automobile show on NEWSX television channel that is bleeding money since hardly anybody watches the channel, is perhaps influencing the rhetoric.

    +++

    Globally, New Delhi is now increasingly seen as a gigantic hub of rent-seekers, and one reason for this is that over the past few decades, a whole new class of political-businessmen (and women) have perfected the art of converting outright lies and theft into legalese, by the simple expedient of getting them converted into, what else, that language of criminal whitewash, good English. And then monetizing this in ways which are increasingly blatant and vulgar, with little regard for probity or concern for whether they are being seen or not.

    As a matter of fact the more flagrant the criminalities, the brighter the lights used. And then, not just that, but a crass and commercial display of the acts themselves, which is why the term being used is “pornographic”. At the finest and oldest clubs with memberships going past lifetimes, to the toniest of “membership by invitation only” lounges and reserved floors in the many 5-stars dotting the city, the word is out. If you’ve been able to stick it to the Great Indian Public Exchequer, then let the world know about it.

    And then collect more rent on it too. Surrounded by fleets of “consultants” of all hues and numbers, safeguarded by fleets of private security guards, and usually finding cover under the term “NRI”, the business ventures range from the old traditional narcotics and arms and then onwards, to the newer technologically perfect counterfeit currency and diamond transaction management. This is, of course, in addition to the mining, defence and real estate, and every other racket you can think of, very often covered under the all-encompassing term “PPP”. Even good old infotech, the poster boy of development in India, is not immune.

    The numbers are, to put it simply, huge. By one estimate, provided by the political and economic calculations of a particular High Commission that should know, the leakage is in the region of more than Rs1,200 crore a day. The thought itself is mind-boggling; what kind of theft generates this kind of numbers, even if it is to be reduced by half?

    As a denizen of this city for the past 50 years and as one who has seen how it went on in other cities, globally, where the carpetbaggers reigned, one can well believe it. The spending patterns have gone ballistic in Delhi, especially over the past three-four years. Rs200crore-Rs300 crore for a wedding is the kind of number that a good MLA, or a middle-level “business person” spends lately, it seems.

    So when one digs deeper into WHY the Jan Lokpal Bill is not progressing, and tries to analyse the reason why the mainstream media appears to be stuck on the “small corruption” angle, while the business media maintains a discreet silence on what is happening, one hits on huge numbers. For example, for every day that the progress can be delayed, the payout will be enormous. Goes without saying. And the risks taken, politically, suddenly become worth it. What’s just the notional daily interest in an inflationary economy for these numbers? It will pay for any amount of free biscuits and bananas and ads on television, just to make sure that the focus remains on “small corruption”, while the lobbyists take a short break.

    Astonishing stories are sweeping this city. Some high-profile punters in the park-your-money-abroad game have apparently left town, leaving a good number of people with funds parked in tax havens abroad extremely worried. You can hardly go to the local police and complain about this. The average industrialist is up to here with local level corruption, and does not see how a Jan Lokpal will help him, so he is keeping his head down and just getting along with work in a recessionary market. And a friend who is a transporter has confirmed that he is trying to ensure that all his trucks and cargo on them are suitably “secured” every morning, staying off roads and highways during the day as much as possible.

    In addition, as credible reports of sporadic rowdyism and violence start appearing from the India Gate and Vikas Marg areas, it becomes even more apparent that the foot-soldiers of those who are going to be impacted are beginning to realise just how deep the Jan Lokpal Bill can go to put an end to the whole pornography of elite corruption, and they are strong enough to ensure it will not happen. There is just too much rent at stake. A new breed of hooligans can be seen on the streets, and counter marches as well as protests are visible.

    But yes, the pornography display, that can be scaled down. It will keep the mainstream media happy, too. After all, it is time to replace the lot that has been in jail for close to six months already for assorted Commonwealth Games and 2G scams. The same cells are required for the mining lot as well as the cash-for-votes guys.

    +++

    To sum up, it is the lack of clarity, the hiding of facts, the reading between the lines, which provides the answers. The Jan Lokpal Bill will, if introduced, put at stake the very survival of many of those who benefit from the ongoing pornography of the elite. Not just that, it will also involve loss of face, tremendously.

    The powers that run this country have been able to get the message across to those who perform on their behalf. Obviously, the elite corruption part will continue, but the blatant display of pornography may need to be curtailed, for some time at least.

    And that’s what will probably be the tactic to be adopted, as something drastic happens at Ramlila grounds and in the rest of the country in the next few hours, or day. The naked display of elite corruption may shift elsewhere for some time.

    Which is how it was in the days of the British Raj, as well as the early years of Independence, remember? You stole what you wanted, but you kept a stiff upper lip as you just pretended to be cleaner than the natives-which is what the Jan Lokpal will in all likelihood achieve. Meanwhile, those who “collect tax on freehold” plan to continue to do so.

    It will keep the natives in check. And that’s the simple truth. The Brits taught us this.

  14. Nk Singh Says:

    the right to recall is soul of democracy but it should not beon the whims of people every now and then.It should be mid term assessment and based on an intrenet survey where the voters must give identity and at least 50% want the process to be intiated.

  15. VIJAY Says:

    I am not sure about ‘How good Right to recall would be’ , But for ‘Right to reject’ I extend my full support. It can be a key to keep those corrupt people from entering our law making houses.

  16. Rajesh Kumar Says:

    One should be able to recall MP, MLAs.

  17. girish Says:

    Right to reject and right to recall are two separate things. While right to reject should be implemented immediately, right to recall looks to be a bit long shot and requires more deliberation.

  18. richardw Says:

    @Objectivist Mantra – Right sir. Your analogy of voter and representative as involved in a marriage makes sense, and is well taken. Especially after you have highlighted the issue of cost to the exchequer.

    However, why is it that it should be between the voter and the representative? And why not between the representatives (in times of a coalition) ? How many times, this country has seen by-elections ? So, either, changes should be made so that coalitions are not broken quite easily with nay a penny to pay for breaking them.. or right to recall should be introduced.. or plausibly, the 5-year term (tenure of the elected govt.) should probably be reduced ? (This is, presuming the line of argument that , “yeah, people can recall after 5 years”…)

    BTW, I am not clear, how did this 5 year limit enter as the time to rule ? A cut and paste from other countries or something else…

  19. Dinesh Says:

    As a Citizen of India I would like to RECALL every LOOTER and CORRUPT Politicians, Liar Spokepersons of all all parties who CHEAT and MISGUIDE the Country for Cover-Up. I would also like to RECALL Corrupt/Tainted Amar Singh, Mulayam, Laloo, Abhishek Manu Sanghvi etc… from STANDING COMMITTEE.

  20. Faldo Says:

    Even before we consider the right to recall, we need to implement electoral reforms like state funding of elections and stricter checks on weeding out candidates with criminal backgrounds. There should be concentrated efforts to ensure that more people come out to vote. We might also consider having limits on the number of terms representatives are allowed to contest for a particular office.
    Also the expectations of constituents for different kinds of elected representatives should be well defined.
    For instance, are MPs ineffective just because they cannot ensure proper roads or water supply in a constituency over which they have little control? The problem is compounded as there can be different parties ruling in the state and the center. There was a case where a candidate from a regional party was commended for his performance as an MP and a minister but was criticized by his constituents and his own party for not following up on civic repair works. At the other end of the spectrum we have many candidates who keep their constituents happy by doling out goodies but are hardly heard in Parliament, yet keep getting elected several times.

  21. Dr Mahesh Kumar Says:

    The RIGHT TO RECALL is possible only when there is two party system based election in India. In present time, an elected candidate generally does not get more than 20 – 25 % total votes. If the right to recall a candidate made operational than, this elected candidate will never get more than 50% votes. The second danger will emerge like to destabilize duly elected Governments. So the stability and the overall growth of the country will seriously affect.

    There should be the RIGHT TO REJECT option available at the time of voting to the voters so that, if all the contesting candidates are equally not good, than instead of electing a less good one, all should be rejected. The biggest advantage of this option will be that once a not good candidate looses the election, he will also suffer a significant financial loss and will not dare to contest election once again second time. This will also send a signal of deterrent to other not good candidates to think for contesting election.

  22. M Says:

    @ Objective mantra.

    I fully concur with your argument. The problem is with those who consider election day as a holiday for fun and frolic. Why should those people be empowered to recall a candidate elected by dutiful citizens. Lack of stability will deter a politician from making serious decisions. And what is the guarantee that Opposition was use it for their gains.

    Also a blanket “DONT LIKE ANY OF THE ABOVE” in voters list is not good. We should have the choice to either vote YES for any of the candidates whom we like or NO for whom we hate the most. This is because national parties like Congress and BJP thrust their own candidates upon you. I like some of the policies of Congress; but why should I be forced to vote for a fundamentalist muslim. There are somethings I like about BJP: but why should I be forced to vote for nincompoop brahmin. In US, candidates are elected by grass root party members; but in India they are chosen by party bosses.

  23. ramchandra Says:

    shouldn’t there be right to recall media like if churumuri publishes sub standard articles it can be recalled.
    and if someone from Nehruvian socialism falls for Italian b*owj*bs with indirect govt sponsorship there should be a way to recall them also,

  24. harkol Says:

    Objective Mantra:

    If voter is married to representative, and representative is cheating on voters (marital infidelity), or cruel to the voter (spouse) or even commits Bigamy (is loyal to another party), then isn’t voter illegible to get a divorce?

    As Arun Jaitley so eloquently put in the RS debate, once we have prima facie proof that someone is corrupt should we suffer them for 5 years?

    In fact, we also need laws to prohibit any one with a pending case (not conviction) being barred from contesting. Our CEC put it nicely yesterday – We have 2.5lakh undertrial prisoners in this country, they are not convicted, but denied bail pending trial. They are denied 4 fundamental rights – Freedom, Dignity, Movement & Profession. So, why are we so worried about “right to contest” elections which is not even a fundamental rights???

  25. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    @M, I agree with you.

    @Harkol, India is a fractured society, elections are often won on very small margins of less than one 1%. Sometimes candidates win by just 500 to 1000 votes. Case in point is P. Chidambram, who has won by very few votes.

    So if we have right to recall, then the candidate who looses with small margin will immediately start a “right to recall” movement. Since the difference is very small, he might even succeed in foisting another election on the country.

    What if the voters get divided on caste and religious lines? Voters of one community might want to recall the candidate, the other community might support him. This will lead to religious and caste based tensions.

    Right to recall is a political EVIL idea. It will destroy our society.

  26. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    Instead of “right to recall” we should have “inner party” democracy.

    All the posts in any political party – that of president, treasurer, general secretary, etc. – should be defined by law and should be filled only after an election conducted by election commission.

    The candidates for Parliamentary and state elections should be decided by inner party elections – like the primary system we have in USA.

    Why should the so-called High Command be allowed to impose “atrocious” candidates on hapless voters! We need a system of primaries.

  27. Indian Blogger Says:

    Most of the winners barely get 35% votes in a multi-cornered contest and at any given time 65% are against him.

    But this 65% is divided while voting. So if right to recall comes in effect, most MPs would risk losing their seats all the time. This is not practical otherwise also.

  28. Augustine Kuriapilly Says:

    Rule and Govern are two different concepts. Governance is a service by the well-informed while ruling is an act of dominance like the kings of yore exercised over their subjects. In governance however, those who govern are servants as opposed to being kings. If governance is what Indian democracy needs, then Indian people must elect their servants who have appropriate qualifications. When DMK demands Telecommunication ministry as its right, when Mamta Banerjee asks to retain Railways with her party or when Sharad Pawar insists that one of nominees should be Aviation Minister one wonders if they are asking for a particular fiefdom which they like to overlord and rule. Right now the masters are powerless. There is no way to dismiss their servants who loot them. A day will come, tables will be turned. Writing is clear on the wall.

  29. ramchandra Says:

    Objectivist mantra should change his name to congress mantra.

    All these inner party democracy would end up with Nehru’s family in the end with party members raking up the wealth of the nation.

    In India an average person spends half or more of his lifetime thinking about the nation and politics unintentionally because that is the one which defeats him at every step.
    So any law made atleast from now when a new order is approached
    (if anna is not poisoned at hospital) should be completely transparent and a tribute to all those unintentionally fallen hairs in the service to nation .

    There should be an instrument like US’s casteless “traffic ticket” given to drivers everytime they make a mistake ;once MP’s ‘paapada koda’ is filled they should be stripped and recalled.

    if rules of INDIA imposes reservations as said by Augustine Kuriapilly then central government should cease to exist. disinvestment of powers would acquire success once we leave the concept of delhi.
    Irom sharmila would be recognized and shiela dixit would be axed.

  30. harkol Says:

    Objective Mantra:
    I concede that there is some merit in rejecting ‘right to recall’ in our present system. We will need to change that system.

    1. Right to recall should have a safeguard of perhaps a year to avoid being recalled immediately after an election.

    2. We need to ensure a candidate is not elected with less than 50% of the votes. This first past the pole election is a cruel joke. How one carries legitimacy if two of his opponents got more votes than him?

    So, We may need to have a run off election between top two candidates. This makes election a bit more tedious, but better than current system.

  31. Dinesh Says:

    I Would like to put MY CITIZEN BILL :- From 2025 new MP Tickets should only given to them who had 2 years of Voluntary Service in Military.

  32. Law of Omerta Says:

    @Dinesh, you deserve to be banished to a third world dictatorship like Pakistan or Burma. There every ruler has military experience. How about Libya. there a dude called “Colonel” Gaddafi has been ruling for more than 3 decades.

  33. Rajan Alexander (@devconsultgroup) Says:

    Open letter to Ford Foundation and Arvind Kejriwal on charge of US bankrolling anti-corruption agitation

    Business Standard published this morning an interview with Arvind Kejriwal and Steven Solnick, India country Rep of Ford Foundation in an article titled Claims that Hazare’s movement is US-funded baseless: Arvind.

    They confirmed Arundhati Roy’s charge that Kabir, a Kerjiwal NGO received $ 400,000 during the last 3 years as funding from Ford Foundation. On the broader allegations whether the US steamrolled the Anna Hazare anti-corruption agitation, they drove themselves further to a corner. We send them an open letter as a reaction to their interview.

    Read more: http://exitopinionpollsindia.blogspot.com/2011/08/open-letter-to-ford-foundation-and.html

  34. damagedbrain Says:

    @Law of Omerta: Off the topic, Libya before the outbreak of the civil war (as of 2009), Libya had the highest HDI in Africa and the fourth highest GDP (PPP) per capita in Africa, behind Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Cut copy paste from wikipedia.

    Now why the west is against Gaddafi could be attributed to the last line of introduction “Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world and the 17th-highest petroleum production.” It is upto you to see it the way you like it.

    And I vote yes to CHANGE!

  35. harkol Says:

    @Rajan

    That is an ill-founded blog.

    Booker prize is funded by an foreign institution too, so is nobel prize. So, should all those people who have won it desist from having any involvement in any movement within their own country?

    An NGO will solicit and receive donations from many places. As long as they aren’t illegal entities, it is all above board. It is not a secret that Charitable institutes fund activities in other countries to advance their idea of correct thing. The question if they fund it with any intent that works against the interest of nation or its law. As long as it doesn’t it is very ill-founded to call such donations proof of someone’s bad motive.

    Besides, Kejriwal & Sisodia have made it clear that Kabir hasn’t funded the IAC movement. So, the Ford foundation connection becomes even more tenuous.

  36. twistleton Says:

    Within a constituency there are infinite constituencies. Who will decide whom to recall? If the public wants a greater say in decision making then the public must take great pains to make informed decisions and willing to give more than take. And right there is an open invitation to the dam-burst of politicking at a local level. Which is a good thing, but for the inequalities of our society. Our parliament represents all that we are as a society.

    However a caveat – if this movement indeed turns out to be the engineered farce it appears to be, then even the above option would become a welcome change. Can we forgo any opportunity, however flawed, to gift ourselves a political playing field at a local level. (Because if there is no playing field, where’s the question of one that is level?) Or is this a too-hopeful prediction of the possible fallouts of the Right to Recall?

    On a not-too-different note, the tentacles of ‘vested interests’ are indeed very long and there is no public forum, except hopefully in the deepest pockets and the lowest tiers, that are insulated from their influence.

    So, to blunt any concerted attack on the soverignity of our decision-making, decentralisation is vital. Could this be one step in that direction?

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