PEOPLE’S RULE – CREATING SWARAJ
60 years ago India’s founding forefathers had a dream for all of us – a dream of an equal and just society where every man, woman and child has the right and privilege to lead a fulfilling and nurturing life, free from all kinds of oppression. This was a dream and a hope over 60 years ago. The Constituion of India and specifically the Preamble to the Constitution of India, defines a clear roadmap for the future of our country wherein the common man and woman hold the power to decide their destiny.
Today nobody can say that India has achieved this dream. Before independence the common man was a slave to foreign powers; today he has become a slave of the political system of our country. There is a new master in our country today – the political Neta. This Neta, who asks for our votes during elections, and then forgets us after he wins, this political entity decides the common man’s destiny.
But every civilisation reaches a plimsoll line of tolerance. This is our line. India’s common man has had enough of oppression, inequality, injustice and unkept promises. For the last 2 years the anti corruption movement has galvanised the country from end to end into one common voice – a voice that is demanding a complete rehaul in the way political parties and their leaders function.
This national demand for a change in the way our political system works has forced our anti corruption drive to enter the political arena to clean it from the inside. Politics itself is not a dirty word – it is our current breed of politicians who have made it dirty. Our Party wants to make politics a noble calling once again.
The biggest problem facing our democracy today is that no one in government can or wants to hear the common man’s basic needs. This is the situation in the whole of our country. People need basic amenities and the government provides something else. Decisions affecting millions of common Indians are taken by a few select leaders of the ruling party in Parliament. Democracy has become a slave of the leader of the ruling-party.
We believe that good governance happens when people have the power to influence decisions that shape their life. This is a major change that India needs badly. No present day party will usher in this systemic change. For this very reason, ouranti corruption movement has been forced to enter politics.
The Aam Aadmi party, the common man’s party, wants to overhaul the 3 pillars of our democracy and make them accountable for their actions to the people of India. The following is the roadmap we aim to follow:-
1. The Executive
Today all big and small decisions that affect the nation are taken by a few select members of this body of governance. Once the ruling party comes to power, a few top leaders at the head of the party and a handful of influential corporate honchos decide all policies. Where is the voice of the common man in this decision making process? There is no Right to Recall in our country today. So once we elect a leader, we are stuck with him for 5 years. And this gives the current breed of politicians enough time to loot the resources of the country.
Is this the true meaning of Democracy? Of course not. In a true democracy The people have the power. Governments should be responsible to the people, not the other way around. This is the goal of Aam Aadmi Party – to give the power back in the hands of the people of India. This is SWARAJ or self rule – but can it be done practically?
The answer is YES!
SWARAJ can be created in a fully democratic system and many countries in the world have done it. India can also create a system which makes the government directly responsible to the people. Aam Aadmi Party aims to decentralise the system of governance in such a way that people can influence the policies that affect their local area. All the provisions to create SWARAJ are defined in the Constitution of India. All it takes is the political will to implement the spirit of the Constitution on the ground level. No political party in India today will do this. It is this corrupt and selfish current political system, that forms the Executive pillar of our democracy, that we aim to change.
2. The Legislature
The common men and women of India elect the MLAs and MPs and send them to Parliament. These chosen few then betray the trust of the common man and make unfair and corrupt policies and take unilateral decisions that affect the lives of millions of Indians. In the current system once we elect our representatives, the common people have no recourse to have a say in the law making and policy formulation process. And in this India is one of the 5 unfortunate countries in the world which do not have constitutional provisions to allow people’s participation in policy making.
All the other democracies in the world have 2 such provisions – REFERENDUM and INITIATIVE. In these countries if a pre determined majority of the population consider a law unfit for the people, they can reject it and send it back to their elected representatives. This is called Referendum. Similarly, if a pre determined majority of the population considers a law necessary for their nation, through a clearly defined procedure the people can send the law to their chosen representatives and this right is termed Initiative. These are just two examples of how democracy can be made truly participatory and representative, if the political system supports it. Our party is committed to giving these two rights of REFERENDUM and INITIATIVE to the people of India.
3. The Judiciary
Today if a common man wants a lawyer to represent him in either the Supreme Court or a High Court, he needs lakhs of rupees to afford legal representation. Justice in India today is so expensive that it is out of reach for a common man. The only way a poor person can appeal to the highest judicial courts is if some lawyer agrees to fight the case at nominal cost. This means that you can have justice in India today as a charity, but not as a right.
This is not the justice for all that is envisioned in the Preamble to the Constituiton of India. Access to the highest level of justice is a fundamental right of every Indian and should be made easily available to the common man. Our party plans to implement long overdue judicial reforms in order to create a judicial system easily accessible and affordable for all Indians.
RIGHT TO REJECT
When we go to cast our vote, we know that almost all the candidates are either corrupt or criminals. But our current voting system forces us to choose any one candidate and waste our vote on someone we know is unfit for the job. We the people’s party plan to give the voter an alternate choice – a Reject All button. All voting machines shall have a “reject all” button at the bottom. If you dislike all candidates, you will have an option to use this button. If this button gets majority of votes, the elections to that constituency will be cancelled and fresh elections will be held within a month. The parties and candidates rejected in the cancelled elections will forfeit their right to contest again in the re-elections.
RIGHT TO RECALL
Today we give our vote to a candidate, he or she wins the election, and then they disappear from our life. Today most elected representatives make no time to listen to the problems of their constituents. And in the current electoral system, the people have no choice but to suffer this candidate for 5 years. We want to create an alternative. We will enact a Right to Reject law wherein the common man does not have to wait for 5 years to remove a corrupt MLA or MP from office. People can complain to the election commission anytime to recall their representative and call for fresh elections.
We want to create a system where the political leaders we elect and place in the Parliament are directly responsible to the voters who elected them. Our party’s vision is to realise e dream of SWARAJ that Gandhiji had envisaged for a free india – where the power of governance and rights of democracy will be in the hands of the people of India