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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Critique of Media Personalities and Political System in India: A Call for Alternative Change

The author suggests that a more radical transformation is necessary to address the multifaceted issues faced by India.

Karan Thapar, to my mind, exemplifies and epitomises most mediapersons and so called ‘intellectuals’ who are strutting around the scene in India today like peacocks, but who are totally shallow, superficial and mediocre

To explain, let us consider Karan’s recent interview of Gautam Bhatia

In this interview the proposed Election Commision Bill, 2023, which has been introduced recently in the Rajya Sabha ( the Upper House of the Indian Parliament ), was discussed.

This Bill seeks to replace the interim arrangement made by the Supreme Court in its verdict in Anoop Baranwal vs Union of India.

It is alleged that this Bill, if it becomes law, will undermine the independence and neutrality of the Election Commission.

But suppose we have a truly independent and neutral Election Commission. Elections will still be largely on the basis of caste and religion. Everyone in India knows that when most voters in India go to vote they rarely see the merit of the candidate, whether he is a good man or bad, educated or uneducated, etc, but only see his caste or religion ( or the caste or religion which his party claims to represent ). Hence we have caste and communal vote banks, which most Indian politicians are experts in manipulating, and a large number of persons with criminal backgrounds are in our legislatures.

Casteism and communalism are feudal forces, which must be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy in India further entrenches them, as it runs on their basis. Hence it must be replaced by another political system under which India rapidly industrialises and modernises, as that alone can solve our massive socio-economic problems.

This is not possible within the framework of the Constitution of India. In other words, the solutions to India’s huge problems of massive poverty, record and rising unemployment, appalling level of child malnutrition , skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the massers, atrocities and oppression of minorities, etc lie outside, and not within, the present Constitutional system

The test of every political activity and political system is one, and only one : does it raise the standard of living of the people ? Does it give them better lives ?

Read More: New Constitution of India

So even if we have a truly independent and neutral Election Commission how will that matter to the vast majority of our people ? Their lives will be as miserable and poverty stricken as before.

It is only by a mighty historical people’s struggle, which will be protracted, arduous, and in which tremendous sacrifices will have to be made, that we can create a just political and social order in which our people will get decent lives.

What that alternative political and social order will be, how will it be created, how much time will that take, who will be the modern minded leaders who will lead the movement– all these are matters which no one can presently predict. One cannot be rigid about historical forms.

All this Karan Thapar, Siddharha Varadarajan, Ravish Kumar, Rahul Kanwal, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Shekhar Gupta, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Vikram Chandra, Manak Gupta,and other mediapersons, and ‘intellectuals’ like Yogendra Yadav, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Shashi Tharoor, Ram Chandra Guha, Raghuram Rajan, Makarand Paranjape, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Amartya Sen, Ashis Nandy, Gautam Bhatia, etc can not understand.

Their minds are caged within the system of parliamentary democracy, which to them is a fetish, a permanent political form, and they would be horrified to think that there can be an alternative outside it.

Markandey Katju is an Indian jurist and former Supreme Court judge of India who served as chairman for the Press Council of India. He has also worked as Standing Counsel for the Income Tax Department.