I suggest that time has come to Restructure our Polity
I suggest that time has come to Restructure our Polity*
Date: August 1, 2012
by Shiva Kant Jha
"It is high time for the citizenry of this Republic to think about the restructuring of our polity to achieve the objectives of our Constitution; and to provide ways for the eradication of corruption. I suggest for the consideration by my fellow citizens two sets of ideas: (a) to improve the present party system; and (b) to go in for partyless government. It is worthwhile to consider prescribing the following as mandatory requirements:
(a) Only the persons really domiciled in a constituency be selected to stand for election from that constituency. It would reduce election expenditure as the people of the constituency would not require a propaganda to make people aware of the worth of the candidates, and their views on matters of public interest. Secondly, such candidates will always be under the electors’ critical gaze. Thirdly, such candidates would have better sense of attachment with people amidst whom they lived. Fourthly, they would be subject to socio-cultural pressure from the people of their areas. Fifthly, they would hesitate in resorting to unfair means as they would be under their own men’s scanner, and they would hesitate in amassing ill-gotten wealth as they would shudder at their humiliating plight after being found out.
(b) The people of the constituency electing its representatives must have ‘right to recall’ their representatives if they have acquired ill reputation, or have betrayed people’s trust. This procedure underscores the fact that the ‘sovereignty’ lies with the people. This procedure would not let the representatives forget the people whom they represent. This procedure would inhibit the lobbyists of the corporate world from trying to subvert our institutions for their unworthy ends. No foreign powers or lobbyists would be able to get things done to their heart’s content by bribing, or persuading our representatives through pressure and persuasion.
How the procedure to give effect to these suggestions would work should be considered, discussed and devised so that proper balance between stability and change is ensured. A People’s Tribunal can be set up in every constituency which can consider serious allegations of omissions or commissions by the representatives, if made on affidavit signed by one-fourth of the voters of the constituency. The Tribunal’s decision can be overseen by an Appellate Tribunal, presided over by at least two High Court Judges. In case the final decision is to recall a sitting member of a legislature, the order must be given effect."
*An extract from Chapter 22 of Shiva Kant Jha's Autobiographical Memoir, On the Loom of Time pp. 338-339