many educated Indians who are frustrated with the politicians
tend to think that "recall" is a wonderful instrument
by which the ills of the political system can be cured.
could be farther from the truth. While, politicians can
be impeached for specific crimes, temporary unpopularity
cannot be the grounds for either impeachment or recall.
It would be a mockery of democratic process. It is always
easy to unite against an incumbent, particularly in a plural
and caste-ridden society like ours. Therefore, recall must
be a rare weapon to be sparingly used and can only be applied
in local governments - that too with safeguards.
this episode has exposed the cynical nature of modern media.
While they shrilly describe the nature of the problem, they
are silent in offering solutions. As a result, frustration
and despair about the democratic process are taking root,
and people tend to view both politics and politicians in
a negative light. Nothing could be more harmful for democracy
in the long run than this negative portrayal of the political
traditional politicians are indulging in abuse of each other
and are increasingly resorting to mudslinging as a way of
campaigning. This is only turning off people and making
them more cynical. Healthy respect for political opponents,
and cordiality in public discourse are critical for furthering
The situation in India is not that different. The media
routinely vilify the politicians and pontificate on the
nature of our problems without offering even a hint of a
solution. Our colourful politicians merrily engage in belittling
their opponents. When they lose, most of our politicians
don't even have the grace to accept the people's verdict
and instead tend to portray the opponent's victory as a
sad day for democracy!
of the educated and the middle classes are completely turned
off from the political process and have a cynical view of
democracy. Many think that if only they have a dictator
like Musharraf, everything will be fine. It is not only
wishful but dangerous thinking. What ever could be the ills
of democracy, the cure lies only in more and better democracy.
onus is on every section of the society to restore people's
faith in the democratic process. The media should learn
to behave more responsibly and instead of focusing on attention
grabbers and sensation-mongers, should focus on issues that
make a difference to the people like education, health care,
infrastructure, quality of justice and rule of law. In these
troubled times, the media are the only tool citizens have.
Happily, our media are largely free, fearless and creative.
It is the strength of media, which defended our liberty
and sustained our democracy. But the media do need to take
a leading role in changing the nature of our public discourse.
the politicians should refrain from negative campaigning
solely focused on telling the voters how bad the opponent
is and instead engage people on substantive issues. Ultimately,
they have to win the people's minds and hearts through a
positive message based on a citizen-centered agenda.
finally, the people themselves should stop shunning the
political process. Only when the thinking citizens start
taking an active role in public affairs can the health of
the democracy be restored. This is the only route to restoring
the faith in the democratic process, and improving the quality