Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Nouveau Way of Concencus

This week Ireland has gone for a knife-edged referendum on the European Union's new reform treaty. The Prime Minister of Ireland and his government raised their voice in its favour, knowing fully well that the rejection could plunge and cripple the 27 nation bloc into a fiasco. Brian Cowen, the PM voiced his confidence in the matter, saying that the three million countrymen (voters) would back the Lisbon treaty, after his whirlwind tour of the Irish Midland. Before the vote, the opinion poll registered that the result would be too close to call. The campaign went into an unprecedented war of words, making the people aware with numerous statistics from both sides. There was a belligerent mood all through the streets of Dublin.

After the vote, the result showed a shock rejection of the Treaty. The opposition to the motion polled 53.4 percent against 46.4 percent in favour. The PM of Ireland gracefully conceded the defeat, and has assured the nation that he would not move further favouring the issue.

In a country like India, there is a consistent functioning democracy, involving a powerful Parliament to the core. However, many important issues of national interests could not see the first light of dawn because of the different opinions and vested interests of the parliamentarians. In recent time, the nuclear deal made people known about the pros and cons of the agreement through a long period. Another issue which could not find its natural execution due to varied opinions and promoting party-interests over the national ones. The sentence for capital punishment to Afjal Guru by the Supreme Court for plotting, abetting terror in the premises of Parliament and killing the security personnel on job. The two major political parties claim altogether opposite opinion. The President of India and the Supreme Court looked fools before the game orchestrated by these parties.

Can't we, like Ireland, move a step further, and bring in the hard issues for the referendum? Our Parliament must move forward the bills of consequence and implement these within a particular frame of time. It is their job. If they cannot do it in a specified time, they must relinquish the matter to the people, who in turn seek referendum.

Now the challenge arises in the context of India, that who would take part in the referendum, where half of its population are unaware of the national interests due to lack of education. Ireland is a developed country, and its people are cent percent literate and understand their edification, unlike India. In order to find out a consensus, a nouveau way of shouldering the responsibility may be thrust on the educated people of India. Citizens of India who are graduates may share the responsibility of taking the major and exceptional decisions by voting in the referendum. Democracy does not mean that the electoral practice would take place once in five years, and people of a big nation hang around the politicians and live lives at their mercy. It should spread in a varied way so that people understand the gravity and its real usage. The people of the country feel cheated when they found that the women's reservation bill was first heard before the general election of 1992 and since it has been hanging fire, buckled under pressure from all political parties, and five elections have soaked through, without any outcome. How long shall we pacify ourselves by claiming that we are a democratic nation of 60 years?


Blogger aeroinfo said...

why just the graduates get to make the decisions when everyone above 18 is allowed to vote.

July 1, 2008 at 10:35 AM  

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