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Goody-goody things about democracy and India apart, let us first see what Indian democracy is. It is important because the Indian constitution is a paradise of ‘lawyers’, it is poetry – a long poem, an artwork of great beauty, a wishful thinking of idealist minds and the like. It allows for almost anything and everything and therefore, it has been amended so frequently. It allows for every irregularity, every injustice and every sort of justice. It allows for a complete ‘soft state.’ It allows for freedom to speak so much so that recently a political leader equated the Governor with a dog and like any good news it flashed and was dissolved into the black body of party politics. The Governor was cool about it; the Court (that could take up such things suo motu) was cool about it. Why? Calling a Governor a dog is praising him for his loyalty! It is difficult to suggest the measures to be taken to improve the Indian democracy; yet, I am giving some odd suggestions.


Zero tolerance to criminality:

(a) If a person, on the day of submitting his candidature for any election, has any criminal case pending against him/ her or he/she has ever been found guilty by the court, his candidature will be summarily rejected. (b) Further, if he has been elected and later on, during his term, it is found that he was in class (a) above, which could not be applicable either due to non-availability of information or suppression of information, his term will be immediately cut short. Sure, this provision will induce instability in the political domain, but this instability will find its own resolution.

Zero tolerance to religious reference:

(a) If a political leader (whether elected or not) uses or has ever used a public forum to make a reference to any religion whatsoever, he/she disqualifies to fight an election. His candidature will be summarily rejected by the election commission. However, when a politician is already elected, and a proof is provided that he/she could fall in category (a) above, his/her term will be immediately cut short.

Zero tolerance to caste reference:

(a) If a political leader (whether elected or not) uses or has ever used a public forum to make a reference to any caste (including caste categories such as SC/ST/General, etc) whatsoever, he/she disqualifies to fight an election. His candidature will be summarily rejected by the election commission. However, when a politician is already elected, and a proof is provided that he/she could fall in category (a) above, his/her term will be immediately cut short.

Sudhanshu K Mishra

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