There needs to be a radical adjustment in our polity and governance to achieve a strong and safe India.
I would be very interested in hearing an expanded definition of this. Why would someone like urself, a realist who sees the futility of waiting for Utopian solutions like the IM community coming to its senses, argue for the above, unless s(he) has a clear vision of this succinct solution? Please tell us your vision of the solution.
Who will make the "radical adjustment in our polity"? How radical? Suspend the Constitution to Save the Nation, like what goes on west of the LOC? "Strong and safe India" - what does that mean? Safe for whom and from what? Safe from government abuse of power? Safe from mob rule? Or only safe from random bombs?
Can this be done without a "monolithic" majority? Or how do u propose to achieve a monolithic majority? What are the right incentives and disincentives to bring about, and how would you bring these about?
Thanks! I await the solution.
Sorry for the delayed response. I had to attend to an emergency. Then, the forum was down briefly.
Anyway, I am not suggesting that I have all the answers. I am merely pointing out that there are no incentives or compulsions for IM to think differently in the current situation.
Now to your questions and my attempt at the answers:
Polity simply is an organized society, such as a nation, having a specific form of government. Governance relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It is not enough to have good policies and laws, but, they need to be enforced forcefully.
The radical adjustment I would like to see is (actually many of these are not radical at all, but, commonsensical and necessary for survival of the nation):
1. Every citizen of India will have equal rights and responsibilities. There will be uniform civil code. No group or region makes laws and the Indian constitution is the supreme law of the land.
2. Government would not promote or interfere with religion. Government would relinquish all responsibility to temples and other places of worship and they are left entirely to be governed by their own religious boards. Government would not subsidize any religious group/s.
3. Government would not recognize or promote castes or groups. All caste based reservations will be removed. Help can be accorded based on economic status, geography, family’s education or handicap.
4. All regions of the country are equal and the citizens are free to live wherever they choose. Section 370 will be removed.
5. The government will deal with terrorism in the most serious manner. POTA like laws are needed to handle such cases and death penalty usually awarded to the terrorists. Once the judicial appeals are exhausted the state would summarily put these terrorists to death. The president simply can decline clemency and the terrorist will be hanged. The president or the federal government cannot sit on the case, but, are compelled to act within a prescribed short time. Sedition is treated very seriously and severe punishment will await treasonous people.
6. Sedition is treated very seriously and severe punishment will await people who commit treason.
7. Government employees will be paid competitive salaries. Corruption will not be tolerated. Special courts will be established with lay elected judges/juries to preside over and judge graft cases locally.
8. Armed forces will be paid competitively. Proper honor and status will be accorded to the military personnel. Leadership structures for the three forces are strengthened.
9. There will be national ID or social security cards. All citizens must file income tax returns – whether they owe taxes to the state or not.
10. No illegal structures will be tolerated whether they are slums or businesses/rich folk encroaching on public property.
11. Strengthen IT department and improve tax collection and monitoring of disproportionate income.
12. There will be judicial affairs committee in the parliament that oversees the judges’ conduct.
13. Judiciary similarly is strengthened to keep a watch on the elected officials.
14. Strengthen central police organizations and accord them full powers to investigate, arrest and try the criminals in the court when federal laws are broken.
15. At the same time decentralize state police organizations. Let every town have their own elected police captain/Sheriff.
16. Make the administrative services (IAS, IPS, IFS, etc) powerful and make them independent of the governments. They should be seen as cream of the crop with strong sense of nationalism. Their allegiance essentially is to the constitution.
17. No bandhs are tolerated. People will have the right to demonstrate peacefully after obtaining proper clearances with the concerned cities and other agencies.
18. NGOs will have to register with the government. Their funding sources need to be documented and closely scrutinized.
19. Proper decorum is maintained in legislatures and the parliament with heavy sanctions and penalties for misbehavior. Criminals are not allowed to contest elections.
20. Border security is paramount for survival of the nation. Massive infrastructural and man power improvements will be undertaken in this regard.
21. Indian government will not allow other powers to interfere in her “near abroad”. India will assist Indian diaspora wherever they are.
22. Free markets and free trade are promoted.
In my view, the above defines “strong India” for everyone.
Yes, these can be achieved with the “monolithic majority” of normal, peace loving ordinary Indians.
Incentive is peace and tranquility and living to one’s full potential and achieving the dreams and aspirations for their kith and kin.
Disincentives are jail or worse if you violate the law.
Who will do this? Patriotic Indians.
Of course it is not easy. We need charismatic and vibrant leaders who can energize the people and who also can get financial support from all sections. At the very least someone ought to go to the people with such a plank.