Moderates as an institutional builder, not individual heroism
Moderates took the lead during the early phase of Indian freedom struggle. leaders like Pherozeshah Mehta, Dadabhai Naoroji were very critical of colonial administration. They mainly relied on prayer and petition approaches for countering British anti-Indian policies. People have criticized moderates for their prayer and petition approach. There might be a debate on their contributions but their contribution towards strengthening parliamentary democracy is unquestionable. They consistently fought for increasing more elected representative seats in both provincial and executive council. Parliamentary debates, Discussion, petition, etc were their weapons to fight against the colonial empire. Their consistent effort to make the legislative council more accountable to people has given us strong parliamentary governance.
Throughout the freedom struggle, people and leaders fought for representative institutions, constitution, universal adult suffrage. Their efforts have given us independent institutions like the supreme court, election commission, Parliament, etc. These institutions are the cornerstone for thriving democracy. Above all, It’s not an individual but a strong institution that shapes the nation for a very long time.
Popularism taking over the democratic strong public institution
we are obsessed with individual leaders.we have ignored to care about democratic multilateral institutions. Global and national institutions are overshadowed by charismatic leaders having a huge following. Unilateralism is taking over multilateralism, global institutions like WTO, UNO are regularly undermined and we pay no heed to it.
We are encountering an era where individuals are taking lead than institutions. leaders are taking popular decisions without considering its sustainability.
USA’s decision to withdraw from Paris climate agreement, The Unilateral Trade war, etc are decisions were popularism was favored over sustainability.
Strengthening the democratic Strong public Institutions
Individual heroism, charismatic leaders, mass following should not be the goal great leader. A true leader should instead focus on strengthening public institutions which will make this world a better place to live. Individuals do not live forever however strong institutions do.
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One brilliant example in honorable supreme court which has continuously and consistently played its role as guardian of the constitution and has helped in maintaining democratic and the secular fabric of our nation.
Institutions like the supreme court, the election commission, CAG, central information commission, etc are the cornerstone of our nation. These institutions ensure the democratic and secular character of the nation. People must realize that they are one of the most important pillars of democracy. Government behavior towards these important national institutions should be an important parameter to judge the government.
Democracy in Pakistan continues to lurk in dark. Their democratic institutions are not strong enough to counter military rule since its independence.
The character of India as a socialist, democratic and republic nation having secular fabric can be sustained through strong democratic public institutions. So, the government should resist diluting the power of these independent institutions. People along with the government should work towards making such institutions more representative and independent.
The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author.
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