My Views

Tilted Roof?

Posted in Polity, State by dullar on April 8, 2007

Democracy of India is said to be lying on the roof which is supported by four pillars. These are government(executive), legislature, judiciary, and tradition. India as one nation is stading on this roof and it is for the good of everybody that the roof remains level and strong. But of late there is a pan-India debate that how successful these pillars has been in making the roof stable and level. Sometime there is tussle between legislature and other time that is between executive and judiciary. The latest stay that SC have put on the OBC quotas in higher educational institutions has left government kind of frustrated. Not many days back, SC’s verdict that 9th schedule is not out of the perview of judicial review had also made the air between judiciary and executive uneasy. Government’s opinion about the whole issue was conveyed by Mr Manmohan Singh today. He said the writ of mandamus is applied quite often by the SC and termed it as its over-reach in executive matters. CJI balakrishnan has been quoted as saying “The application to judicial review to determine constitutionality of the legislation and to review the executive decision sometimes creates tension between the judge and the legislative and the executive branch. Such tension is natural and to some extent desirable.” Again the degree of the extent of the desirability is an issue of debate.

Regarding the OBC quota issue, goverment is right in its own place that a caste census at this juncture in democracy is not desirable and will have its own consequences. These relate to hightened sense of intra-caste rift and such caste consciousness do not auger well for the fraternity of this country. But without a credible census how come government will decide about the extent of backwardness and the limit for the creamy layers. If govermnet is really sincere about the welfare and socio-educational justice for the downtrodden of this country then it shoul make sure that genuine fruits of the reservation reach the point where they are targetted. SC itself has said that it is not against the basic principle of the reservation and the concept of affirmative action/positive discrimination in favour of socially and educationally backward classes.A caste census entails its own disadvantages like, there are no castes in Islam, but are entitled for the reservation. Term caste and class are very confusing and its hard to conclude a trade off between the two.

As far as the balance between judiciary and executive are concerned, democracy has evolved to conclude the debate on its own, but the course of action is the matter of attention for all of us to see.


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