by the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
Imagine a cricket match where the umpire is biased, he purposefully favors one team and makes life hell for the other team during the match. He declares the other team’s batsmen out when they aren’t and when the team he favors comes to bat, he regularly gives no balls and wides on valid deliveries and does not give out on bowling side appeals. Do you think you will enjoy the match?
The same goes for our democratic institutions, the neutrality of these institutions should not be under dispute and yet in the ongoing Bengal polls, this neutrality is very much under question. The Election Commission should come clean on the incident of EVM machine being found in BJP candidate’s car. An allegation by the BJP candidate was also made that during the last Loksabha election some EVMs were not counted because of pressure from TMC. Such allegations undermine Election Commission’s credibility. EC working has come under scrutiny quite a lot lately. Transparency and strict adherence to rules should be followed and watchdog auditing should be instituted to instill confidence.
The situation in Maharashtra seems to be much worse because when Police itself is caught running the extortion racket then what can be said about the law and order situation in the state. The impunity with which Sachin Vaze, an officer in Mumbai’s Crime Branch orchestrated the bomb scare outside the house of India’s richest man simply shows that he had the backing of some very powerful people in the state. It’s not that Police in India enjoy a wider public trust, in fact, it’s one of the most corrupt instruments of the state. But the corruption and criminal extent that has been uncovered in the Police system in Maharashtra was something only heard in public gossips.
Democracy is all about confidence, just take the case of Covid mismanagement. When it comes to political rallies political parties were given a free pass to organize mass events with thousands of people and the state and central governments expect people to remain indoors and refrain from going outside. The economic effects of last year’s lockdown are still visible. Restaurants, movie halls, colleges, and schools are empty and it doesn’t look like they will be opening any time soon. Locking everything up randomly without planning will make it very difficult for economic recovery. Having one rule for “Netas” and another for “Janta” is not something that instills confidence in public.
For our politicians, it’s all about being in power and winning elections, we the people are simply not on that priority list but many don’t want to acknowledge this ugly fact.