Elections in India has undergone its silent evolution, today the electoral fortunes of representatives nominated by the political parties largely hinge on the pivotal figure of the party (who is most likely the Prime Ministerial candidate of India or the Chief Ministerial candidate of the state). The popularity and trust gained by this single pivotal figure swing the fortunes of his/her political party. This is a trend very similar to the presidential electoral race of the United States. While India has evolved into quasi-presidential form (when it comes to choosing you elected representatives), it has to live with the limitations of the representative democracy that India is.
So what is the biggest limitation of Indian representative democracy?
According to article 74 of the Indian constitution, the Prime Minister has to choose his council of ministers from the elected members of either house of the parliament. The elected members have no prior qualification requirements and hence it is largely by chance that Indian citizens get experts to head any specific ministry. On the contrary, the US president has a free hand in choosing his cabinet and hence the policy making body largely has experts with domain knowledge.
Does domain expertise help in better policy decisions?
Certainly yes, but the biggest requirement of any representative would be to represent the aspirations of the people, have their ears to the ground and affect policy decisions that serve the larger good. India in the past and present have had fantastic ministers who not really have domain expertise, yet, if given a choice, India could perhaps come up with better policy initiatives with experts on their side.
How relevant is the representative democracy in India?
Relevance and irrelevance depend on how many people vote based on the candidate of a particular constituency. India still elects its fair share of independent candidates, that would mean a lot of times of the profile of the candidate do play a role. There are also a large number of elected representatives with criminal backgrounds, that largely means, people are voting for the pivotal figure of the party and hence they overlook the profile of the candidate they vote for.
At a time when innovation drives many western nation’s growth, isn’t it time for India to think of the way where we could bring in experts into policy-making positions?
Could India take some of the aspects of presidential democracy and incorporate into our representative democracy, to make it work to our benefit?
Could we do a course change and transform ourselves into a presidential form of democracy?
We leave it to your imagination. Do share your thoughts.
It’s so easy to say, “Follow your heart” or “Follow your dreams” but when one actually tries to take that leap of liberty, the society reinforces its shackles. In myriad ways, the age-old traditions come to stop the dreams of the youth. This is more manifest in the case of girls and women. However, passion can’t be contained and restrained for long.
This is the story of Roshni Misbah. Breaking stereotypes, she aspires to be a professional racer. Her journey has been tough, to say the least. Consider this, a hijab-wearing woman riding a sports bike with panache on the Indian roads amid stares, taunts and jeers.
The parents at home know too that society will be unkind and hesitant to accept someone who is flouting the age-old norms. Perhaps, this is why the parents resort to worry and scoldings. However, if the fire of liberty has been lit inside an individual, then it’s only a matter of time before they will rise like a phoenix, gloriously new-born from the ashes.
Roshni has covered over 15,000 km riding more than 60 bikes. She shares, “The sight of a girl on a sports bike deeply dents egos of some men and the taunts start.” It’s not easy to follow one’s dream if there are self-proclaimed proprietors of ‘decency’ at every nook and corner. Yet, Roshni stands tall.
It’s not easy to stand up to your parents and then face the issues they warned you about from society. Is it not right to follow one’s dreams and one’s own heart? If people do not break stereotypes, then all the potential for achievement and innovation will die unfulfilled. If doing something does not break a law, then what gives the right to anyone to comment and object to it?
This is the 21st century. Till when we will allow ourselves to be controlled by the whims and desires of those whose opinions deserve no merit or consideration. If this is not the right time for talented and courageous women to take a stand, then when will that time come.
“When I will walk, you will stare. When I will lose, you will laugh at me, taunt me. But, at the speed of 234 km/h, I wouldn’t hear all this,” says an undaunted Roshni. It’s time we show our support to their leap of liberty and as a society, we come together and say #ChalBadhChal.
The Logical Indian commends the passion and spirit of Roshni Misbah and appreciates Leap 7X by Liberty Shoes for bringing up this story.