Thursday, November 24, 2005

Bihar elections-A feather in the cap for the EC

The last few weeks have been really a testing time for many people including the political big wigs(Life for the common man has always been difficult in post independence India).Elections in Bihar were just round the corner.That too for the second time in a year.I mean,things can hardly get worse than this for the hapless people.But along with this one must also spare a thought for the Election Commission.The people at the head of the EC really deserve all the credit for conducting free and fair elections in a state which is plagued with innumerable problems.Lack of development in Bihar was just one of the issues of the elections.The much bigger issues were the ones concerning Maoists who are now in control of a sizeable part of the state having established their own "government" in these parts,the entry of a number of mafia dons in these elections(from all the political parties),the possibility of violence between the different political parties(did I just say possibility),ensuring that no booth capturing took place.The list is just endless.Conducting elections in a state like Bihar which is plunged in complete anarchy is a mammoth task.The EC truly deserves much more than a pat on its back.
The two pillars of democracy in India which are still doing their job honestly in a silent way are the judiciary and the EC.The other pillars like the administrative services and the security forces have just gone to the dogs(pun intended).If the common man can have any hopes of justice then the higher judiciary is still there for him.Likewise, the EC has always strived to ensure that the common man gets to excercise his right to vote and the people get the government they want.One can never forget the trying times that the EC had to go through during the elections in states like J&K and Gujarat(after the riots in 2002).The list will just go on increasing if one counts elections in Punjab after the Khalistan movement,W.Bengal after the Naxalburi uprising,Maharashtra after the Bombay riots and the elections to the Lok Sabha after the Ram Mandir movement.These were trying times for the country.On each of these occasions the EC did complete justice to its job.Many times the EC had to intervene in affairs that were not strictly within their jurisdiction,because things were being done in a way which were against the welfare of the common man.One of the most glaring examples were the elections in Gujarat where the NDA government led by "statesman" A B Vajpayee wanted elections as soon as possible(for obvious reasons).The leaders of the ruling party like Arun Jaitley went so far as to claim that 98% of the state had returned to normalcy.The state adminitration also echoed the same opinion.It was a different issue that thousands of people had been rendered homeless and the names of many people had been missing from the voting list.It was made out as if the people living in the refugee camps were refugees in the real sense of the word and had come from some other planet.
But,the EC saw through all this hogwash and did not conduct the elections until the state had returned returned to complete normalcy.I still remember the words that then CEC J M Lyngdoh used when he ticked off many of the IAS officers from the state administration.He very famously stated in front of the TV cameras "What kind of stories were you people telling us over there about things being under control.Aren't you ashamed of yourself?"These are the kind of people who have actually done their job with complete honesty and integrity,without bowing to pressure from any quarter.These are the kind of people and institutions who make me proud of being an Indian.These are the institutions which still leave a glimmer of hope for the people.The day these pillars of democracy collapse it won't take long for the country and the polity to be led by thugs and goons who have already entered mainstream politics.


Blogger Sunil Natraj said...

I dunno what to say!! Awesome post buddy.

By the way, do u know any judgements that might go in favor? Or else, the Judiciary is on my list. :-)

5:08 AM  
Blogger Pranav said...

Hey buddy I don't know which kind of judgements u are aware of.I can give u umpteen examples about this like the one where the TN govt had agreed to the demand of the separatists to realease apprx 100 terrorists affiliated to various extremist outfits and the HC or the SC with the brilliant S P Bharucha on the bench gave the govt a rap on its knuckles and struck down the decision of the govt to realease the separitists.Then there is also the eg of the pre-emergency days where the courts had struck down the election victory of Indira Gandhi and forced her to resign from the post of the PM by declaring that those elections in her constituency were rigged.I can site our own court case eg where the decision has been in favour of the students in the HC.I'll let u know about some more decisions later.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Sunil Natraj said...

I was referring to SIES vs Nirmal P Narayan and others :-P

5:24 PM  
Blogger Sunil Natraj said...

In the Supreme Court. The current interim order was a shocker to say the least. I was even amazed that they admitted the case. After all the judgement was given by the Chief Justice.
No matter what, I do repose my faith in the Judiciary. But there have been pathetic rulings too. Rajiv Gandhi in Bofors; Jayalalitha in God knows how many; Narasimha Rao corruption-he was let go finally to name a few.


5:28 PM  
Blogger R said...

yeah, Lyngdoh was a gem.

12:24 AM  

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