Does India need its own Jasmine Revolution

The scenario in our country could hardly be grimmer than the one prevailing at present. Continually spiralling food prices, seemingly ineffective government, corruption oozing out of every vein of the body politic that is threatening to rupture any time, sinister designs spreading into institutions like Judiciary and Armed Forces that were hitherto unblemished, all indicate that the country is indeed facing the rough weather.

India had been lucky to have people of impeccable integrity leading its struggle for independence who framed a robust constitution. Unfortunately, the same can not be said of ‘the ones’ running it at present which include all three organs of the democratic system – the Executive, the Legislature and the Judicature.

The country is looking for solutions. We, the youth, are usually an impatient lot. We want discernible and quick actions against malaise. It is easy to get swayed by the popular revolutions elsewhere but to be able to differentiate among the ground realities is a scarce virtue. Moreover, a revolution could easily be hijacked by vested interests leading to a counter-productive result and we may as well be robbed of our constitution itself.

India is a proud and exemplary democracy. But trust in its core has been gradually eroding among its own citizens with each new corruption scandal coming to light. Joseph Kennedy, father of former President of the USA John F. Kennedy, once said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. We, as a country, need to remain tough and put our faith in the constitutional system of the country. Hope is the common theme running through the ongoing popular revolution in Egypt, the successful ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in Tunisia and our own struggle for independence. These events make us realise the importance of this difficult-to-sustain sentiment. Hope is vital to survival of a society through torrid and uncertain times.

The period of emergency in India was much more threatening to survival of the country as a viable democratic political entity. But the constitutional institutions and citizens won that battle decisively in the end. Therefore despair can not be the answer in current situation. We must not accept the status quo in governance. We must shun ‘nothing-will-change’ attitude and continue to be hopeful for a better future and work towards it. It is one thing to visualise change and completely other, to implement it.

It is not that efforts have not been made. The process of reforms is painfully long. Administrative Reforms Commission of India, in as far back as 1967 and as recently as in 2008, prescribed remarkable remedies for all that is wrong with our politico-administrative system. But implementation has not seen the light of the day due to vested interests. This problem is not unique to India. The world over, democratic systems have evolved over a long period of time.

But the ills of the system are still not so overwhelming as to warrant a remedy of last resort that is a popular revolution. There are elements within our democratic system that continue to uphold the constitutional premises. Recent interventions of the apex court on matters like 2G spectrum scam, CVC appointment, Police reforms and such are indicative of presence of these elements. Executive and legislative process to establish a Lokpal as an ombudsman against corruption, howsoever feeble, is underway. A significant number of honest officials and concerned politicians continue to wage a battle against the malignant system. A vibrant civil society continues to bargain for better legislations and denounce bad deals.

With hope and faith, we shall overcome these tough times. Youth of the country need to be at the forefront in hastening the process with a clear understanding of the situation and unwavering determination to seek better tomorrow, the kind imagined by our founding fathers.

Vishal Gupta

The author has deep interest in Indian Politics, Cricket and Bollywood. He is also fascinated by dynamic interaction of national interests in Geo-politics. He has graduated in Computer Science from BITS, Pilani.

Image Source: []