We live in a time when all democratic values are being violated and various anti-constitutional activities are rampant. Political power is being exercised by different kinds of mafia, which are deep rooted in the political system that controls and rules our so-called democracy. With nepotism and family politics being an integral part of things, democracy is gradually but undoubtedly taking a trip back into history when dynasties ruled.
Speaking of the mafias, which control the system, we still see feudal lords among our politicians who are confident of controlling others through various tactics. In short, those in power have now turned into power mafias.
From the Congress to the Dals to the BJP, every political party in power, irrespective of its orientation, has been instrumental in ensuring that power stays within its nexus, always within reach. That's the sad state of affairs today.
Political leaders are continuing to promote their family members, especially those from the younger generation, following a trend set by the Nehru family. Nepotism has been a common trait among all leaders, who don't seem to fear the judicial system. Once they are powerful, everything seems possible, even making way for someone to get away with criminal offences of varying degrees. With the exercise of democracy falling into such hands, the sufferer is the aam aadmi , who is forced to survive several challenges, while being deprived of all rights.
The religious mafia taking over political power is equally fatal to the democratic fabric of our society. The only difference here is that the strategy used is based on the ideology and beliefs it is affiliated to. When the political party it is affiliated to is in power its confidence doubles as it thinks it can get away with things with its support. In the case of Mohammad Nalapad, his father, N.A. Harris for a moment thought the same, but later failed to pull it off.
Being from a minority community has become a major hurdle for him. Things would not have been the same if they were from a majority community. This is something else we need to understand about how feudal power is practised even within political parties.
Attempts are made to force traditional ideologies of majority communities upon the rest even today. While this should lead to healthy debate, it is still absent, leading to the perpetuation of the vicious cycle.
Corporate mafias harm the system equally. Prominent industrialists have been entering politics just to influence how the system is run. Little do they care for democratic rights as their aim is lobbying. This genre of mafia ensures that its ideas flourish even at the cost of the basic rights of people.
Caste politics is clear even in the way these people promote one another. If not caste, they look for affinity in views on corporates and their policies. The next set of mafia is from the 'fourth estate.' The coverage space provided to real issues versus the sensational clearly shows its poor interest in highlighting them. Major developments are missed without many even realising it. Thus, everyone mentioned above is equally responsible for promoting a dynastic system.
If India has survived all these years as a union, its thanks to its Constitution, values and principles. While we call ourselves socialist, secular and democratic, the power of the mafias has resulted in rights being diluted. We are today in a state of emergency as the common man finds himself helpless. The judiciary failing to register suo motto cases has also adversely affected things over the years.
If isolated groups raise their concern over these issues, the fringe groups silence them by various smeans and gift them an 'anti-national' tag. Also, honest actions by bureaucrats are rewarded with transfers.
Ideally a leader should emerge, not be projected. We have reached a stage where citizens need to learn lessons from experiences and help their counterparts read into daily situations. There is now a need for an active movement. Leaders like Mewani, Chandrashekhar, Kanhaiya, Shehla and others should be given more space to express themselves and help others realise where our country is heading.
Revolutionary movements across the nation should take form at the earliest to put a hold on political criminalism before it takes a toll on the common man. If we fail to do so, the Constitution will lose its meaning and the country will have an unsafe ending!
The author is the Karnataka Chapter President of People's Union for Civil Liberties and is a Professor of Social Work at St Joseph's College
(As told to Ralph Alex Arakal)