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SYNOPSIS [7th March,2022] Day 36: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. How does politicisation of appointments to constitutional posts affect democratic governance? Analyse. (10 Marks)
Candidates need to write about politicization of the Constitutional post also analyze how it is affecting the Democratic governance.
Politicization is a practice in which the political party winning an election rewards its campaign workers and other active supporters by appointment to constitutional or government posts and with other favours it’s known as patronage system.
Constitutional bodies are those bodies which are mentioned in the constitution and receive their power and authority from the constitution. For eg. UPSC, CAG etc.
Politicization of appointment affect the Democratic governance:
- Constitutional posts are vested with such important responsibility and function which helps them in ensuring the accountability. With making the political appointment the agenda of such bodies are sacrificed.
- During the last few years, the governors of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and, of course, West Bengal have played their roles in such a way as to make them highly controversial without necessarily adding to the glory of the office.
- Due to political posting there are delays in conducting the inquiry and in delivering judgements. Also, there is a perception that the Commission tends to confirm the government’s position on most cases.
- National commission for SC and ST: The atrocities and backwardness of majority of people under SC are still continuing even after 70 years of independence. They have failed to secure the forest rights, welfare of ST’s which can be seen in their social indicators.
- For example incidents like dalit lynching in Una, Gujarat; caste related honour killings in Haryana shows that the NCSC or NCST as been ineffective in delivering.
- Majority of State service commissions have been embroiled in controversies like corruption, nepotism etc.
- Despite playing the most important role CAG has gone through challenges due to it’s political appointment there are many task unexamined by the CAG under pressure of the government.
- Election Commission being the supreme authority to conduct free and fair elections many times come under hammer of the government. For example “directive” from the PMO has raised concerns about the independent functioning of the Commission, whose autonomy successive CECs have sought to protect zealously.
Constitutional bodies are said to be of utmost importance in maintaining accountability but due to politicization as mentioned previously, they are not able to function to their fullest potential. If these issues are addressed on war footing, then they can achieve their goal as stipulated.
2. Do you think electoral code of conduct can be enforced more strictly? Why or why not? Substantiate your views.
Students are expected to write about the electoral code of conduct substantiate your view whether it should be enforced strictly or not.
The electoral Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the election Commission of India to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections, in order to ensure a free and fair election.
Purpose of Enforcing it strictly:
- Free and fair election is the soul of democracy. To safeguard and further strengthen our democracy code of conducts must be made legally enforceable.
- Election Commission of India (ECI) will get certain executive power to check unethical behavior of political parties.
- It helps EC in keeping with the mandate it has been given under Article 324 of the Constitution, which gives it the power to supervise and conduct free and fair elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures.
- Currently MCC does not specify the type of punishment that may arise from a violation of its provisions. There is no classification of violations based on the severity of the act with statutory status there will be some development.
- The absence of specific norms on exercising its powers can lead the EC to arbitrariness and individual bias. For example Mayawati was banned from public meetings by the EC for 48 hours, due to her appeal to Muslims whereas other politicians were appealing openly. Enacting a law will give EC full autonomy to take action unbiasedly.
Enforcing it strictly not a good idea:
- Morality cannot be enforced by law. To follow code of conduct in true spirit and to not adopt any circumvention of law, one has to imbibe political morality in himself/herself.
- Code of conduct can be followed only by moral conviction. For this one must have moral principles and ability to do moral analysis. Law alone will not be sufficient.
- Chief Justice Earl Warren once remarked: “In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics.” Without development of political ethics making code of conduct legally enforceable will not be sufficient.
- Politicians have devised ingenious ways to circumvent the code of conduct. For instance wearing clothes of particular colour; using encrypted sentences in campaign speeches etc.
- Digital companies like Facebook are run by companies located overseas. Holding them accountable has been difficult for Indian agencies.
- Social media has blurred distinction between private and public. New age tools like live webcasting, making election campaign related stuff go ‘Viral’, bringing in celebrities ‘influencers’ etc. have made implementation of MCC a complex task.
- Moral erosion and criminalization of politics has rendered all codes of conduct ineffective. With enforcement of code of conduct there will be number of election litigation and election disputes it will halt the Democratic representation process.
- According to EC, elections must be completed within a relatively short time or close to 45 days and judicial proceedings typically take longer, therefore it is not feasible to make it enforceable by law.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad one remarked, “The future of our nation will not depend on whether it is ruled by this law or that, but on the men who rules it.” Hence development of morality is more important than legislation.
3. Do you think India’s policy of strategic autonomy or non-alignment is just a prettified language for ducking hard choices? Critically comment.
Candidates need to comment or give his views critically (covering both positive and negative sides) about India’s policy of strategic autonomy or non-alignment being just a prettified language for ducking hard choices.
India’s choice of non-alignment as the definitive feature of its foreign policy during the bipolar Cold War era arguably represented India’s intention to practice strategic autonomy, by projecting an aversion to war, alliances, and power politics. The recent unfolding geopolitical milieu has clearly prompted India to re-examine its status in the international system, and reflect upon the central undercurrent of its foreign policy orientation: the practice of strategic autonomy, whether through non-alignment in the bipolar Cold Ward era, or multi-alignment in the emerging multipolar era.
India’s policy of strategic autonomy or non-alignment is just a prettified language for ducking hard choices: critical examination
- The articulation of non-alignment and India’s objectives for pursuing the policy of strategic autonomy have since been subjected to varied misinterpretations.
- From few callings, it “immoral” and wrongly identifying it as “neutrality,” to perceived notions of India breaking its vows of non-alignment by signing the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union in 1971, India’s ability and willingness to practice strategic autonomy through non-alignment has often come under scrutiny.
- With the end of the Cold War and the coming of a brief unipolar era, non-alignment began to encounter carpers who questioned its relevance, and the lure of practicing strategic autonomy came under scrutiny as well.
- Through the practice of strategic autonomy, India strives for an ideal traction giving it “maximum options in its relations with the outside world.”
- It is expected “to enhance India’s strategic space and capacity for independent agency,” allowing maximum flexibility and manoeuvrability to increase the options for India’s choices to promote and protect its interest.
- However, the practice of strategic autonomy is bound to come under circumstantial limitations.
- Strategic autonomy articulated as non-alignment during the Cold War era imbibed the idea that alliance-driven power politics in any iteration would be detrimental to the development of a newly independent nation such as India.
- The transformed geopolitical environment after the Cold War saw India adapt the practice of strategic autonomy to fully exploit the opportunities the globalized world had to offer.
- Ridding itself of its non-aligned past, India now espouses “alignment based on issues” rather than ideology, thereby maintaining “decisional autonomy.”
- It is interesting to note that India’s non-alignment, and hence its practice of strategic autonomy, have been questioned because of both its closeness to the Soviet Union during certain phases of the Cold War, and currently its strategic congruence with the United States.
- However, these foreign policy orientations on India’s part rather represent the practice of strategic autonomy, to protect India’s core interest in the face of exigent geopolitical scenarios.
- Currently, India has found strategic convergence with a number of countries, which see a joint interest in managing the ramifications of a rising and aggressive China. Whether the Quad is a “concert of powers” or a budding “Asian NATO” remains in the realm of conjecture.
- However, India’s alignment with like-minded countries toward evolving a “free, open, inclusive and rules based” Indo-Pacific also happens at a time when India will have to simultaneously navigate its way through its complex relationships with countries like China and Russia, and multilateral groupings like the BRICS and SCO.
India has come to “discover the benefits of working with different powers on different issues” in the multipolar world, which he likens to “having many balls up in the air at the same time and displaying the confidence and dexterity to drop none.