What makes democracy better than Chinese Communist Dictatorship or Saudi Arabian theocratic monarchy?

There are many reasons. But the most important one is the presence of opposition. Why? Because, the opposition doesn’t let the ruling party to run its own whims. It keeps a check on the ruling party from getting get unbridled power unlike in a communist dictatorship.

In Modiji’s words the job of opposition is to “hold and show mirror to the ruling party”.

Today the single largest opposition party is Congress. Lets analyze if the Congress is doing its job as opposition in an effective manner?

  1. They block or walk out of the parliament for no significant reasons. This has resulted to bills getting passed without debates. Due to this, the common public is unable to know the Govt’s perspective of the laws. Even our CJI has complained that due to lack of debates, the judgement delivery of the courts may affected in case of any ambiguity.
  2. It seems the Congress is jealous of the Govt. Instead of trying to prove itself better, it has resorted to slandering Modiji and his team. A person becomes jealous once (s)he is convinced that (s)he cannot beat the other. For the opposition to have such a mentality is dangerous for democracy.
  3. Congress is not adhering to the basic principle of democracy. How? We see no internal democracy congress. Sonia is the President for last 23 years. Though there is a Congress Working committee (CWC), most people in CWC are selected by the Congress President (Sonia) so that she has the final say in the matters.
  4. Congress is not adhering to the principle of secularism. It has become Talibanized. Refer to my article here.
  5. Congress due to the lack of democracy has become the private property of one dynasty. So in order to stay in power, the dynasty focusses on giving freebies just to win elections so that they can stay in power for ever. In this process the long term interest of the nation (at the cost of short term pains) are ignored.
  6. Due to the rule of a dynasty, talent is not promoted. Why? The dynasts feel insecure when some one smarter than them appears on horizon. The best example is the departure of dynamic leaders like Himanta Biswa Sharma and Jyotiraditya Schindia. This has resulted to the reduction of overall talent in Congress which has resulted to the lowering the bar in Indian politics.

Coming to our original question, what should Congress do to remain a tough and dynamic opposition?

  1. It should stop paying lip service to democracy. Just as charity begins at home, Congress should first adopt democracy in its own house. This means that there should be internal elections and rotation of power. Lets not forget that Nehru became the PM in spite of getting only one vote. Congress needs to be true to democracy to its heart. If I look at Indira Gandhi’s passing of 39th and 42nd Constitutional Amendment acts, I doubt Congress’s commitment to democracy.
  2.  It should become secular: I had written in this article that congress has been Talibanized. It needs to de-Talibanize itself and become a secular party.
  3. It should attack the Govt on real failures: Whenever the party feels the govt is not doing right, it should vociferously attack the Govt. In the process of slandering Govt. it should not slander the armed forces or the institutions.
  4. It should support the Govt when it does right things: The Govt deserves a pat on back when it does something right. This will encourage the ministers. Congress should do that. That will also increase the faith of people on Congress leadership.
  5. It should create a parallel ministry: IN order to track the work of the Govt, it should create a parallel ministry so that every ministry’s work is scrutinized and criticized whenever needed. This will keep the Govt on its hooks and never become complacent.
  6. Should promote talent: Due to the principle of dynastic succession, talent is suppressed instead of being nurtured. Congress should  have the process of internal democracy where in the leaders at the grassroot are identified and can move to the top. The opposite happens today in congress.
  7. Bite the bullet: Come out of the shadow of Gandhis. This may cause a temporary leadership and financial crisis, but in longer term it will make Congress stronger.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.