Taking a nuanced view on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s dharna, the CPI (ML) argues that the need of the hour is to reform the police and make it accountable. An editorial inthe weekly ML Update backs Kejriwal’s demand for fixing accountability of policemen in the cases of rape of a Danish woman and a dowry death. But it is also critical of Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti and his actions.
“There are some opinions in the media voiced primarily by the Congress and the BJP and ideologues of the ruling elite who have described the dharna as anarchy and a negation of governance. Revolutionary communists and consistent democrats reject this elitist, bureaucratic stand and uphold the right of any elected government to launch agitations in the interest of democracy and the people,” it states.
The editorial pointed out that the demand to granting full statehood to Delhi and to bring Delhi Police under the jurisdiction of the elected state government is a long-standing demand of the people of Delhi, and the Delhi government is perfectly within its rights to insist upon it. It noted that Bharti has come in for serious public criticism and instead of responding to that criticism, senior AAP leaders are ridiculing protesters, defending Bharti and demanding action against the Malviya Nagar SHO for not obeying Bharti’s orders.
It says that in matters involving the rights of minorities and sections vulnerable to bias and prejudice, the police must uphold the laws and constitutional norms strictly, rather than act at the bidding of ministers or mob sentiment.
“Instead of the token demand of getting a few SHOs transferred and beyond the Delhi-specific demand of bringing Delhi Police under the jurisdiction of the elected government of Delhi, this Republic Day let us insist on the urgent agenda of implementing democratic police reforms in the country to make policing people-friendly and bring it in strict consonance with the law of the land, provisions of the Constitution and democratic rights,” it concludes.
DON’T BE PRESIDENTIAL
As the Congress clarified that Rahul Gandhi would lead the party’s election campaign in 2014, months after the BJP declared Narendra Modi its prime ministerial candidate, the CPM has argued that the NaMo-RaGa cacophony is eroding the foundations of Indian parliamentary democracy by threatening to replace it with a version of presidential democracy. An editorial in the journal People’s Democracy claims that the RSS/BJP have long advocated that the replacement of the current parliamentary democratic system with a presidential one.
“The BJP in its 1991 election manifesto articulated that it would appoint ‘a commission to study and report on whether the presidential system of government will be more suitable than the present parliamentary system’. A presidential form concentrates all powers in one leader. The president inducts key personnel to run the state apparatus, which is not directly accountable to Parliament. By advocating this system, the BJP is acting as the political arm of the RSS,” it opines.
It alleges that the Congress and the BJP are seeking to subvert the system instead of realising that their long-standing allies leaving their coalitions is due to popular pressure from below, where the people are seeking an alternative policy trajectory that will provide them relief from present miseries. “Given this, wherever an electoral alternative was available, it received people’s support, as seen in the recent state assembly elections… what we need is not merely an electoral alternative but a policy alternative,” it states.
CORE OF CORRUPTION
The CPI weekly New Age makes the case that the fight against corruption cannot continue in isolation and argues it has to be linked to the economic policies to which both the Congress and the BJP subscribe. An editorial criticises the Congress’s plan to pass pending anti-corruption legislation, saying that while it talks about fight against corruption, on the other its Maharashtra government exonerated all politicians involved in the Adarsh scam.
“That makes it clear how serious Congress is about curbing corruption. The same applies to the BJP, which has brought former the Karnataka chief minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa back into the party fold… corruption in high places is the legitimate child of the policies of neoliberalism to which most of our bourgeois political parties, national or regional, are committed… But it cannot be fought in isolation,” it concludes.
Compiled by Manoj C.G.