A brilliant article / idea from Sadanand Dhume in the Washington Post last week is close to one’s belief that India’s strength is also its bane – democracy.But before that, a quick summary of Dhume’s proposal: Next presidential elections, the dynasty of Nehru-Gandhi be elevated to a monarchy because they are a perfect fit and check all boxes. It is a slight deviation from the accepted Presidential democracy adopted by the United States and more on the lines of England’s style of governance. That the generations after Jawaharlal Nehru have shared the most famous second name for the Indian masses is a pertinent point.
Back to democracy and parliamentary reforms.
Democracy is a good thing. And should be the first choice. Majority always should matter.
When it comes to matters of grave opinion that have propensity to polarise into half or a decision that has splintered support, practicality of governance demands that a leader shows the way.
At times, even a parliament cannot do that. Certainly not the Indian parliament with representatives of the diverse, linguistic-based states that make it up.
Every voice should matter in a democracy but if all that manages is creating a din with exchanges being traded back and forth then nothing will happen except running around in circles.
India, under the dynasty of Nehru-Gandhi, never managed to walk straight. The deflections on the path to progress was natural, but if there was one voice that could have commanded – atleast for the major share of the post-independence – it was the Gandhi family.
Apart from Indira Gandhi, everyone has been a reluctant leader; from Rajiv to Rahul. And Indira went overboard when she became hungry for power. The half-ceremonial post of the President of India can be a good middle ground for all parties.
In the light of the years of rule under BJP, that we do not have a viable alternative to Congress, maybe monarchial democracy is the best practical solution.
God Save the Queen (Sonia), a la the United Kingdom?
Next post: Fourth front of Anna Hazare, a viable alternative?
- You: The next change (menafn.com)
- Foreign Policy: The House of Nehru-Gandhi – NPR (npr.org)
- India’s Rahul Gandhi pledges more active role (dawn.com)
- Who Rules India – The Prime Minister or the Dynasty? (fairobserver.com)