Political issues in India are an obvious aspects testing the largest democracy. India’s development involves a wide range of changes in a variety of economic,social and political indicators. But out of the three, political indicators are the one that govern the other two.
The vast Indian democracy has came long way dealing with many political issues and in the process picked up new ones.
We can list some of the major political issues India is facing currently…
Lack of opposition.
It has been the prime political issue in India since independence. Also the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 have given the clear cut huge mandate in favor of BJP. The opposition has even failed to reach the threshold for having a leader of opposition.
In a democracy a strong opposition is a mandatory aspect but in India’s current scenario as well as the history there was none on the horizon. Opposition parties never got nurtured in India; BJP only comes as the exception in this case with the only success story.
In the current part the grand old party INC is struggling to find its recognition and many parties are on the verge to loose their ‘ national party ‘ status. No doubt, quality of Indian democracy will suffer due to lack of opposition.
The opposition in India plays an important role in providing practical criticism of the ruling party. It is also consulted when important appointments are made.
Therefore, it is important for the opposition to have a leader who can represent the interests of the non-dominant parties in these roles. The absence of an opposition leader will weaken India as the opposition will not be able to put up a unified front against the ruling party.
Transparency in Political funding.
Political Funding in India is a opaque, black money driven exercise. Political parties are still out of the purview of RTI (Right to Information) Act making the case worst.
The lack of transparency allows the use of money and muscle power in election. This demeans the democracy and to the worst bring ineligible candidate to the body of decision making.
This government has introduced three major changes in the mechanics of political funding in India- political parties can now receive foreign funds; any company can donate any amount of money to any political party; and any individual, group of people or company can donate money anonymously to any party through electoral bonds.
But these reforms have failed to make the process more transparent. They prove no more than the blunt arrows providing nothing on the ground realities. There has been uproar over making this transparent but neither the ruling party nor the opposition might be willing to do so.
This is the kind of political issue that most parties would like to keep as far as possible. Political funding in India largely remains ‘under the table’ despite the many ‘reforms’ introduced by the government.
Major reforms that need consideration to deal with this and bring transparency and accountability in the political system are- Bringing political parties under the RTI act and Restricting the anonymous donations.
The dynastic politics.
The first thing that comes to mind hearing of the dynastic politics is the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. But one cannot deny the fact that it has become the very core of Indian politics. Several seats have become the traditional seats of a family
India has a sufficient number of political dynasties present at all levels- centre, state or local. Gandhi dynasty, the Scindia family, the Abdullah family, Yadavs of Uttar Pradesh, Karunanidhi family, etc. are some of the names we know on a national level. A long list will be there if we consider them at the other two levels.
The political dynasties in India are present in various forms and degrees. It not only makes the agenda shift from the “welfare of the state” to “welfare of the family”, but also dilutes the essence of a democracy with corruption and favoritism.
Dynastic politics harms the country by stagnating the power into the hands of a few. Voters are left with less choice and this hinders the development by first filling the treasure chest for the family and then distributing the remains to the citizens.
Dynasts capturing the politics rules out the chances of better performing individuals to enter and do good for the state. This makes it the core of political issues in India and we should try to escape from this tram and lead our country to better future with more capable leaders.
Political fragmentation of the Indian electoral system.
As we all know we have a three tier system of government in India- center, state and local. These government units get in conflict when different political parties form government at different levels.
The power conflict between the governments sometimes goes so deep leaving the public to suffer. Most current example of this case is Delhi where the BJP led central government was conflicting with the AAP led state government.
In the most cases in the past 70 years India has shown some political maturity to keep the political fragmentation at par. But there are no fewer instances when the political rivalry has prevailed over the public interests
This is not only bad for the democracy but also brings policy paralysis within the governing body. And this only leads to the suffering of the public interests compromising the issues of development under such political issues in India.
Criminals in politics.
Crime and politics in India are so mixed that a “clean politician” sounds like an oxymoron, a breed that no longer exists. Many of the candidates fighting elections have criminal charges on them and still they are allowed to contest and as well represent in the house.
According to law, an MP or MLA would be disqualified with immediate effect if convicted of a crime. But here is a loophole that allows them to retain their seats if they appealed their convictions within three months.
Supreme Court has given the verdict for the disqualification of MP’s and MLA’s convicted of crimes punishable with a jail term of two years or more.
But the Union Government’s move to bring in ordinance to keep the rights of convicted legislatures intact and protect them from immediate disqualification, made it clear that even the verdicts of apex court could be overruled for selfish political interests.
Voters can play an important role in resolving out this political issue in India because the vast electorate is definitely powerful enough to make its say. Also the NOTA should be given enough tooth so that the political parties respect the mandate that isn’t in their favor.