Dear Mr Prime Minister,
I am laboring to write this to you because I still consider you to be the best ever PM of this country. The only other person who has earned as much love and respect is Lal Bahadur Shastri who had rightly identified the national priorities through his slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. Unfortunately the dark forces working against the nation succeeded in eliminating him before he could make an impact.
Gujaratis are successful banias no doubt and hence your thrust on economic reforms can be appreciated in that context. But to believe that better economic affairs will translate to better quality of life for individuals is a myth. (Even for arguments sake if one agrees with it, there cannot be any doubt that such economic prosperity and equitable distribution of such wealth will remain a myth for a long, long time to come!) Closer home, in Kerala, I remember a talk show where the impact of declaring Kottayam as the first fully literate district in the State was being discussed. One of the participants had said that the number of complaints had increased! But more than two decades down the line I can vouch for how complaints are being treated by the authorities in Kerala-as trash!
I believe that a citizen who is seriously aggrieved can only do two things to get the grievance redressed- approach the courts or the police. But as per a Transparency International Report these are the most corrupt institutions in the country! (By the way, TI is facing contempt of court charges for publishing that Report!) But long before TI started publishing its reports or social media became an effective tool for reporting events live, I have heard older generations pray for passing through this life without having to enter a court or a police station!
By the very fact that justice delayed is justice denied, it can be concluded that our judiciary is an absolute failure. But the worse thing is that even after preposterous delays most of the decisions do not pass the test of logical deductions and just conclusions. My own study of certain court decisions tells me that the introductions are flowery and appeal to the gallery, the facts are generally non-disputable (though the complete facts may not be there!), the deductions are hazy and the conclusions?............. Preposterous!) I feel offended when the judges quote the poor judge to population ratio as the reason for the unacceptable delays. This itself is a lie and needs to be viewed as something like throwing one’s garbage into the neighbor’s plot! Here are some figures to prove them wrong:
Cases filed in one year (1999): India -13.6 Million (1,36,68,073); USA- 93.81 Million!
Docket’s per judge: India -987 per Judge; USA-3235 per Judge.
Suffice to say that judge to population ratio is irrelevant and what matters is the judge to docket ratio and any judge who doesn’t understand this logic should be considered incompetent to be a judge at all!
Further, whether it is the then CJI K G Balakrishanan declaring his office to be out of purview of the RTI Act or a former judge being compensated with Rs 100 cr in a defamation case or sending a sitting high court judge to jail for contempt of court, our judiciary has proved that it is a law unto themselves and the biggest threat to rule of law!
Of course under the circumstances you cannot do anything about it. I wish you had the wherewithal to impeach a few judges in quick succession so that democracy prevails instead of judicracy!
But if judiciary is bad, the quasi judicial organizations, intended to address limited areas of conflicts with simpler procedures are worse! Whether it is consumer disputes redressal for a/commissions constituted under the Consumer Protection Act or the plethora of ombudsmen and commissions like Human Rights Commissions and Information Commissions, they have all become rehabilitation centers for the worst public servants, after their retirement from regular employment, at tax payers’ cost! Though they are all directly under the Executive arm of the Constitution, complaints against them are simply dismissed on the ground that they are autonomous authorities! It may be due to incompetence or may be simply shirking responsibility taking advantage of the abhorable state of our judiciary. You may go through my blog at http://rithica2016.blogspot.in/2016/10/the-rti-act-is-dead.html to have a first hand feedback on how, right from the word go, the information commissioners have been subverting the RTI Act!
Coming to the administration in government, the less said the better. To put it bluntly, these are the people who are breeding criminals in the country. Journalist Taveleen Singh, writing for the Indian Express on Feb 21, 2010 (India’s bureaucratic albatross, http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/582409/) had stated ‘Every time I deal with Indian officials I become so depressed that I almost need therapy.’ After all she was a lady and can be forgiven for not wanting to thrash the hell out of them! (Now please do not ask me why I do not do such a thing. As a man out of uniform, the feeling is like a wild animal domesticated and left back in the woods!)The state of implementation of the only citizen friendly and pro-democracy law of the land-the Right to Information Act-has proved beyond any iota of doubt that most of the so called public servants are not only worse than the worst criminals known to mankind they are also forcing ordinary, hard working, honest, law abiding citizens to take law into their own hands!
Having said all that, I must blame you squarely for two things- ill treating the soldiers and illogically enforcing the UID. Going for civilian sahayaks, doing away with free rations for officers in peace time and tasking soldiers to clean garbage can all be seen only as illogical, petty and intended to purposely hurt the ego and morale of the soldiers. The veterans protesting at Jantar Mantar do have a more comprehensive list of grievances, all genuine, for sure.
The concept of UID is no doubt good but it is a hard fact that developed countries like the U S of A, UK and Australia, with a fraction of our population and many times per capita GDP, had given it up on issues of cost and privacy! And in our own country, in spite of its use for over 6 decades, our public servants have not been able to issue even ration cards without mistakes!
P M Ravindran