We, the people of India, are the public of our country. It is in the common interest of the public that our Constitution promises us justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.
These interests are therefore, the public interests and not private interests of any individual or partisan groups.
The public institutions created by our Constitution in order to deliver these public interests lie within the three pillars of our democracy: the executive, legislature and judiciary. The role and responsibility of those who serve in these institutions is, therefore, to serve this public interest and not any private or partisan interests.
Over the years our public institutions have strayed away from their roles and responsibilities in the name of economic growth, globalisation, modernisation and expediency.
Our public discourse is no longer about the public interests promised in the Preamble of our Constitution, it is about private and partisan interests that has occupied these institutions. Those in these institutions talk about GDP, urbanisation, industrialisation, globalisation, modernisation, and automation. They have forgotten to protect us from the injustice of exploitation, encroachment and pollution of our resources, rights and representatives. They have forgotten to protect us from the enslavement by economic interests.
They have forgotten to protect us from the inequality of representation over partisan interests. They have forgotten to protect our dignity from the loss of public interests to private interests.
How did we lose our way?
Those who stood for elections to represent us presented agendas of private and partisan interests, not an agenda to protect our justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. This was only natural. After all we do not select the candidates from whom we have to choose a representative. These candidates are chosen by private and partisan interests.
We only go through the game of approving the partisan agenda by voting for partisan candidates.
As long as those with money or muscle are the ones who decide the candidates we must choose from, we have no choice. The candidates are slaves to the partisan interests they represent, not the people’s interests that they were meant to represent.
Is it any wonder that people have been demanding for “None of the Above ” or NOTA vote to reject the candidates that represent partisan interests? Increasingly more and more people recognise that elections are a farce as long as the candidates are partisan. No wonder they are opting for NOTA.
Elections are here again. The 5 year pretend game to roll the dice will choose new short term partisan interests as we go to polls. The public interests may, yet again, be only the dream of our ancestors who wrote the Preamble to our Constitution.
Public interests of protecting justice, liberty, equality and fraternity are what ensure the short now, or the lifetime of a child born today.
When we reject private and partisan agendas, manifestos and candidates, we assert the interests of every child born today, over their entire lifetime. When we reject the short term that corrupts the public interests, when we reject partisan interests that appeal to our private interests, we protect our short now, or the lifetime of the child born today.
This election will we choose public interests over partisan interests? Is NOTA the way we can reclaim public interests? Will we chose justice, liberty, equality and fraternity over the lifetime of a child born today over the economic or political gains of private and partisan interests?
#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same.
He can be reached @AnupamSaraph