DR. JERNAIL SINGH ANAND: SABHE SANJHIWAL SADAYAN: CONSENSUS AND COOPERATION IN GOVERNANCE

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DR JERNAIL SINGH ANAND

SABHE SANJHIWAL SADAYAN: CONSENSUS AND COOPERATION : A NEW MODEL IN GOVERNANCE

SABHE SANJHIWAL SADAYAN
CONSENSUS AND COOPERATION: A NEW MODEL OF GOVERNANCE

Dr. Jernail S. Anand


Sikh Gurus were purely religious souls who shed spiritual light on the darkness of the times, and illuminated the life of the human being. But, the concept of Miri and Piri goes beyond religion and underlines a model of governance of affairs in which religion and politics meet in a highly idealized form. Guru Gobind Singh ji after establishing the Khalsa declared that he himself will be governed by the Panj Piaras decisions. In this way, although he was the Padshah, still the power to decide was vested in the Panj Piaras, the five blessed souls. Even the Guru had to abide by their decision, as it happened at the war at Chamkaur Sahib. Gurbani says: Sabhe Sanjhiwal sadayan, koi na dise bahra jeeo. What type of a system is being conceptualized? And we see, till the last Guru, there were few contradictions [as in case of 40 Muktas who had left giving a ‘Bedawa’ – only to seek pardon at the great battle at Muktsar sahib, when Guru Gobind Singh tore away the ‘Bedawa’ at the emotional appeal of Bhai Maha Singh.

With this background in view, I am tempted to think why we are governing our states the way we are doing. Democracy in its highest form is available to us in the way the great Gurus conducted the affairs of Sikh Panth. And we need to pick up from here, rather than what we have inherited from the English. Democracy talks of the power of the people in determining their own government. And it appears to be a system which has survived although so many dictators the world over played foul with the basic tenets of the democratic ideal. The statue of liberty is a living symbol of the freedom of the human spirit and democracy upholds this spirit. People are free to choose their representatives, who then rule the masses, for their welfare. But it appears the ideal has lost its spirit somewhere and dictators don the democratic robes, and the spirit of democracy has been left behind. No ruler wants to be challenged by anybody, be it his ministers or any individual. Freedom, and the Sovereign Power which lies with the masses has been arrogated by the leaders. All the provisions of democracy stand compromised. Parliament is meant for parleys. How many times our assemblies meet? And what happens there? Opposition is considered anti-national and govt agencies are used against people, pressmen and intellectuals who raise an alarm when the govt goes against the democratic principle.

Here, I wish to raise some fundamental issues. No doubt, the constitution lays down that there will be a majority party, and an opposition party, and both will work in tandem, and the opposition should be strong enough to check the misuse of power. What is actually happening? The legislators represent the masses, only in name. Actually, they represent their political bosses. So far as Parliament is concerned, no legislator has the power to say what he wants to say. There is a party line, party whip, and he is not an individual holding a conviction, rather a mass which moves this or that way, propelled, not by the interest of his electors, but by his selectors, his bosses. There idea of a welfare govt. has given way to power lobbies, and to corporates and people are remembered only at the time of election. After this, they have no existence. If they want to get any work done, they have to pay to the bosses they had voted to power.

Apart from this, as soon as a govt. is elected, majority party forms its govt. They think that they are now the sole arbiters of the state. The state belongs to them and they can legislate as per their whims, as happened at the central level in India and the govt. had to face the Farmers struggle. In fact, the opposition party has only one job for full five years: to keep pulling the leg of the government, censure them for minor lapses, and stop the working of the legislature. Perhaps our constitution also says the same about the opposition. And I have something entirely different to offer now.

The Proposed System:

In accordance with the spirit of the Guru bani, let us believe that all the people are the shareholders of the bounties available in the state.

All those elected by the people should be given some or the other department to run.

The leader of the major opposition should be made Deputy CM

Leaders of the major opposition parties, should be known as assisting parties, not opposition, because opposition means you will not let the govt. work.

I conceive of a government by consensus and cooperation, an inclusive government, in which all the legislators participate.

How decisions will be taken?

The CM, the Deputy CM [leader of Oppositon] plus Poliburo [a Committee of main leaders of political parties]

How they will work in tandem with different ideologies?

I believe, these days, parties do not have any ideologies. They simply believe in getting power, and then, there is no looking back.

My new model is like this:

The policies of the state on education, commerce, industry, sand, drugs, liquor ets will be decided by the Politburo.

The CM will roll out his policy, and the other leaders, if they want to suggest some changes, will suggest it there and then.

After discussions, this state policy will be framed. Now, there is not one person who is

Responsible for this policy. All the electors are responsible. So, in the legislative assembly, there will be no opposition to this policy.

Once approved, it will be implemented by the Govt.

The Govt. is only an implementing agency.

Policy Making will be done by the Politburo.

All decisions will be discussed in the Politburo, and then submitted to the Assembly

And there, if any objections are raised, can be taken care of.

So that the govt. is run by CONSENSUS, RATHER THAN BY CONTRADICTION AND CONFLICT.

This is a new model of a new Govt. which believes in INCLUSIVENESS in its policies, the entire spectrum of the state politics is reflected.

It is expected the parties will be happy to share the legislative power.
I donot believe that for 5 years, we pay the opposition legislators for doing practically nothing except trying to pull the govt. down, or doing horsetrading.

I think this can change the entire scenario.
And, constitution can be amended accordingly.

At present what we see, is a travesty of our democratic ideal.

We need to move beyond democracy and redefine it as per the needs of the present moment. There is no merit in looking backwards for models.

Further changes can be:

Only two times as legislator.
Only one person from one family either in state or central legislature simultaneously.
No second chance to CM
Attendance compulsory.
No extraordinary allowances.
Pension, one time, only if ordinary employees get pension.
No special privileges.

In conclusion, it can be said that democracy which has outlived its mandate needs to be reviewed seriously, and given a reorientation in view of our prevailing tradition of Sikhism: Sabhe Sanjhiwal Sadayan, Koi na Dise Bahra Jiio.

I shall be happy if the major parties, who believe in change, rather I suggest, this transformation, must look into these provisions, and come together to try this new philosophy:

RULE BY CONSENSUS RATHER THAN BY CONFLICT.

Dr. Jernail S. Anand, M.A. English, Ph.D [Punjab Univ. Chd.]
Professor Emeritus in Indian Literature,
The European Institute of the Roma Studies and Research, Belgrade, Serbia.
Chairman Board of Directors, World Institute of Peace, Nigeria,
International Poet and author of 120 world classics.
Recipient of prestigious Naji Naman Literary Award 2020.
[Jernail Singh Anand - Wikipedia]

Zirkpur,
Chandigarh.

Email:
anandjs55@yahoo.com.
 

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aanand

Writer
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Jan 11, 2022
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HARD TALK is my book on Political Consciousness. It can help elaborate my ideas given in a capsule form in the article given above.

I believe in evolving a new system of government in which democracy is redefined, and all its blues are given the go by.

Hard Talk, was read by Dr. SS Johl, who complimented me and commented that these ideas are very good, but who will implement them?

I am in search of takers who feel like me, and want a change in the system.

Dr. Jernail S. Anand
 

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