Editorial analysis: Whither anti-defection law; Covid-19 active cases go over 1 lakh; US bends backward on progress


Photo Credit Twitter Shiv Sena

Spread the love

In ‘Editorial analysis’, The Raisina Hills critically reviews comments of India’s top five English newspapers – The Indian Express (IE), The Pioneer (TP), The Hindu (TH), The Times of India (ToI) and Deccan Herald (DH).

None of the newspapers have come out with Edits on Supreme Court’s observations against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, which trended yesterday, even while serious questions emerge on judiciary coming under sharp attack from a section of audience, besides gaps in jurisprudence too getting bared.

The dailies have commented on a number of issues, which they had missed out in past due to focus on trending news developments.

The anti-defection law, as we have written on several occasions, is essentially an ornamental artefact, with its teeth broken by the political parties to re-work the people’s mandate with their post-poll machinations.

ToI in its Edit notes that the anti-defection law, inserted in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution in 1986, and further amended by the Parliament in 2003 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister, has only turned the legislators into costly commodities.

The Edit has rightly questioned different yardsticks in responses of key players – Speaker, Governor and judiciary. They’ve all acted differently to incidents of defections in political parties.

Do we need an anti-defection law, for its purpose to end ‘Aaaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ trend in politics stands defeated? Or, the law is essentially flawed, and only a cover for the political parties to shield internal democracy!

A seasoned political observer, who worked closely with titans of Indian democracy in 1990s and afterwards, reacted sharply last evening after reading The Raisina Hills analysis of editorials, saying why the dailies aren’t questioning the relevance of the anti-defection law.

He said that India is the only country in the world to have such a law. In UK, he added, dissidents can knock the doors of committees of the political parties to raise their grievances, which can act further. It’s not that all democratic rights are forfeited by elected representatives to the presidents of the parties. But that actually is the case in India. Did Eknath Shinde push for removal of Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister or president of Shiv Sena for compromising party’s core ideology which was given mandate by the people within the party, or did any such scope even exist!

Anti-defection law also remains vague; is it for the purpose for recognizing a splinter group or for the merger with another party!

Cynicism against the anti-defection law is truly deserved for the ways governments in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh changed in the recent years, which indeed make the people’s votes irrelevant.

Active Covid-19 cases in India went past 1 lakh mark after a gap of 122 days on Thursday and the country logged 18000 cases in a single day after a 130 days. The Pioneer in its Edit has rightly cautioned the people, while noting that BA.5 variant of Omicron which made pandemic leap in South Africa has been found in Delhi.

Virologists had in fact warned earlier that the fourth wave of the Covid-19 should peak by end of June, and it would be hoped that India would learn to live with the virus by following the best practices, including personal hygiene, vaccination and mask protocol.

IE has commented on regressive judgments of the US Supreme Court, first by overturning the Roe v. Wade, which gave abortion rights there for 50 years, and now again diluting the Environmental Protection Agency, which had been pushing for cut on carbon emissions.

The US President Joe Biden’s bid to take the global leadership in climate change response which was abandoned by his predecessor Donald Trump by withdrawing from ‘Paris Declaration’ now faces major hurdle ahead of COP27 Summit in Shar el-Sheikh.

Biden’s USD 555 billion for clean energy project also stands stalled by Senate, added IE, while his administration is banking on Col War era law to operationalize adoption of green technologies.

The developed world is rightly called hypocritical, for they contribute over 40 per cent in carbon emission despite having just 17 per cent of the global population.

DH has commented on NITI Aayog’s report on Gig-workers such as delivery boys and so on while welcoming recommendation that they be brought under social security net. The daily is quite timid in its commentary, failing to assess extent of exploitation of such workers by the new age technology driven companies. In the US, they’re treated as employees.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *