India needs a vital Constitutional Amendment

“India, home to 1.37 billion people and the world’s largest democracy, with about 900 million eligible voters, is  feverishly celebrating an election festival at present, with such unbelievable euphoria. Alarmingly, none of the real issues facing and undermining the country – population, pollution, corruption, education and women security issues – are being discussed by anyone or figure in any of the election manifesto of any political party. Five years hence, in 2024, who will be answerable and held accountable for India’s conditions between now and then – the people or their leaders?

The kind of money that is currently being spent on election campaigns is simply mind-boggling. One would wish it was used for birth, crime, air and water pollution controls in the country. Intriguingly, what is the source of this money? Is it all legit investment?

India is definitely paying a heavy price for its current political infrastructure and will definitely pay heavily in the future too. Its (ignorant) people – both educated and uneducated – are fully responsible for its condition. Politicians must not be blamed; they do what they always do. They make (unrealistic) promises to come into power and, thereafter, use semi-truths, unsubstantiated allegations against their opponents and distorted facts about the historical events and figures to mislead people and exploit their emotions for continuing to stay in power. Alarmingly and unashamedly, they also use raw muscle power and money – provided by hidden sources and faceless individuals – during those election campaigns to win votes.

In the light of the above, India needs an urgent Constitutional amendment. Every government, including the Prime Minister (the Head of the Government), must be appraised annually and three (3) months before the next General Elections, by a team comprising the President (the Head of the State) of the country, Chief Justice of India (CJI) and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). During the appraisal, the overall performance of the government, in the light of the promises its members had made during the last election campaign, must be critically reviewed. The appraisal report then must be made public immediately.

The above appraisal process is logical because, at the time of inauguration of a government, the Prime Minister and his cohort of ministers take oath before the President. They must, therefore, be appraised by the President, who is the Head of the State of the union of India, in consultation with CJI (who looks after the legalities of the Constitution) and CEC (who monitors the election process and the veracity of the election promises).

The aforementioned proposed appraisal process is similar to the appraisal processes used around the world by most private companies and government departments, where all employees are appraised annually for their performance over the year before decisions are taken by their employers about their continuation or discontinuation in job or their promotion / demotion and salary increments / decrements and bonus etc.

The government ministers are public servants, just like all other salaried government employees. They are paid regular monthly salaries and perks, and provided with the necessary facilities, just like other common employees, which are paid by the tax payers. They must be paid half salary in the last three months before the General Elections because they spend most of their time in election campaigning.

This Constitutional Amendment is vital for capturing the core essence of democracy in India and prevent a Constitutional monarchy in the country. Governments must be held accountable for their performance and the promises they make to people, and made answerable to the country.

This blog should have been written and published at least six months ago. The author sends sincere apologies to the people of India for being late.” … Bill K Koul (8 May 2019)

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