A travesty of Governance

 

The past few months have been a travesty of governance in Tamil Nadu. We live in a democratic state and the principles of democracy that vest the powers of self-governance with us, the people, are exercised by our peacefully expressed vote. We, the people of Tamil Nadu, have seen our votes and the trust inherent in them, betrayed in the most blatant, callous and reprehensible manner. The framework for forming a government that has been laid out in our Constitution, has been unconscionably manipulated in a morally bankrupt manner in order to seize political power. I am sure the actions of these so-called “leaders” that have caused us such an immense sense of betrayal, are all still fresh in every citizen’s mind and there is no danger of us forgetting them anytime in the near future.

The responsibility for bringing Tamil Nadu politics down to the dregs of moral bankruptcy lies not only with those that do not have electoral authority to aspire to positions of governance, but also by our elected representatives. We, the people, have voted these MLAs into office with the explicit trust that our wishes would be respected and government would be formed accordingly. However, the manner in which they have not only ignored our wishes, but also chose to go against our mandate for a Chief Minister, screams of their fundamental lack of respect for the tenets of democracy.

Their positions are not one of privilege but one of duty.

Duty to those citizens that have voted them into office.

Duty to those citizens that desperately need a government to protect their fundamental rights under our Constitution. To enforce these rights so that we, the people, may live a life that is empowered with at least the basic necessities of life.

But the manner in which the present government was formed is a travesty of every democratic process and has exhibited a total contempt for the wishes of the people of Tamil Nadu. Not only is it a government that has been foisted upon us, but it is also one that has failed to address any of the burning issues that are critical to our State. The first budget presented by this government is a pale excuse for one that needs to desperately address the issues of generating revenue, developing infrastructure, bolstering social welfare, fostering entrepreneurship, bridging the budget deficit, desperately needed health and education reform, women’s and children’s welfare, and so many more but critically – the crisis faced by our farmers.

Representatives of our agricultural community have been protesting on the pavements in Delhi. Does our Constitution not define Agriculture as coming under the primary jurisdiction of the State governments? If so, has this government done all that it can to address their issues? And if so, what are the steps they have taken to relieve the burning needs of our farmers? To reach out and support those hands that feed us with the sweat and blood of their toil.

There are not enough words to describe the sense of anguish, betrayal and disillusionment that these past few months have engendered in us. As a people, we Indians are fatalistic. But even for us, this behaviour of greed and blatant corruption has pushed us to the limits of our tolerance and endurance. It is time to say “Enough”

Enough to this travesty of democratic governance that has been foisted upon us against our explicit wishes.

Enough to being subjected to a self-serving “rule” that obviously has no intent nor interest in alleviating the pains of the common man.

Enough to being exploited as means of fulfilling a greed for power.

It is time to put into words what has been waiting to be said. We cannot tolerate this state of matters any longer. This government must be dissolved and we must have the opportunity to elect one in a free and fair manner – according to our wishes and direction for self-governance. There are many crucial lessons to be learnt through this tragic period. Many lessons to be understood and remembered when we next exercise our franchise. Chief among those –

A position of Elected Office is not one of privilege but one of duty.

Duty to those citizens that have voted them into office.

Duty to those citizens that desperately need a government to protect their fundamental rights under our Constitution. To enforce these rights so that we, the people, may live a life that is empowered with at least the basic necessities of life.

A government that is

Of the People

By the People

And

For the People

 

Jai Hind!

Gautami Tadimalla

20th April 2017

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