AAP legislators were laughing when Vijendar Gupta was marshalled out of the Delhi Assembly after being suspended for an entire year. Democracy was just fine. The law that was used to initiate the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the parliament, was also applied to do the same to Lalu Yadav, most importantly, and a few other members. Democracy, once again, was just fine, thriving and surviving. International media houses and publications were dancing to the tunes of war as Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, the comedian, former, and present president of Ukraine, silenced the entire opposition. Democracy, once again, was wonderfully fine. This disqualification of Rahul Gandhi has dawned after he has been punished by a court in Gujarat, for two years – on bail right now, after he was proven to be guilty in a defamation case trial. And the law says it clearly – any conviction of two years or more makes an MP liable for disqualification by default and barred from competing in elections. Ironically, the law that caused the disqualification of the MP of concern, is present in the constitution that is of the republic of India, the world’s largest democracy.
Death of Democracy is a selective howl that recurs in the Indian political scenario time and again. Parties in power and those in the opposition have been using such slogans for many reasons. If something happens that hurts one party’s prospects, democracy dies without any protest. Do something that blocks a party’s vision, democracy dies yet again. However, in this case, is Rahul Gandhi being disqualified from the parliament and subsequently banned from fighting elections, a blessing in disguise for the opposition? It might work just well for those who think that Rahul Gandhi cannot win any elections on his own, or cannot lead the united front of opposition parties. This is up for debate. However, many parties are showing solidarities with the Indian National Congress party at this hour of turmoil.
The biggest surprise is the Aam Aadmi Party. Yes, the party whose leader, Aravind Kejriwal, has been shouting at the top of his voice that he would jail many ministers of the Congress party, leaders of various political parties, namely Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, has called a special session to condemn the death of democracy. There are many videos of him speaking against the tainted and convicted members of parliament and why India needs to get rid of those. The videos are doing rounds on social media platforms and people are not even surprised by seeing the sharp U-turn of Kejriwal. He has become famous, you can read notorious, for doing these U-turns in the Indian political arena.
On the question of the death of democracy in India, no, NO it will never happen. India, as a nation, is too strong and tolerant to die just like that. Political muscle-flexing takes place every hour in India. Home to diverse opinions, Indian democracy is too powerful to die without protest over the disqualification of an MP who scarcely attended the parliament. So, friends, don’t pay attention to the death of democracy calls. Just watch, observe and be attentive. Many political bombs are being prepared to be dropped on the media. Many things will happen politically. Elections will take place as usual. A party will win. A party will lose. Democracy will thrive.
Alka for ILN Opinion Platform