- The Constitution of India confers the three pillars viz. the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary with clearly demarcated responsibilities and accountability in furthering the larger interests of the nation. There exists no ambiguity surrounding the discharge of duties by each of the three crucial verticals. As you are aware, the Executive aka the elected government of the day initiates necessary bills having defining qualities to improve the overall health of the country and the countrymen by securing the approval of the legislature to become the enabling laws of the land.
- Any dispute arising out of the passed bills as the law will be evaluated by the Judiciary upholding the same as Constitutional or passing necessary strictures to correct the same otherwise. This is the well-established practice running smoothly like well-oiled machinery for decades now. Post liberalization and globalization that ushered in the much-needed reforms in the economy in the 1990s saw the nation take a giant leap benefitting enormously in improving our living standards. As the economic floodgates were opened, erstwhile license-raj, the single-most bane of the nation was consigned to the dustbin allowing for reformist measures to take place in right earnest.
- Though the economy was opened, the control exercised by the political class subordinating entrepreneurial spirit to at times dubious interests continues to muddy the overall corporate structure even now. No wonder, the anti-corporate sentiments run deeper in our country, and the increasingly belligerent farm agitation underway currently amply demonstrates the trend where farmers decry alleging the government essaying the role of an enabler for the corporates much against the interests of the farming community. Ironically, it’s another story altogether that both the farming as well as corporates are dependent on the government patronage for survival.
- Companies surviving or prospering at the pleasure of the government with its control over policies, regulators, and investigating agencies need no further emphasis. It is an open secret that huge corporate funding feeds election expenditures though the power differential allows political masters to keep industrialists on a tight leash. Nonetheless, citizens are not impressed and won’t mind expressing their displeasure upon this arrangement. This nexus is also one of the major causes for such widespread anti-capitalist mood among farmers as well as the common man. Thus, huge distrust exists amongst the countrymen on any reformist moves of the government.
- For all its worth, the agitation against the newly enacted Agri-laws should be amicably addressed without even considering repealing as any rollback would imply reformist measures facing impediment by setting an avoidable precedent. You see, politicians are equally culpable in the popular disdain towards the big business that continues to gain traction by the day. Ideally speaking, the government should strive for a convivial ecosystem where corporations are largely independent and have the freedom to even criticize policies when the need arises. The scenario is different here, as we know it.
PC: Harish Damodaran
- To begin with, there must be a mechanism in place to ensure transparency of political funding and truly independent sectoral regulators can become starting points for not only reforms, but also competition, innovation, and risk-taking. Such a beginning would hopefully persuade farmers, landowners, businessmen, and other influential groups to embrace them. Therefore, the government must encourage entrepreneurial freedom to pave way for reforms in the real sense and not mere rhetoric-ridden inconsequential utterances lacking substance.