An Indian man was killed by local government official after he used the very powerful Right to Information provisions in the law to challenge their right to exploit his land for limestone. The man was shot in a drive-by killing after writing a letter to the local newspaper. Death is a potential risk where corruption is involved.
"India may be the world’s largest democracy, but it remains dogged by the twin legacies of feudalism and colonialism, which have often meant that citizens are treated like subjects. Officials who are meant to serve them often act more like feudal lords than representatives of the people".
The problem however is that there is no such thing as representation as long as:
1. You do not have the opportunity to renounce your sanction. i.e. The requirement to wait for years until the next election is not good enough.
2. You do not have an effective choice when you are obliged to choose between parties. Worse still that you only are able to choose among several people you do not even know to any great depth because news media give you know analysis of their character.
3. Your sanction is collectivised through the electoral system, which is supposed to conjure up some fantasiful notion of 'the common good'. Where is the common good? If there is any such notion, it does not lie in a 'collective consciousness', since there is only a collection of specific individual consciousnesses. What plausibly could anyone person represent but an idea or a principle? But that is not the foundation of democracy. Democracy does not deal in ideas (i.e. debates). Not really. There is the facade of parliamentary question time. The real debates are not about ideas; they are not about education or learning, or persausion. They are about extortion. Numbers, whether votes or money. That is the nature of our democracy. That is why people get killed. You cannot kill an idea when ideas are respected. It only takes one person to raise an idea, it takes a majority to give ascension and credence to a good idea in a democracy. And yet you sanction this system in your name. You allow the government to show that you sanction this facade by voting for it each year. That is the true purpose of democracy...to sanction stability, allowing all manner of indiscretions to occur whilst you 'passively' think you are being represented. If you thought for a moment how fantasiful that notion is, you would realise it never works. Simply look at how many people vote in shareholder meetings, if not democratic elections...they don't because they know the process does not work for them. The only people to participate are either misguided idealists (and there are a few) and those for whom the system works. Change the system!
But be careful what you wish for. Accountability is not the issue. Accountability to what?
"The law was intended to be a much-needed leveler between the governors and the governed. In many ways it has worked, giving citizens the power to demand a measure of accountability from bureaucrats and politicians".
The law is not a rational standard of value. Over the last 900 years common law, which is our most logical law, has been displaced by arbitrary statutory law. The arbitrariness of statutory law is the reason why it cannot be trusted as a source of law. It has engendered all manner of loopholes which will allow the politician to escape accountability. You will be holding him to a standard which he constructed to serve him. After all, extortion (i.e. taxation) is legal under statutory law for politicians, but strangely it is illegal under common law. There are plenty of double standards like this under statutory law, which are intended to protect politicians from accounting. Their folly is that they don't realise that they ultimately can be held accountable to the standard which they invented, but which can change. Sadly, it might be some lynch mob...but they were the role models for such a system. My interest however is an objective standard. These politicians are a product of our education system...change the system from the top!
Mr. Socha, an environmental activist, said:
“Our hearts are broken after his death...You cannot fix the system. Everybody is getting money. If I give my life, what is the point?".
The system can be changed if people think. Encourage people to think. Email your friends this story. This is a very powerful example of the systematic flaw in our democracy. It starts with one person....and it builds. Cynicism and moral scepticism is as much the problem as corruption...it is a form of corruption.
You might think this is just ‘extreme’ Indian politics…it’s not…its Western democracy when the stakes are high. In Australia, a minority politician spent 3 months in jail because of the political pull of the major parties…before a judge overturned the decision. That is all it took to retain power for the main parties. They did not need to kill her, they just needed to discredit her…job accomplished. If killing is necessary, powerful interests will often do that.