Saturday, 17 August 2013

(Fundamental Duties) Article 51A Elaborating Fundamental Duties

Independence is just a state of mind. We need to get out of this limbo and bring poorna swaraj. If we cannot change acts #RTIamendmentact at our "will" then I dont detect Freedom.

RTI amendment 2013
Parliamentarians took no time in amending CIC's(Central information commission) recommendations on inclusion of political parties under RTI and brought forward Right to Information (Amendment Bill), 2013 to get out of the trouble. This is a serious misuse of a democratic setup. Lawmakers(who themselves belong to major political parties) cannot make laws to please themselves. 
Moreover the govt. officials proposed arguments, supporting this amendment, which are more or less baseless. 
Genuine concerns
There were some genuine concerns about the decision impacting the functioning of parties. A major worry was that though the purpose of the order was to enforce financial transparency, in effect it would force parties to disclose their internal strategic decisions. The problem could have been dealt with by devising a way to safeguard the internal autonomy of the political parties. Instead, the parties banded together to keep themselves entirely out of the purview of the RTI Act.
The Bill tabled in the Lok Sabha proposes an amendment to Section 2 of the RTI Act which clarifies that parties would not be treated as public authorities: “Authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted by any law made by Parliament shall not include any association or body of individuals registered or recognised as a political party under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”
The Bill also inserts a new Section 31 in the principal Act which says that the amendment will apply “notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, decree or order of any court or commission..,” and will prevail over “any other law for the time being in force.” - The Hindu

Not to mention Political Parties consider themselves as non-public authorities. Which directly means that there are some vested interest of their own seeking non disclosure of their information, most prominently Financial details. Parties sponsored by private firms and individuals are always going to make laws to please them. This means that they are going against the democratic setup which was promised on 26 Nov 1949.

What can we do as a citizen: First thing is to elaborate our fundamental duties. Mentioning Article 51A here

Article 51A in The Constitution Of India 1949. 51A. "Fundamental duties" 

51A. Fundamental duties It shall be the duty of every citizen of India (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the national Flag and the National Anthem;
(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
(j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement PART V THE UNION CHAPTER I THE EXECUTIVE The President and Vice President

We should add this our duties:

        "(k) to regularly put forward one's own stand,
positives and negatives, towards bills, Acts and constitutional amendments."

But this is not enough and we need more changes in areas to protect the sanctity of democracy.

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