Tuesday, February 23, 2010

6th Day of Honest Politics Course on 6th February 2010

Casteism in Politics is a crucial power play in today's political system. The instructor of the morning session gave a detailed account of the nature in which the caste system influences the voters. Political parties evoke caste sentiments, and field candidates in a constituency based on the caste of majority of voters. Different caste groups join in coalition to form new groups in political arena, like the forward and backward caste to get a majority in the elections. In 1990's so many political parties rose to power in the state level by proclaiming their alliance to the backward caste, muslims and dalits. Instead of denouncing the categorization and discrimination based on caste, the political parties openly acknowledged the castes and proclaimed allegiance to certain castes based on voter banks.
In the afternoon session, the formation of Panchayats and their role in democracy was discussed. According to Jawaharlal Nehru, a democracy will be successful only when the foundation is strong, in the sense that there should be good governance begining from the local bodies. To bring this to effect, every village with a population of more than 500 should form a panchayat as per the Madras Village Panchayats Act of 1950. The Tamilnadu Panchayats Act,1958 paved way to the formation of 12,600 panchayats in all over Tamil Nadu. Different local governing bodies that come under the umbrella of the Panchayat, and role of office bearers was explained in depth. In the Urban level the functions of Corporation and Municipalities was discussed. Source of income of the Panchayat, Municipality and Corporation and the respective responsibilities gave a clear cut idea of the functionings of these governmental institutions. A detailed understanding of our political system is essential to understand the obligations of the respective government offices, which will help every citizen to duly ask for his rights. Lack of this knowledge, usually comes to the advantage of the corrupt officers, to hassle the citizens with excuses in the name of regulations.
Mr. James in the evening session spoke about Electoral Managers. We have an independent electoral system in the name of Election Commission of India, that was established on 25th January 1950 under Article 324 of Constitution of India. Areas were electoral enforcement system needs to be tightened are, income tax regulations and regulation of parties. Role of Civil society organizations as guardians of constitution and laws was explained. Process of election process, conduct and role of civil society organizations in the electoral process was analyzed and discussed in depth.

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