A three member team of Dr. Munish Raizada, Jyoti Shukla and Swati Mishra from Newsgram visited CMS (Centre for Media Studies) in Saket, New Delhi in October, 2021 to interview Dr. N Bhaskar Rao, founding President of CMS about the political system in India and issues related to it.
Dr. Rao is a pioneer in social research in India and an eminent mass communication specialist with a distinguished background of over 40 years. Dr. Rao is credited for birth of Applied Social Science Research in India and done numerous research studies on various subjects. He has also held senior advisory positions with government and international agencies.
Through the thoughts of Dr. N. Bhaskar Rao, let's understand the important issues, which have been ignored by political parties for their own benefit for years.
Let us know more about Dr. Rao and his thoughts about the concept of political parties in India's democracy, in his conversation with Newsgram:
Jyoti Shukla: Dr. Rao, tell us something about yourself.
Dr. Rao: I serve as the founding president of the Centre for Media Studies. I have written many books on governance issues. Recently, I have presented my two books "Rejuvenating Republic" and "Next big game changer for election in India" to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. In which proposals like civic activism, good governance, rejuvenation of the republic and third eye of the ruler have been discussed in details.
Dr. Rao has many books on governance issues, most recent is "Rejuvenating Republic". |Newsgram
Dr. Munish Raizada: There is no mention of the party system or political parties in the Indian Constitution, then how are these parties so active in politics today?
Dr. Rao: It is interesting in itself that there is no mention of the party system or political parties anywhere in the constitution but still these parties are in existence today and they dominate everywhere. Gandhiji had said that political parties would emerge as the biggest threat to Indian democracy in the times to come. Even Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, a member of the Constitutional Group, never insisted that there should be a political party, he had definitely mentioned that there should be an election but it is not mandatory for political parties to be there. The surprising thing is that today no one talks about this subject. But I believe that it is necessary to talk about this because today the root of all problems is political parties. Today you cannot do any work without a political party and that in itself is a big problem. This book of mine "Next – Big Game Changer for election in India" discusses this topic in detail.
Swati Mishra: If it is not written in the constitution then, why do these political parties exist? Has no one ever challenged this?
Dr. Rao: Political parties are the root of all problems and they had started to dominate the democratic system. If you remember, 'Parliament' came into existence only after the first election. And now even if you want to bring any change, it will be amended only by the people sitting in the Parliament. But who are the people who are sitting in Parliament today? They are the same political parties. When the same people are in Parliament too, who will challenge this? Who will amend? No one. Only you, me, and people like us can challenge it. We can tell the public, "how political parties are becoming a villain for the country."
Parliament came into existence only after the first election. |Wikipedia
Dr. Munish Raizada: What you think about Party less democracy or Party less election?
Dr. Rao: I would like to tell you, there is only a slight difference between party-less democracy and party-less election. If you have a party-less democracy then achieving a party-less elections becomes easier. I am having a view where we can allow political parties to exist but elections should be party-less. We can only move forward slowly in this stagnant system. We cannot bring all the changes all of a sudden.
The first and most important point is, we have to reduce the number of political parties. This rotten system has to break. All the political parties in India are working only for themselves and not for the people. It is very important for this to reach the public and explain it to them. "It's like Frog and Snake, frogs are the people and the snake is the party and Frog is already in the snake's mouth." So, first of all people have to understand the true meaning of democracy. The thought that 'we' cannot bring change or that civil society cannot bring change, is simply wrong. These parties will not rule in future if we raise our voices. So, the mindset has to be changed and everyone will have to try at their own level. Only then. can a wave of change be established in this country.
Dr. Munish Raizada: What do you think, can political change be brought ?
Dr. Rao: I would say, I have been working in this field for more than 50 years. I have done a lot of research on this topic, though I have tried to understand by talking to people and now my research of so many years says that 'change' can be brought. I also believe we have people like Prime Minister Modi, who talk about political reforms. Apart from this, he has many ideas, so I believe that if efforts are made, change can be brought. And there is one more important point which I would like to say "The best hope is the people, who are not in the grip of the Party." It is most important to understand the fact that most of the powers are in the hands of the people, only then the wave of change can be taken to a higher level. (Interview/PR)
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