Home India Modi Regime i...

Modi Regime in Favour of ‘Minimum Government’

The transformative outcome of 2014 general election, giving BJP under Modi's projected leadership a majority of its own for the first time

0
Modi, Regime, Government
The political-bureaucratic nexus is what had made the regimes preceding Prime Minister Modi's, a hallmark of permissive corruption. Pixabay

A democratic regime runs on two important premises – first, that the predominant majority of citizens were law abiding people and the enforcement agencies could use this to their advantage and, secondly, that the political executive governing the nation should look strong but without letting the bureaucracy including the police behave like ‘rulers’, not public servants. The remarkable rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 was very much due to his image as a leader who would deal with the corrupt with an iron hand and get his administrative machinery to focus totally on public delivery and development. Modi’s policies in the spheres of international relations and safeguarding of India’s strategic interests are extremely successful – and this includes the handling of that perpetual trouble spot in J&K, the Kashmir valley. But the approach to ‘tightening the screws’ on violators of law has apparently shifted from a meaningful effort to improve the working of enforcement agencies including the police, to merely providing harsher laws.

The problem of governance in India over the decades was not so much the absence of deterrence of law as was the known lack of integrity in the bureaucracy and police agencies that led to highly suboptimal delivery in the areas of both development and law and order management. The political-bureaucratic nexus is what had made the regimes preceding Prime Minister Modi’s, a hallmark of permissive corruption and lack of accountability – running top down – to the great distress of the average loyal citizen of India. The transformative outcome of 2014 general election, giving BJP under Modi’s projected leadership a majority of its own for the first time, is traceable to the wish of the law abiding voters to put a people-centric set-up in power that would tone up the performance of public servants too.

It is possible that the bureaucracy – taking the cue from the new regime’s explicit desire to provide a ‘strong’ government – sensed an opportunity of becoming the ‘policy maker’ themselves on behalf of the political leadership, scaling down its own prime accountability for policy execution and started working for stronger laws and rules rather than for ensuring implementation of those already available on the shelf. Introduction of a harsh jail term for non- compliance with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provisions and more recently revision of Motor Vehicles Act to multiply the scales of punishment for traffic defaults seemed to reflect this approach of civil servants and the police. The CSR clause had to be hastily ‘decriminalised’ and the implementation of new traffic laws had to be left to the discretion of state governments. Financial scams needed to be busted with all the force of law and gross violations of traffic rules required to be identified and punished but without causing anxiety to the well meaning lot who might have transgressed a little without intention.

Look at the crime and traffic scene in Delhi. The problem on the road was created basically by cab drivers and rash young people on the wheels who indulged in ‘lane surfing’, overtaking from the wrong side and mindlessly blocking the left turn at a crossing. Large groups of traffic policemen can be seen at important junctions but there is little effort made over the years to educate people on ‘lane driving’ and haul up those who just drove ‘between two lanes’ all the time. No traffic men were deployed on the stretch between traffic signals to detect the violators of lane discipline and inform the next check point for further action against an identified vehicle.

Modi, Regime, Government
The problem of governance in India over the decades was not so much the absence of deterrence of law as was the known lack of integrity in the bureaucracy and police agencies that led to highly suboptimal delivery in the areas of both development and law and order management. Pixabay

Also, there is a tendency to leave everything to the lowest echelons – the reported directive recently issued by Commissioner of Police, Delhi to the Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) to monitor the worsening crime situation on the streets of Delhi reflected in the rise of snatching cases and violent assaults in public, somewhere points to this. The ‘punitive drive’ of the police in the follow-up on the new traffic laws scared the law abiding more than what it did to the habitual violators. Exercise of a sense of ‘discretion’ between a speed of say 52 km and 60 km – against the displayed limit of 50 km – on the part of law enforcers would have helped to retain the public goodwill but this will happen only when senior officers are in the picture and ‘misuse’ of discretion would not be an issue.

In the initial phase of a sudden switch over to harsher rules affecting the population in general, there is a certain importance of ‘education’ and ‘warnings for first violations’ going together with punitive fines. Memories of harsh behaviour towards the public linger on – the middle class being particularly sensitive to any administration trying to ‘rule’ the people. Any defence of the overzealous drive to collect traffic fines on the plea that it added to the revenue of the government is absurd and somewhat demeaning from the people’s point of view. The traffic police is seemingly banking more on detecting speed limit violations through a hastily assembled CCTV system and not yet devoting to the painstaking job of catching drunken drivers which should be a top priority for the law enforcers.

The basic philosophy of law enforcement in a democratic set-up is that the violation of criminal law, big or small, would not be spared but any extenuating circumstances would be taken due notice of – even the Indian Penal Code defines a set of General Exceptions. Policing today is as much a task of guiding and educating the public as it is of prompt action against a law breaker. As it is, police has to do much better in the area of preventing crime and bringing hardened criminals to justice. If the law abiding shun the police, it can affect our capacity to detect and identify an enemy agent running a ‘sleeper cell’ in the midst of population.

Also Read- More than 2 Lakh Appeals and Complaints Pending in Information Commissions

The Modi regime is in favour of ‘minimum government’ which is an idea incumbent on a smaller bureaucratic and police machinery working at its efficient best and seniors assuming greater responsibility for delivery. Political credit in a democratic rule accrues a great deal from the image of the administration – it has to be people friendly while creating deterrence for the anti-social elements and criminals out there. (IANS)

Next Story

Delhi Govt Issues Advisory for Spraying Pesticides to Deal With Locust Attack

Delhi government will also run awareness programmes regarding the same threat

0
grass-locust-pesticides
The threat of locusts is increasing in North India. Pixabay

To deal with the attack of locusts in the national capital, the Delhi government has issued an advisory for spraying pesticides, Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said on Thursday.

Rai said in view of the increasing threat of locusts in north India, the Agriculture Department of the Delhi government will run awareness programmes to make the people and farmers of Delhi aware of this new threat.

“Also, the Delhi Government has issued advisory on spraying pesticides and its quantity,” Rai tweeted.

The circular was issued in order to prevent a probable attack in Delhi by a swarm of locusts, which are reportedly present in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“All concerned authorities are hereby advised to take preventive measures to control and eradicate the locusts to avoid devastating effect on standing agricultural and horticultural crops, vegetation, plants, gardens, orchard etc. in Delhi,” the circular said.

Pesticides
“Also, the Delhi Government has issued advisory on spraying pesticides and its quantity,” Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai tweeted. Wikimedia Commons

It directed that awareness programmes be organised for the public and farmers to prevent and control any such invasion by locusts in Delhi.

Also Read: NASA, SpaceX Postpone Historic Astronauts Launch Due to Bad Weather

“As the swarm usually fly in day time, and rest during night time therefore the locusts should not be allowed to rest especially during night,” it said.

The circular added that the authorities may carry out spraying of insecticides or pesticides during the night.

The chemicals suggested for spraying were Malathion 50% EC; Malathion 25% WP; Chlorpyrifos 20 % EC; and Chlorpyrifos 50 % EC. (IANS)

Next Story

Haryana Govt Imposes Fine for Spitting in Public and Not Wearing Mask

A fine of Rs. 500 will be imposed on anyone seen breaking the norms

0
haryana
"Now there is provision of imposing fine for spitting and not wearing mask in public places," Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij told the media. Wikimedia Commons

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Wednesday said the state had made a provision of imposing a fine of Rs 500 each on people for not wearing masks and spitting in public places as per Latest news on coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Now there is provision of imposing fine for spitting and not wearing mask in public places,” he told the media.

He said it was the priority of the government to contain the virus. For this, the rules have been framed and a notification would be issued on Wednesday itself.

Vij, who also holds a health portfolio, said state four districts — Gurugram, Sonepat, Faridabad and Jhahhar — located in the NCR have been worst-affected districts.

In Gurugram and Faridabad, 33 and 22 new cases, respectively, were reported on Tuesday.

He said in the state the virus doubling rate is 19 days, recovery rate is 66 per cent and the testing rate is 4,000 per million.

HAryana
Anyone seen without a mask will be fined in Haryana. Pixabay

Also Read: ICRA Expects Moderate Participation in Spectrum Auctions

“If we leave four districts located in the NCR and the cases related to the Tablighi Jamaat, Haryana will be the number one state in the country to contain the virus,” he said, adding, “still we are in a better position”.

The minister said 12 positive cases relating to frontline policemen were reported from Jhajjar on Tuesday.

He said he issued directions to provide and make it mandatory for the policemen on duty to don gloves, masks and other safety gear. (IANS)

Next Story

39.9 % British Adults Indulged into Sexual Activity During Lockdown

Low levels of sexual activity was found in UK adults during lockdown

0
Adults
Approximately 40% of UK adults were found sexually active during lockdown. Pixabay

Only four in 10 adults have had sex at least once a week during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, according to a new study. For the findings, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the research team investigated the levels of sexual activity during social distancing and self-isolation.

“When starting this research we expected there to be a high level of sexual activity while social isolating at home, but interestingly we found a very low level,” said study researcher Dr Lee Smith from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK.

According to the study, Only 39.9 per cent of the 868 British adults surveyed for the research had taken part in any form of sexual activity during the previous seven days. The study found that being younger, male, married and a consumer of alcohol was associated with greater sexual activity.

Previous research has shown an association between sexual activity and physical health, including helping to protect older adults against cardiovascular events. Frequent sexual activity has also been associated with various mental health benefits and improved cognitive function.

Adult
The study found that being younger, male, married and a consumer of alcohol was associated with greater sexual activity. Pixabay

The findings of this new study suggest that the UK government’s public health messaging around COVID-19 self-isolation and social distancing could include promoting sexual activity as a way of maintaining physical and mental health. This low level of sexual activity could be explained by people currently feeling anxious and stressed owing to the pandemic and not being in the mood to engage in the act, the researcher said.

Also Read: Ways to go Sustainable While Maintaining Menstrual Hygiene

Moreover, those who are not married or cohabiting may not currently be able to meet up with their sexual partners and similarly, those who use online apps to facilitate casual sex will currently not be able to do this. “A lot of my previous research has shown that frequent and trouble-free sex life is important for higher levels of enjoyment of life and general mental health, and this is particularly true for older adults,” Smith said.

However, this study showed that older adults were less likely than younger adults to engage in sexual activity. (IANS)