President Memorandum 12-04-2017
The Hon'ble President of India
SUB: REPRESENTATION ON BEHALF OF THE OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES REGARDING THE RECENT ATTEMPTS TO UNDERMINE CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW
Respected Rashtrapati ji ,
We wish to draw the kind attention of Rashtrapati ji to recent critical developments, which have seriously undermined accepted norms of governance and institutional integrity. Arbitrariness in decision making and the appointments to key constitutional positions in brazen disregard of established procedures and practices, is a matter of concern.
Another matter of grave concern is the prevailing environment of fear and insecurity in the country . Triggering false debates, manufacturing post-truths , orchestrating an inflammatory narrative on nationalism and exploiting religious sentiments, muzzling voices of dissent and threats of violence to the citizens, are vitiating the environment and jeopardising the cause of peace and security.
In a democracy, where rule of law must always prevail, lumpen elements masquerading as vigilantes, moral police, gau rakshaks and anti romeo squads to further a narrow agenda, have created an environment of harassment, violence and mob lynching of citizens, unacceptable in a constitutional democracy where the fundamental right to life & dignity must be ensured. The recent incidents of violence and lynching inspired by the ideology of the ruling establishment in Alwar (Rajasthan), Vagjipara and Una (Gujarat), Dadri (Uttar Pradesh) and Jharkhand are few cases to point. The above incidents underscore a calculated design to pull back India to medieval times and equate it with oppressive states and regimes where the citizens are oppressed.
There has been a clear tendency by the Government, to avoid legislative scrutiny and bypass established practices for the enactment of legislation. It is misusing its brute majority in the Lok Sabha to scuttle parliamentary debate and scrutiny of bills by refusing to refer the same to the Parliamentary standing committees. The present government is guilty of weakening the institution of Parliament and creating undemocratic precedents never seen before.
Many key bills masked as Money Bills expose the intention of the government to deny the Council of States its constitutional position in the enactment of laws. Changing 11 Acts through the omnibus Finance Bill, 2017 is unprecedented, improper and shocking.
The recent cases of alleged tampering and malfunctioning of EVM machines, particularly in the recently concluded assembly elections, has raised bonafide concerns on the possibility of manipulating electoral outcomes. The political parties in Opposition have represented to the Election Commission of India on 10.04.2017 which has agreed to call an All Party meeting in order to ensure that the transparency and fairness of the electoral process is upheld and citizens are reassured, of the integrity of the electoral process.
Appointments in central investigating, intelligence and law enforcement agencies are being done with the sole purpose to further an agenda of vendetta against political opponents. The purpose is to harass, humiliate and persecute those who question the government or agitate against it. This is part of a larger campaign to violate the fundamental rights and privileges that are constitutionally guaranteed.
India is witnessing a disturbing centralization of authority, emergence of an authoritarian model of governance that is being implemented with impunity. Extra constitutional authorities/persons have usurped the powers of the Government subverting the establishment. Senior officials of the Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigations, Enforcement Directorate and other law enforcement agencies are being asked to act on the diktat of extra constitutional authorities.
The Government has launched a frontal attack on the autonomy of universities, academic, cultural and historical institutions. In particular the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, an institution which has a rich history of chronicling our freedom movement, is being populated with those who have no commitment to the Indian national movement and the principles espoused by the founding fathers of the Republic. Similar attempts are being made to undermine the autonomy of Nalanda University. We also protest at all attempts to recognise and project personalities who neither led nor participated in our freedom struggle by associating them with autonomous institutions.
Continued violence resulting in deaths and injuries and failure of the governance in J&K is a matter of great national concern. Had the Government implemented the understanding arrived by the Parliamentary Delegation led by Home Minister of implementing confidence building measures of dialogue with all stakeholders, the situation would have been addressed. It is an imperative that the Government addresses the crisis and creates an reassuring environment for people to participate in democratic process and caste their vote without intimidation and violence.
The last three years have contributed to the creation of an alarming situation never seen in this country. We seek the urgent intervention of the Hon'ble Rashtrapati to protect India's constitutional democracy, preserve its plurality & diversity, safeguard fundamental rights that are constitutionally guaranteed to the citizens of India and ensure that the rule of law is upheld in letter and spirit.