Vice President cautions nation against unprincipled politics

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New Delhi, Jul 28 (UNI) Vice President Hamid Ansari today sought to caution the nation that unprincipled politics was destroying the key institutions of the Indian polity, and said the malaise could be cured only by citizens themselves.

Delivering the Fifth Krishan Kant Memorial lecture, Mr Anasri expressed concern over the disregard of the Rule of law, and the loss of credibility the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and political parties have sufferred over the recent decades, and said the trend had to be arrested, otherwise it would be destructive of for Indian state.

Quoting former Vice President Krishan Kant, he said, ''while bad politics may impair good governance, good politics is an essential requirement or the context in which good governance becomes possible.'' ''It follows that a good structure is essential but not sufficient guarantee for good governance; also that the citizen cannot be oblivious to the nature and content of politics, particularly when it threatens to deviate from norms of goodness,'' he added.

Mr Ansari also quoted Dr B R Ambedkar to eleborate his point, ''The working of Constitution does not depend wholly upon its nature. The Constitution can provide only the organs of the state such as the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. The factors on which the working of those organs of the state depends are the people and the political parties they will set up as their instruments to carry out their wishes and their politics. Who can say how the people of India and their parties will behave?'' ''Where do we stand today? There is a pervasive sense of pessimism about the efficacy of institutions. A performance audit would show that the instrumentalities at the disposal of our legislatures have either been blunted or become dysfunctional. The single most important issue of concern is the decreasing credibility of our legislatures as effective institutions capable of delivering public good and contributing to effective formulation of laws and public policy,'' said the Vice President.

He said the balance between its political and professional components of the executive has been disturbed, which was evident in the functioning of the civil service and particularly of the police.

Thus 'the myth of authority', on which the power of the State depends, has been dented and has resulted in what has been called 'executive under reach, added Mr Ansari'.

He said even the judiciary has not been immune to allegations of corruption and concern had been expressed about the absence of a mechanism of accountability other than the process of impeachment.

A less scrutinised aspect of the functioning has been the role of political parties in the promotion or otherwise of democratic and federal functioning, giving rise to the question as to whether a representative government was the same as responsive government, and whether practices of governance satisfy the requirements of rule of law, he said.

He said, ''Dismal though the picture may be, it cannot be allowed to dampen the will. In the final analysis, therefore, there is no option but to go back to Gandhiji's dictum that politics without principle is a sin.

Only this can be the basis of good politics; only good citizens can bring it about; only this will retain and sustain the spirit of the Constitution and lead to the fulfilment of its objectives.'' UNI NAZ GL SK KP2032

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