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How the three pillars of democracy have together Screwed the Fourth Pillar

72 years of being a democratic republic and honestly, we can still question how far we’ve come as a democracy like the father of the constitution, Mr. B.R. Ambedkar and the otherwise forefathers and mothers would’ve wanted us to. Those who framed the constitution wanted the three pillars- legislature, executive and judiciary to be independent, to have clearly defined and drawn separate powers. However, what we see today is not only the abuse of that power but also their influence on each other and their collective corrupt touchpoints. The need for strict separation from the judiciary, which forms the basis for any successful democracy in the world, is nothing but blurry lines in the country. Accountability and responsibility, what’s that? It is long known that the collusion of the three pillars, in any manner, would only be responsible for a corrupt influence, chaos and unjust system. And that’s exactly what democracy stands against, right?

The legislature, the deliberate body who’s empowered to make, change it repeal the laws of a country, doesn’t seem interested to be doing its job, at all. When were the last time we heard actual debates and not just some shouting and blurry personal vendettas across the room? It has become more apparent than ever how the government has completely made it their interest fulfilling mechanism than to serve the people who put them in that position. The protesting people on the streets and the government not batting an eye seems like an appropriate example for the statement. corruption, self-interest and ignorance- no other pair of three words describe this pillar of the democracy better, and to say the least, we should be ashamed.

Our very own bureaucrats, who were trusted with the responsibility of keeping the political agendas of government in check, are doing so by joining hands with the government. Who’s still putting the needs of the citizens of the country before those of political parties on power? I guess no one. The police going out of line by becoming a threat to the security of its very own people by following what the masters need them to do, or the departments of Income-tax and investigation becoming more corrupt than ever- what other significant things we could state to show how awfully the executive is failing at its job. This pillar that was supposed to be a separate power has become a part of the party in power, an extension of it and we’re witnessing it going down every single day.

The Judiciary, the transparent body that was supposed to keep in check all of this, has become the weakest of them all. Its actions, delays and record have led people to believe not to trust it anymore, and if the country’s own people think they can’t trust its justice system, there’s no system left to deliver anymore. All we have right now are people in the influence of the ruling party’s power, long due delays for justice and still no assurance, abuse and misuse of a position of power, and a list of complaints. Inline implementation check and maintenance of law, some of the key duties of the judiciary, are long gone from the system.

And if you think this is all, you’re probably missing out on a more saddening fallout- the fourth pillar of democracy i.e. the media. They were considered the spirit of a healthy democracy because they shape people’s opinions and brings about transparency in what those in power are doing for those who put them in power. But I guess once the three pillars that help the fourth one achieve its ultimate goal get corrupt, there’s nothing much left for the fourth pillar to do than to be screwed.  They say a democracy only gets strong when people raise their voices, state their opinions and take their stands, and the media’s job is to amplify that voice, that anger and that spirit. After all, it all starts from a small beginning, right? This makes one thing very clear. Media is for the people. It is for the government, the legislature to know what people are feeling and ensure they’re listening to us. Wow, seems like we forgot this long ago. Because as far as we can tell from what we witness today, Media feels like a representative of the government and to push their sides down the throats of people.

The media is also supposed to keep us informed with unbiased information and facts about what actually is going down in the big building of the government. And it happens only when the three pillars are doing its job. Because for the biased, misrepresented facts that the media feeds us with today is nothing but aftermath of the extensively weak pillars of the insect-ridden legislature, executive and judiciary. So with MPs and MLAs in the legislature nodding their heads unconditionally with their party bosses, bureaucrats in the judiciary being more concerned about their post-retirement jobs and judges in the judiciary that are biased and fancy their jobs more than they fancy justice, we cannot expect media to be doing its job in a fair, healthy manner.

We can scream all we want that we need change and how all of this is rumbling our 72-year-old building of democracy, but we cannot deny how internalised we have made this breach of power and authority. We ourselves have been a big part of this problem for we choose to mistake the prime minister for the nation and blind faith into nationalism. We choose to ignore and when such choices are made deliberately, saving becomes a more or less secondary option. So, prioritise if you want to save your democracy to be a primary focus because as it is said, “Our democracy may be more resilient than you might think, but it is not invincible.”

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