We all have been exposed to the process of governing in some way or the other and during some time or the other. As, bright kids in School as a prefect participating and controlling bunch of kids; as professional adults at various levels of hierarchy; as parents tending to the family needs and so on.  We do find on reflection that our worldly achievements have a meaningful correlation with our acts of omission and commission of the past and present acts of governance, in  fact what we are and what we have is partly on this count. However, a major portion of our present and future is affected through the process of governance by others.  We taste the fruits of good governance or the misery of non-governance from those whom we have empowered or to whom we meekly submit.  Governance refers to all processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government, market, or network, whether over a family, tribe, formal or informal organization, or territory, and whether through laws, norms, power, or language. It relates to processes and decisions that seek to define actions, grant power, and verify performance. I would restrict my observations on a narrow but a vital aspect ie politics and governance as this spells our wellbeing or doom.

There is a distinction between the concepts of governance and politics. Politics involves processes by which a group of people, with divergent opinions or interests, reach collective decisions generally regarded as binding on the group, and enforced as common policy.  Whereas, governance conveys the administrative and process oriented elements of governing to favor progress, wellbeing, peace and harmony. This perhaps is the traditional separation between “politics” and “administration”.  However in search for power there are those who ignore governance practice and theory and disregard the distinction, between “governance” and “politics.”  This is true of the German Third Reich, Franco Fascism, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Long Chinese March by Mao Tso Tung and nearer home the Pakistanis and Burmese experiment with Military Dictatorships and many others. The common denominator resulting from such adventurism has been large scale destruction and loss of life. The common nominator is the active connivance of those entrusted with governance; they either participate or do nothing and watch as silent spectators.

Let us examine our own backyard and we find many such skeletons. The horrors during partition cannot be forgotten, over two million lives lost for a lost cause. We could go into the governance aspect during this period, but would let it skip to be discussed some other day. The demolition of the Babri Masjid is a classic example of subservience of governance at the expense of greed and thirst for power. The plight of Kashmiri Pundits uprooted from their homes as victims of politics subverting governance. The murderous attacks on Sikhs a blot that can never be washed away or erased; most of us were silent spectators which included those who could effectively intervene. The Gujerat holocaust is yet another shameful act which polarized and shocked the entire nation and to this day it reverberates in some form or the other.  It is tragic that these ghastly events took place in spite of the wherewithal in the form of well trained and disciplined security forces that could nip the bud within no time. We watched in remorse and dismay and they watched wrenching in despair, helpless and anxiously waiting to be told to stop the bloodshed and restore normalcy; the instructions came but by then lives were lost, mayhem and destruction prevailed. Politics has subverted governance and to this date we are embroiled in the blame game.

Will such horrible acts be repeated in future?  Will the ruling governments continue to silently abet and encourage such acts of horror and violence? I hope not, but the prevalent political environment is not encouraging, politics is power at any cost irrespective of lives lost and destruction.  Are we to remain as spectators while the politicians arouse and preach divisiveness and hatred?  Is there a possible solution to come out of this quagmire?  Does our constitution require an amendment which could provide relief and succor from the existing nightmare?  Maybe you could provide the answer.

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