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29 Nov, 2013

How much Indian democracy’s ‘software’ lags behind its ‘hardware’ – The Times Of India

By Dileep Padgaonkar

27 November 2013 – Administrative and legal processes are now underway to get to the bottom of four high-profile cases involving, directly or otherwise, an assault on the dignity of women. They include a Supreme Court judge, the editor and managing editor of an influential weekly magazine, a former home minister of a major state in the Union (and, possibly, its current chief minister as well) and a spiritual guru with a vast following. What is at stake in each case is abuse of power that is in flagrant violation of the laws by those who are duty-bound – because of the positions they occupy – to uphold them.

The intricacies of the cases continue to be subjected to close and critical scrutiny in the media. But the larger picture they reveal hasn’t attracted the requisite attention: the growing disconnect between the “hardware” and the “software” of Indian democracy. The “hardware” of democracy include legislative and executive institutions (Parliament, state assemblies, panchayats etc), the judiciary, official statutory and non-statutory bodies, political parties and the media. And the “software” relates to the observance of rules and regulations, conventions and precedents to enable the institutions to function in a transparent, accountable and effective manner. What is the record?

via A few high-profile cases reveal how much democracy’s ‘software’ lags behind its ‘hardware’ – The Times Of India.