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5 % elite pol families ruling India: Lyngdoh
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAR 11 (NPN):
Published on 12 Mar. 2011 1:28 AM IST
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India is a “nominal democracy” with “political families and a few elite” continuing to rule the nation since its independence, unfairly.
Former Chief Election Commissioner, James Michael Lyngdoh said, five percent elite and political families are ruling the nation since the country’s independence and he therefore considers India a sham democracy.
“To say that elections in the country are conducted free and fair is absolutely laughable,” the outspoken Lyngdoh said, who himself took many powerful politicians to task for grossly violating the election process, during his tenure as CEC.
Lyngdoh is in Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya, attending a three-day national campaign for people’s right to information on the theme ‘Reclaiming democracy’, which started off Thursday.
He said “rich candidates and people connected with political families” almost always have their way out in dictating the terms of the elections in India.
Unless, he said, the five percent elite and political families are held accountable to make way for an equalitarian society, India cannot remotely consider itself a democracy. “I cannot think of a democracy without competition,” he said.
Lyngdoh was pessimistic when asked if India would soon witness an outburst like the Arab world, said: “I don’t see it happening for a long time now.” He blamed the present caste system in India as a road-block for an uprising like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other nations.
“The caste system is like an extended family. They take refuge in each other for security, because politicians have kept them helpless over the years. Unless they get an alternative this would continue and India would remain divided,” he cited.
Meanwhile, former Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah said, about 20,000 RTI applications were pending before the Central Information Commission.
He added if the people have to wait for so long for information than there is no justice. “The Act becomes useless if people have to wait for so long,” he added.
He said, the government being proactive in providing the information sought legitimises its standing. “If it doesn’t than the level of mistrust about the government increases,” he said.

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