Democracy is the finest invention of mankind: Venkatachaliah

A group of people from different walks of life have come together to explore the possibility of launching an apolitical struggle to save and strengthen democracy by fighting corruption.

The group comprises the former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah, the former Director General and Inspector-General of Police T. Madiyal, retired IPS officers N.B. Bhat, H.R. Kasturi Rangan and Suresh Babu, and the former legislators Anna Vinayachandra, Ramachandra Reddy and Munivenkata Reddy among others.

The group held a preliminary meeting in Bangalore on Saturday to decide on their future course of action to fight corruption.

Social activist Abraham and the former legislators Ejasuddin and L.T. Thimmappa Hegde and retired IAS officer D. Gangappa were also present.

Mr. Venkatachaliah underlined the need for instilling faith in democracy among the common people so that they become confident of getting justice through democratic means. To achieve this, Mr. Venkatachaliah said that he had in the past suggested to the Lokayukta to form hobli-level teams comprising officials from the Lokayukta, the State Human Rights Commission and the police complaints authority to address people’s grievances.

Stressing the need to fight corruption in a bid to strengthen democracy, Mr. Venkatachaliah called upon people to “tirelessly” engage with institutions like the Lokayukta, Election Commission and the High Court to protect democracy.

“You should make use of these institutions tirelessly and constantly if you want to safeguard democracy. It is only through struggles and fights that you can save and strengthen the country’s democracy,” he said.

Describing democracy as the finest invention of mankind, he said: “Democracy ensures that people are governed no better than they deserve.” “We have reduced democracy into a situation where a voter can auction his vote to the highest bidder against the spirit of the democracy.” He also expressed concern over the freedom of the press that had degenerated into the power of the media.

On the occasion, the former MLA Ramachandra Reddy said that such was decline in values in politics that 31 per cent of the electorate in the recent presidential elections comprised legislators and MPs who had criminal cases pending against them.

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