Time for the people to reclaim from Parliament the power to decide

Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 1st August, 2011

The movement to present to Parliament a Lokpal Bill formulated with the people’s consent, and the opposition of the ruling and opposition parties in Parliament to this movement, raises an important question of principle. 

Should the power to make laws be confined to the Members of Parliament, or should it reside in the hands of the people?
The Congress Party, BJP and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) differ with one another over the question of whether the Prime Minister should be included in the purview of the proposed anti-corruption agency called Lokpal.  However, they all agree that the power to decide lies strictly limited in the hands of Parliament, they do not want to extend it to anyone outside Parliament. 

According to these parties that dominate TV talk shows, people of our country can give their views, but they have no say in the decision.  Once they cast their votes, they lose all their power.  The power to decide has been transferred by them into the hands of those they elected.  This is the common position and political outlook shared by the Congress, BJP and CPI(M) – the three parties who are supposed to be engaged in a Big Fight.

The position of the Communist Ghadar Party of India is that the time has come to end the monopoly of legislative power held by the Members of Parliament.  The time has come to vest supreme decision-making power in the hands of the people as a whole, so that (i) absolute power is vested where it belongs, and where the toiling majority of people want it; (ii) no member of society is above the law, which is equally binding on all, and (iii) the will of the majority actually prevails. 

Communist Ghadar Party is of the view that the existing system of parliamentary democracy and its party-dominated political process is out of step with the times.  The system and its underlying theory are not only alien, imported from Europe, but several centuries old.It isdesigned to confine decision-making power within a privileged minority. 

What does it mean for the people to hold decision-making power in their hands?It means that the role of the people cannot and must not end on voting day.  They must not hand over all their power into the hands of those who win elections. 

First of all, people cannot be asked to choose among candidates whose selection is without their approval.  People, organised in definite collectives in their respective constituencies, must enjoy and exercise (i) the right to select, approve and reject candidates for election, (ii) right to recall those they elect at any time, and (iii) right to make new laws or change old ones.

Any party that defends the monopoly of legislative power in the hands of Parliament, swearing by the 1950 Constitution, is in effect defending the “right” of a super-rich exploiting minority to impose its will on our society.  The monopoly capitalists impose their will through money power and control over the parties and politicians in Parliament. 

The Communist Ghadar Party of India unconditionally supports the movement for people’s empowerment – that is, for the people to become the decision-makers.  Only then will majority rule become a reality, instead of being just an empty phrase.
The real big fight is not among parties that defend the status quo.  The real big fight is between those who defend the status quo and those who want profound transformations so as to vest sovereign power in the hands of the people.


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