Bangalore: Intellectuals in Karnataka need to research the existing political system and improve the governance in the state, said V S Malimath, chairman of Karnataka State Law Commission.
At a seminar held here on Saturday on ‘Need for electoral reforms in India,’ organised by the Forum of Former Vice-Chancellors of Karnataka, he said that intellectuals like lawyers, judges and academicians who were in the the forefront of the Indian political scene before independence had now become selfish, allowing it to get into the hands of unworthy people. “We are following the Westminster form of democracy in India but, things are highly undemocratic now, with the concept of coalition governments which started off post 1989,” he said.
“Intellectuals are not bothered about governance now. Of the people enrolled as voters, only 60 per cent exercise their right to vote,” he added. Terming the present government system as an anarchy, Malimath observed that the rise in crimes such as rape and lack of safety is due to absence of law and order. “In many constituencies there are only two candidates and given that only 60 per cent of registered voters cast their vote, the winning party will have to garner only 31 per cent of the votes. So, the majority of people are actually being ruled by a minority,” he pointed out.
He urged that the intellectual fora must send out young teams to various parts of the country to study the areas and the requirements and present a report to the government so that the ruling people can actually get an idea of grassroot realities.
V Vijayakumar, Professor of Law at the National Law School of India University said that a major component of electoral reforms was amending Article 75 (5) of the Constitution and create a disconnect between the legislative power holders and executive power holders. “Elected representatives at present are seizing executive functions. People threaten to withdraw support to parties if they are not made ministers. There is scant respect for making laws and elected representatives are losing their purpose,” he said.