It is natural in the current mood of political despair to look for far-reaching remedies to the country’s system of governance. One solution that has been advocated is that of the right to “recall” elected representatives to Parliament and state legislative assemblies.
On Sunday, PTI reported that chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi has warned that any such rule could destabilize the country.
S.Y. Quraishi, chief election commissioner of India. File photo
There are many reasons to doubt if this right can cure ills of our political system. India is too vast a country for it to be practical. If put in place, it will lead to a near-continuous round of recalls. The device has worked well in countries that are much more homogeneous than India; its effectiveness here is doubtful. It would be much better to lower the entry barriers to politics to enable entry of fresh blood and ensuring that elective offices don’t become the preserve of an oligarchy.