If there was a contest for guessing the most popular activity among Indians this summer, you know what I would vote for?
Making laws. Or debating on how they should be made. If you don’t believe me, just pause for a moment and look around you. Every ‘public leader’ worth his or her salt is either busy drafting a Bill or jostling for space around the table where it is being drafted. Meanwhile, every conscious and concerned citizen is furiously arguing over just how these Bills should be drafted and by who…! And the upshot of this? Law Making has emerged as the most favourite pastime of our nation.
Nothing wrong with it, did you say? After all, legislation is the backbone, or more accurately, the teeth of democracy. Certainly it is. But the law can take a bite only when it is backed by an efficient, unbiased, and transparent system to enforce it. Confused? I will give you an example. Almost all the states, barring a small handful, have come up with laws to regulate use of groundwater. Purpose? To heal and replenish the dark zones, where groundwater has been exploited way more than it should have been. Impact till now? Zero. The dark zones are only getting darker--and more scarily – larger every year.
We cannot fight exploitation – in any form – just by making laws. We have to find a way to make them work. Right?