Friday 30 August 2013

Divested In Democracy

It is often asked that who will guard the guardians. This question reminds of the Latin phrase 'Quis custodiet ipso custodies ? ' penned by the Roman poet, Juvenal. The saying induces one to dwell on the issue as to in whom the ultimate powers should vest. Democracies around the world try to resolve the dilemma by separating powers between various organs that are responsible for governance and administration. The idea is to never give ultimate power to any one group, but to let the interests of each limb of the State collide and conflict with that of the others. The point of it being that absolute power shall not rest in any authority. In that way each bloc will find it in its interest to check and impede the excesses of others, thereby constantly and perpetually inhibiting it from corrupting itself.

 Perhaps born out of the fear of the hackneyed saying "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely", separation of powers between various organs of the State ensures that each is the sentinel against the corrupt tendencies of the other. Man's ingenuity has led him to overcome every obstacle before fulfillment of his aspirations. It has led him to devise schemes to circumvent the restraint sought to be induced by separation of powers. Organs are hands in gloves to look away from each other's foibles. So instead of acting as custodian of the each other’s virtues, agencies of the State obligated to implement laws, have done deals to remain oblivious to the wrongs committed by their counterparts in return for having their own corruption overlooked, thereby ensuring that the law remains a dead letter in thick books.

By and large, however, the system of separation of powers is a befitting recourse for the soundness of any democracy. Notwithstanding the outcomes presently afflicting the administration of the nation, this principle should never be given up, if we intend to preserve the ideals of our democratic Constitution.

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