Most of the literate people themselves wouldn’t be able to differentiate between these two. If the literate themselves do not know the difference, what kind of an informed ‘choice’ are the balance 30% going to make at the time of voting in a Democracy?
Should they know the difference? If the people knew the difference, would their choice be any different? In case it is different, on what count, would it be different? Yes, I guess.
Firstly, through Article 162 of the Constitution of India, the Executive power of the States is defined. This is merely to carve out the areas in which the State could exclusively act, those areas where it has to act along with the Union, and those areas which are outside its scope.
If we read Article 53 of the Constitution, the Executive Power would not be thus circumscribed as the Parliament has the Residual powers, as such the Executive Power cannot be circumscribed or defined, as the Parliament is empowered to act in areas unenvisaged as yet, but provided for a contingent situation.
Therefore, the True meaning of ‘Executive Power’ has to be discovered from Art 162 only. Which is ‘Executive Power is coextensive with the Legislative power within its competency’.
162. Extent of executive power of State.
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive power of a State shall extend to the matters with respect to which the Legislature of the State has power to make laws:
53. Executive power of the Union.
(1) The executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution.
I’ve reproduced part of the two Articles for reference and it can be noticed that the Executive Power of the Union is not clearly defined, as the wordings of the Article would have become clumsy if one had to detail the residual powers also.
Therefore, for the understanding of a layman like me, the Executive Power of any authority would be circumscribed by the Legislative Power it has been vested with under the Constitution.
So, what is the difference?
Aristotle said this:
‘It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens’ and upon evolution of this idea through Locke and Dicey we have the Rule of Law.
But Laws have to be made by human beings and that body of Human beings are the Legislators. It is they who are required to be elected in our great Indian democracy. We don’t elect Executives, we elect only Legislators. Or to put it even more lucidly, we elect the Law Makers and not the Ministers.
The Ministers are a body of Legislators who enjoy the majority support of the Legislature, whether it be the Parliament or the Assembly. These Ministers are the ones who perform the Executive functions in the name of the President or the Governors.
Therefore, when we elect, we elect people to do the primary function of making laws. These laws cannot be discriminatory and should have universal applicability with reasonable exceptions carved out as mentioned in the Constitution as Directive Principles of State Policy or even as exceptions in some of the Fundamental Rights, otherwise those Laws run the risk of being struck down as offending the Constitutional guarantees or even its Basic Structure.
So the Executive has to be a Legislator FIRST, therefore, it is imperative on the part of the electorate to decide the competency of a person as a Legislator before considering any other aspect.
If a Julius Caesar were to use his techniques he employed with the Gauls against the Romans citizens, there would be order and peace for a while but no true Growth.
True growth means even getting to employ the differently abled and the weak into the machinery of the State or the Nation and providing them the wages not according to their productivity but according to the effort put in by them.
I am very impressed with Bharat Petroleum, as they employ persons with limited understanding to just fill gas and note the reading and collect the amount shown in the meter. The effort those young boys put in, to perform those basic functions are no less contributory than the skilled workers. We, as a society have salvaged, a person from getting ghettoised and marginalised from the dungeons of his own house, where he could be seen as a burden. Having been made an earning member, Bharat Petroleum has fulfilled not CSR obligations but a duty as a member of the Society.
We need Legislators who are capable of distinguishing not on grounds of materialism like Productivity alone but providing ways of livelihood for the deprived and the disabled, without compromising on recognising and fostering Merit and the Meritorious.
When we understand this we will not turn to Legislators who make rabble rousing speeches but to those Legislators who are capable of taking other Legislators along on a sane and fair path to make Laws and find ways to implement the same justly.
Voting is a Right in a Democracy, but to vote rightly is merely an option. Don’t waste it.