Justice MN Venkatachaliah
Former Chief Justice of India &
Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission
Our centralised democracy based on colonial institutions is exploitative and clearly at the root of all the problems confronting the nation. If we had listened to Gandhiji and instituted a democracy in which every village and district functioned as a self-sustaining entity, the nation would have been different today.
In democracies, the people are the sovereign and have implicit sovereign right to information, consultation, participation and referendum. Referendum is the supreme sovereign right and exists even if not specifically provided for in a constitution.
People First deserves credit for conceptualising Sovereign Rights Commissions for bringing about change through the will of the common people. This would be a legitimate, non-violent method of transforming our society. November, 1997