Dr HC Pande
Defining democracy,M.N.Roy once remarked that it is nothing but just the majority of one.The truth of this remark need not be discussed here,since in India,democracy is alive and kicking.However,who is alive and who is getting kicked is the real issue.
The framers of the noble Constitution of India,without doubt,were leaders with great far-sight but with terrible near-sight.They could clearly read across the seas,accept the ideas of liberty,equality & fraternity as the basis of a modern state,and design the grand edifice of the constitution.However,being short-sighted,they could not see the swampy soil on which the edifice had to be built.At the time of gaining independence the good firm earth,where Ashoka had renounced armed conquests and Buddha had preached the middle-path,had been reduced to a quagmire.
The “Robber Baron”administrators of the country,steeped in feudal traditions,have scant respect for any Constitution,noble or otherwise,and the people,exploited over the centuries and reduced to poverty have no spine left to demand their rights enshrined in the Constitution.To top it all,the fatalistic mind-set,and, the acceptance of misery as destined,leaves hardly any role for the constitution. Myriad of traditions gathered over centuries,unsettling effects of waves of invasions,foreign domination, belated industrial development and fatalistic beliefs have shaped the Indian mind set.All this has resulted in India having an intolerably tolerant society.
Democracy in India,as aptly described by a renowned journalist,is in fact, a gangland democracy.A political party,as of now,is no longer a group of persons dedicated to clear-cut principals and having a defined plan of action.The only principal is that there are no principals and plan of action is to amass personal wealth from public funds.
The political parties are therefore just gangs of self-seeking individuals dedicated to the proposition that to capture power,all means,good or evil, are equally acceptable and that, promises of peoples welfare from public platforms and personal enrichment from public treasury are the two sides of the same coin.
With the announcement of the general elections next month all political parties have just one line manifesto ….Grab power by hook or by crook.Enough is enough,and,it is high time that the people of India hook the crooks and then who-so-ever remains can be elected.