Friday, April 30, 2010

Do we really need Democracy?????

Browsing through the history of this country or for that matter the history of any country that is in this sub-continent, I could relate to the present problem that it is facing and that is of gross misuse of democracy. History proves that we, Indian people, could never understand democracy. Whatever democracy, or democracy like features we had in our history were not actually for the power centers of our country, or a state, but was for a responsible position, where responsibilities and its pressures over-haul the element of authority and power. So it can be inferred that India is a democratic country of one-billion people who are not ready for democracy, yet, and will not be for the next 1000 years. I would want to prove this idea by jotting down some points that I fetched from the history and how this impacts our way of thinking.

If you browse through the history of our country then you will come to know that in our history there is always reference to a king and a kingdom. We always had kings ruling over subjects, whether these kings were good or bad were the other side of the story, but it never happened in our history that king was elected. Power was never elected, authority was never gifted by a collective people of less authorized people, which essentially is the concept of democracy. The kings always acceded to power, whether by inheritance, blood-shed, force, conspiracy or benevolence. In every case there was a power accession rather than election of an authoritative entity. Me, my parents, my kids have been learning this history for a long time. We had Raja Ramchandra, we had Dharamraj Yudhisthir, we also had Nadir Shah, Allaudin Khilji. Whether the person was good or he was bad power was never elected in any case. These incidents leave a strong imprint in our culture and thus it made us subconsciously a non-democratic population. Democracy is something that we were probably taught. Monarchy or Anarchy is what that we actually know from so many years.

If you see the recent track record of this country, out of the 63 years we actually had democratic rule, or supposed to have had democratic rule, we were actually ruled by one family for 53 years. I am not saying that these 53 years were not years of good rule. Infact these were the years where we grew by leaps and bounds, we made progress, we also made mistakes but the essential problem is that the power was limited to one family, and yet we used to call ourselves a democracy because we used to do this drama of elections every 5 years. Why are we not proud to call ourselves a monarchy where our king/queen is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family? What inhibitions do we have in doing so? Everytime we have an election if there is a good governance it is by them, else it is anarchy. So in India you either have monarchy of this family or you have Anarchy. If the rule is better in their presence, why are we embarrassed from transitioning from a democracy, that is not clear, to a monarchy that is much clear and stable.

Look at Sri-Lanka, the country had similar democratic structures like India, albeit in a smaller proportion. The country too was ruled mostly by the Bhandarnaike family, same was the case with Pakistan who were also mostly ruled by the Bhutto Family or mis-ruled by the army generals. In every case we see that there is an accession to power by inheritance or force. In none of the cases do we see a real democratic emergence of authority as we see in countries like US/Canada.

America never had a history with kings and queens. The country from the very start was a country with more importance to individual freedom than be concerned about a ruler. There the president is a position of power rather than a person. Democracy only works in such conditions. The elimination of personal outfits from centers of power is the true essence of democracy. In US the president, or secretary of state is a position or in colloquial sense it is a chair to which the people are faithful to. The law-makers also are aware of the fact that there can be a possibility that the law they make is subjected to error, but nobody takes it personally, because the authority is given to a position. In India, the mentality is different. Authority is belonging to a person and things are taken more personally.

Countries like, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Jordan, Oman are happy not being democratic. Because they know that it is not their culture. Power can only remain with one person, or with a person who can actually defeat the powerful person. This is how we are, this is how we will be, and this is how we will have to grow keeping all our liabilities also within ourselves. This is the thing that they believe and they are growing in their own way on their own terms.

If we are not ready for democracy yet, let us also not be pseudo-democratic. In the process of doing so we have given rise to evil forces like corruption, nepotism and dirty politics which divide people more than uniting them and thus destroy the basic fabric of our country. If monarchy and family rule satisfies our cause and if it leads to a stabilized growth then so be it. There is no difference virtually we are making to this world in being democratic or non-democratic. Our main focus should be the development of our people and if this happens without being democratic and by removing all evil forces of democracy then so be it. Today the basic problem is the fact that more people are being frustrated by the democratic processes itself than anything else. If by eliminating this system and bringing about a new order can help them then why not.

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