DailyPost 1815

Though in principle all democracies should remain the same in the modalities of their conduct of democratic processes, it depends on what they value and what they intend to achieve. There are similarities in what we can term as the democratic tool box and but there are distinct variants depending on development of the country, the level and quality of education and now deep the democratic values have seeped in. There are, thus, democratic tool boxes in different countries. In our set up, elections take precedence over literally everything and everything is viewed through the prism of elections and election victory. Election victory has become the sine qua non of democracy and hence the democratic tool box is created for that purpose.
Has the tool box changed due to the COVID-19? Or we are generally back to square one at the drop of a hat. The first and the most element in our democratic tool box is the art of gathering crowd. It is so expansive that it can become a full tool box in itself. Crowd has a purpose and that has to be looked into. The purpose defines the nature of the crowd and if you don’t understand that, it might end up in a cross purpose. The crowd for a major public gathering would be very different from a road show. The second most important element is to understand and execute the logistics of crowd gathering. The number of vehicles required to gather crowds in a public meeting is different from that in a road show. We have specific ones too; motorcycle, tractor rallies et al.
The third most important element is to organize protests. Your capability to organize protests and take a mileage out of it in every manner will define your political trajectory. This is an art which has been perfected, from the symbolic rail roko  to the ones ending up in arson, looting and serious law and order situations. Another kit in the toolbox  pertains to how well you are able to organize the welcome of a big leader. From welcome arches, to showering of flowers /petals, to banners, buntings and what not. Though connected hoardings, placards, getting folk singers / dancers is another area of specialization. Now lighting, laser, and a variety of new age tech wizardry is also finding its place. The best part of the tool box is that nobody knows from where the money comes and goes, for all these arrangements. There are party workers and supporters anyway.
Another important facet is that very little is documented about these important political processes. Everywhere and in every scenario you will find people who can take you to  influential leaders, in case you are in need. Visiting the house of a victim of any atrocity, crime or accident is a necessity for the political persona. The conduct of elections from the political party side, is the most important element of political existence, and hence democracy. Strategizing it from top to bottom and vice versa is another tool box world. From electoral arithmetic to polling booth management are the management tools of a democracy. The Digital Tool Box is a new box added to the already existing one. The impact of it, we can see all over. *IT / Social Media / propaganda have all become synonymous.
Sanjay Sahay

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