DailyPost 2106

Democracy has an uncanny knack of reflecting the society, it is from where all the practitioners come from. Democracy was a very frugal practice to start with and all the practitioners mainly worked in their home areas or the areas they represented at the very best. A trip even to the state capital would itself be a great experience. Everything needed time, effort, expertise and money, and the best part was that, it was not thought to be warranted. Like the Indian wedding moving out of courtyards of houses, narrow lanes and road spaces with shamiyana and all the works, took flights of fancy to destinations that you could afford. Destination Wedding as it is called. Both the sides are co-located at the venue, with a purpose to enjoy the marriage celebrations to their heart’s content. Reminiscences would linger for a life time.

For the rich and the wealthy, if it’s not a destination wedding, it’s no wedding at all. The famous Fat Indian Wedding is luxury personified in every way. In a similar manner, democracy has found a new genre of venue, at geographical location, away from the dusty roads, small houses, local self-governments, party offices, legislatures and the like. The venue can be called Destination Democracy. The venues can keep on changing over a period of time, while being a part of the same Operation Destination Democracy. It has been happening for quite some time now, and has been practiced improving finesse, every subsequent time. Sometimes two camps are being herded in two similar venues. These are the new destinations of democracy; resorts / five-star hotels and guests are provided with an equally matching ferrying experience, convoys, jets and chartered flights.

The transformation to the new temples of democracy does not surprises anyone, is the biggest surprise. All the while the discussion is regarding is strength of rebel faction, the anti-defection law, merger, disqualification on the one side and on the other, it is about constitution and values of democracy, finally bringing it down to the numbers game and how with their act of revolt or whatever they call it, they would be able to prove the majority on the floor of the house. No one knows the details of what may be an even uglier underbelly. All this cannot happen in the legislatures, their offices and the locations where they transact their personal and democratic business on a day-to-day basis. They need a Destination Democracy which can turn to be the launching pad for the surreptitious democracy. Far away from the poor and frugal polling booths, they usher in hard core real democracy.

Destination Democracy revellers can put the baraat party of a fat Indian wedding to shame. It’s like life on a luxury ocean liner. You cannot move out of the luxury locale is a mandatory condition. Elected representative/s and negotiator/s are ferried in and out only for emergency requirements. Rest is done on mobiles and social media. The top gun of the group can move all across the country, while leaving the flock behind in the safe Destination Democracy. Whatever said and done, such high-end practice of democracy has its own paraphernalia. When the basic tenet of democracy – transparency and people are shown the door, some legal issues are bound to arise. The strategising in this Destination Democracy can put the best of the battlefield generals to shame Money is a non-issue. We can have leaders without parties. Today, defining a party, itself seems to be an impossibility. Fortunately, Destination Democracy has to end in the legislature, and thus the party ends, however long it might be, to start again, in some other location.

Sanjay Sahay

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