DailyPost 2112

Democracy is all about thin lines of demarcations, which initially looks too flimsy, that breaking it would not make any difference, but over a period of time, if reaches a level, to become the main narrative. That is what democratic conventions, mindset, and tradition is all about. It will not allow you to do things that may be technically legal, but not proper from the spirit of democracy standpoint; the way a nation should be democratically nurtured. From the political party, it moves onto the political executive and further to the government machinery. Government is a tool to transform dream into reality, whatever the dream might be.

Even the superficial and at times superfluous lines have to be maintained, if it has been tested on the touchstone of democratic time. The aberrations should be nipped in the bud. But whatever happened in the case of India, has been to the contrary. Power became the centerpiece, delivery and accountability was to be defined by powers that be for themselves. Coming and going out of power was made to be a natural phenomenon, not connected to the work you do, or integrity you practice or credibility which you would have earned over a long period of time. This scenario in simple language translates to misuse of power. That is what democracy was to deliver; both for the political executive and also the permanent executive. However, much you try, misuse of power of cannot be put within a perimeter.

Simple misuse, slowly leads to malpractices, and then lots of things start looking normal, which wouldn’t have been the case, when a novice would have entered the portals of power. The expenditure in elections can be one case in point and lots of issues related to formation of governments and show of strength, leads to criminal cases at times. If violence is not generally accepted, bullying is. It becomes a part of the democratic game. If you don’t have the power to bully directly or indirectly or the world does not believe that you can influence things, as per your whims and fancies, I don’t think you have arrived in the democratic politics of the day. We find people getting trapped in this vicious cycle day in and day out, ending up in a variety of criminal acts.

Once criminality sets whether you realize it or not, it would necessarily lead to crime in a large number of instances. Criminal aberrations leading to crime are not even treated so. Technicality wise, if a case is not registered, it is not a crime. The proportion of cases not registered compared to ones registered in this genre of cases would be very small. While these processes are on and more so at a pretty large scale, the superficial calm would defy the storm underneath. Slowly, it starts appearing, people also keep on digesting it as it keeps on increasing. The big criminal cases involving influential people wouldn’t be happening just out of the blue. The Acclimatization Effect or the New Normal, whatever you call it. The New Normal’s threshold keeps on moving upwards. This is the stage of the criminal narrative. The public domain and media are full of stories of criminal offences and a large variety of activities are seen through the prism of a criminal narrative. Case / investigation / imprisonment / trial / judgement / appeal, becomes the evolving narrative day in and day out. No area of public domain remains unimpacted.

Sanjay Sahay

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