DailyPost 2553

Democracy and empowerment go hand in hand to an extent that the basic operation of democracy is dependent upon the nature of empowerment ushered in. The harsh reality is that democratic empowerment revolves more outside the polling booths and polls, than being fully depending on them, barely following the well-established democratic workflow. Very rarely we find copybook style happening. The capability to hog power by hook or by crook, playing the game with most innovative of the rules and strategy besides the conventional ones, which have always proven worthwhile. Creating your own fiefdom and having a large following with loyalty, ready to go to any extent behind the leader, is at the core of this power.

Empowerment de jure and de facto so are so very different in the practice of democracy that you might not be able to recognize the two. Money power, muscle power and die hard following has empowered the players in political democracy of this country. Empowerment has been used primarily in this context and does not include other methods of getting empowered which are much more effective without anybody having to pull strings. If you have to look at somebody’s else face for a nod to feel powerful, can it be called empowerment? Does the constitution and laws empower us or the leaders of political parties and people of such genre; the political executive empower us.

From where does a CM get his dose of “feeling empowered status” all the time; from the constitution of India or derives from the whims and fancies of the high command. Do reservations entail the upliftment of the whole community? Just by giving a few seats, does it mean that the whole community would get elevated during the stipulated period. We have seen it fail. Why does the cocktail of equality with universal education and health does not amount to empowerment? Any opposite hypothesis would be difficult to believe. But India has proved this. Lack of quality education and good health services, can make a mess of both democracy and empowerment totally. Jobs and opportunities should be the natural flowering of democracy.

How many feel empowered is another story. How many elected representatives feel and are actually empowered? We will leave this debate for some other day? Are our famed democratic organizations are empowered in reality? And what about the bureaucracy with all its talent and immunity. Women have always been equal and now they are being put in the political rat race. Who amongst women will corner the opportunity is an open secret? Twenty-seven years to reach the stage of prospective legislation, at least 7 years for the legal sunrise to happen, then the nature of politics is played in this country; the methodologies to get elected, we would only then know what type of empowerment has been ushered in for women. What those elected women are supposed to deliver is to transform the whole lot of women in 15 years. Will they really get empowered, and have the opportunity to practice power delivering tangible results or would they also be thumping tables as their male counterparts, who primarily adorn our parliament and legislatures today.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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