DailyPost 2095

”At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” As uttered by Jawaharlal Nehru, India awoke to independence and democracy. But more than seven plus decades of independence, the tryst has been with the democratic leaders, rather than with anything else. With the passage of every single year post democracy, the detrimental nature of this tryst keeps on unravelling in ways, once could not have been imagined. At the time of writing this post, another people’s tryst with democratic leaders is unfolding in Maharashtra, the current assembly has witnessed it twice already and this is the third churning that is unfolding. What is finally left for the people is to become hostage by exercising their franchise.

People seem to have given up, finding this happening day in and day out and endlessly for decades together; elected representatives being herded, cajoled, incentivized and what not. They are ready to go back to the electorate twice in an assembly term, when they find a chance, that something fascinating is likely to happen to them. Initially, power was supposed to be the glue that could keep the flock together. Now it is the nature of that power, who gains what, even decades of political relationships are thrown to the winds in no time. The elected representatives can appear or disappear at any time, as the Gods of yesteryears, this whole exercise being operated, with the ostensible reason of power. What all constitutes that power, even the best of the political thinker’s will not be able to decipher.

If personal aggrandizement is the name of the game and as it stands today, then what is the fate of the cabinet. From formation to its breakdown or meltdown or elections, as the case may be, it is generally treated as a democratic administrative mechanism hanging in mid-air. Pre-election coalitions are at times not fructify even after winning elections. Small parties call for the scalp. The democratic leaders define democracy and not the other way round. They have also decided the way elections should be conducted in this country, the nature of publicity / propaganda, it happens in the manner the political parties want. Democratic referees fill up their positions and roles and report compliance to their bosses in a templatized manner. These democratic leaders have decided that law making is the flimsiest activity and they have been able to bring law making to that level.

The tryst with democratic leaders of the genre being talked about, has made the democratic sovereign – the masses – numb. This is the result of the action of the democratically powerful, who vouch for providing us a responsive government. Misusing police and bureaucracy they learn while growing up, you need not go to a governance school, it is taught in the day to day grooming schools of political parties. Prison has turned out to be the revolving door of democracy represented by these leaders. One is jailed as a minister, they react to raids of different varieties, as if nothing has happened. Press conferences happen as a response to initiating action in criminal offenses. There is no social or political stigma attached to it. No outcasts. The number of elected representatives with criminal background, what we decently call criminal cases, has been increasing over the years. They make the law. An enigma, the Indian democracy has to live with.

Sanjay Sahay

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