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Living in delusion…
India's democracy is a farce at worst or compulsion at best

While its been for long that India has been thumping her own back for being the largest democracy in the world coupled with having one of the most effective election process, a report by The Economist magazine late last year has rightly put a dampener on such lofty boasts, as if the disastrous ranking of 126th in the UNDP Human Development Report was not enough. Shamefully India has not even got a place in the category of full democracies and has been ranked 7th in the category of flawed democracies consisting of 54 countries. Well even if The Economist had not said so, it in any case is evident that democracy, for all its outer shine, simply doesn’t work here. It would certainly have, if democracy had only been all about standing in queue every other year to practice adult franchise. But if it is all about carrying one’s fundamental rights up in the sleeves, if it is all about expecting to get justice in time, if it is to make sure that one feels safe while going out of home and come back without being blown to oblivion by the next blast, if it is about having the right to proper education, health and not feel outcast in one’s own country, if it is about having faith in the government and expecting it to rise above petty politics to put national interest above everything else, then certainly what India is not essentially a democracy. In fact for all the big talks about democracy being the best form of governance, that in a semi-literate country with myopic leadership groomed to follow the politics of appeasement and compromise, it cannot work is evident from the state of India, a country where still many in the Northeast and Kashmir as well as millions of common citizens are increasingly having a sense of alienation. Perhaps the average Chinese inspite of being in an autocratic state has better rights to education, health and future. Compare this with the apocalyptic India- Bharat divide of India. In any case Laissez faire was never meant to be called democracy. And what better example of that than the fact that India’s most popular president might not yet make to his second term even when the mass want him. Reason? Well, he was just not the subservient rubber stamp that the polity would have otherwise wanted.

Pathikrit Payne

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