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Democracy is not for everyone. December 9, 2015

Posted by globejam in Uncategorized.

Crown-of-ThornsFor the most part, we have had two forms of Government in India.

For a long time, till the British arrived and took over India over 150 years ago, we were ruled by various monarchs. There were kingdoms and princely states, ruled variously by Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princes, Nawabs, and royal families. The monarchs ruled their kingdoms, owned pretty much everything in their kingdom, and based on their capabilities, governed well or badly. Their post was for life (or till a rival king took over) and power stayed in the family.

The British came in and united all these various kingdoms and princely states into one nation and when they left, nearly 70 years ago, we chose to remain a single nation and adopted democracy here in India. It was a new step for us and largely influenced by the British and the socialistic leanings of the thought-leaders then.

However, Democracy is not something that is “grokked” in India nor, it appears, wanted. Ask any Indian today how they think India can change for the better and most of them will tell you that what India needs today is a benevolent dictator. Deep down inside it seems that Indians want to be ruled by a king (or queen).

This is also quite apparent in the attitude of the current politicians and our behaviour towards them.

Prime example, the Nehru dynasty. They have been at the helm of the democratic congress party, and have had dynastic rule practically since its formation. Indira, Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi have come to power largely because they were related to Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. Look at the various states inside India, right from the north to the south and you will find that most major state-level political parties, from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, are family run.

The parties in power rule like they own the state. The politicians act and behave as though the laws of the land do not apply to them or their families. They expect and, more importantly, get royal treatment wherever they go. In many cases, the state-level ministers prostrate themselves in front of their leader, avoid eye contact, go to great lengths to spread their name and deify them.

The people for a large part also believe the rulers are above the law and cannot be questioned. Even when their successive tax returns, before and after coming to power, show inordinate increase in wealth and net worth, not a word is spoken. Some even go so far as to say, after all, to the kings go the spoils.

Obviously there is a clear difference in what we follow as a process and how we behave. We elect people to run the government for a specified term, but we behave as though these elected representatives are kings(or queens) and allow them to rule us. This is neither here nor there.

We should either have elected officials as public servents who run the government for the betterment of the entire population during their term, but are treated the same as everybody else or we should have kings(or queens) for life who rule the country/state.

Having kings or queens for 5 year terms is definitely not working.

Let’s face the truth. Democracy is not for us. Let’s just make these Chief Ministers kings (or queens) of their states and be done with it. That way, they won’t have to hoard/accumulate money to win their next election, because they will own everything outright.  They can also continue to pillage and plunder and lead a life of opulence and debauchery without worrying about adverse consequences.

As for us, the subjects, we can all be uniformly rich (or poor), have the same level of justice (or lack thereof) and live in hope that some day one of these kings will take pride in their kingdom and improve the lot of the people.

Just like now, but at least we will be true to our nature!



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