voice for democracy

From Democracy to Demo“crazy” – Deccan Herald

Surely the time has come to change the name of the word Democracy to Demo “crazy.” Children who are taught the topic in their Civics class in school can be provided with more and more examples of why this should be so. With the pace at which things are happening, the next generation of kids may see the creation of words like ‘Democrazier’ or ‘Democraziest’ entering into the English lexicon.  
Is it democracy when Uttar Pradesh becomes the Republic of UP, where no politician from an opposing party is allowed to enter to condole with the families of the farmers mowed down by a vehicle driven by the son of a sitting Union minister? Either the brakes must have failed, or the driver must have been crazy to drive at a speed of 70 kms, at a conservative estimate, when there are a bunch of protesting farmers ahead of the car.  That it took more than 24 hours to file a case will surely have you thinking: “Whither Democracy?”
A new criterion seems to have been put in place for opposition politicians to step into states like UP. They must do time at a detention centre and if they can sweep the place clean, all the better. With due credit to Priyanka Gandhi, she does seem to wield the broom rather well and could indeed offer good competition to AAP, whose party symbol it is. The only thing is, we wish she could sweep the Congress party clear of all the cobwebs. In all that spidery haze, it’s hard to tell between the G23, the Sidhu in Punjab queering the pitch and giving ideas to Siddu in Karnataka, not to mention all the other siddhis, who are busy searching for their own brand of fulfilment, the party be damned. 
Frankly, the public doesn’t care whether it will be the G23 who will lead or the G3 (the Gandhi family) who will show the way. A tough call, with other new parties yapping at the heels, to get a bite of the electorate.
Let’s start with AAP and its spokesperson referring to the “crisis of anarchy” in Congress party. Hey guys, just to remind you that being able to express dissent is a part of inner-party democracy. It turns into Democrazy when you ease out two very valuable founding members, possibly seeing them as a threat to your Numero Uno position. Also, going and sitting in protest in front of Rajghat to pray for world peace, whilst your backyard is on fire is plain crazy. No amount of excuses about the police not being in your charge can absolve you.
Let’s shift the attention to Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek testing the waters in Tripura and Goa. Nothing wrong with that, except to remember that Mamata did have an alliance with the BJP once and served as a railway minister under the UPA government. Also to remind her that the turncoats that she is welcoming back could well be opportunists and happy to play, “in the pond, on the bank”. The same goes for the AAP, which is ever ready to open its doors to all defectors who are unhappy with the parties that they are presently in.
Thankfully, the South can still lay claim to the original term democracy, with the exception of Karnataka, of course. Here, the JDS of the Hindu Undivided Family can really drive the electorate crazy. Sometimes, they are seen to take a stand against communalism; at others, they are either playing footsie with the BJP or the Congress, to get the best share of the pie. One can only go back to an old Hindi film called Padosan and suggest to them, “Ek pe rahne”. In other words, please make up your mind, one way or the other.
And what about the crazy electorate — rejoicing when defectors join the party of your choice. This is just to remind them that people who keep switching parties know no ideology, except that of power. It’s why people get into politics, but still, it would be good to remember that when you go to the polling booth, you have the power too and the right to tell every aspiring leader not to turn your Democracy into a Democrazy. In case they do, our own reply at the hustings will be to say to all on the list — NOTA. No way, TATA TATA!
(The writer is an Independent Journalist.)
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