Saturday, 15 December 2012

Vox Populi

This is so typical it almost make me wonder about the shade of blue the sky reflects today. No, this isn't some sort of quasi metereological blog, although the meteor shower witnessed the day before yesterday in India was quite interesting, or so I'm told. This blog is about democracy, and as most blogs about democracy usually are, is quite disparaging. Now, almost all naysayers of democracy would have you believe it wasnt a great idea in the first place. I mean, look at the sort of uselessness prevalent in such democratic countries as the US of A(that great beacon of immorality and diplomatic skulduggery) and the European Union(that great beacon of financial mismanagement and general avarice). These crackpots would have you believe that the way to go is the China way. That would be before you tell them there isn't any porn in China.

NO porn! My, that is such a travesty, but the only possible route to development I presume. And the widespread censorship of free opinion is only a side effect, maybe. But, seriously..no porn...

The key thing is, no matter how flawed the basic idea of democracy may be , it is still the only one that works. You merely have to look at Muammar Gadhafi or Hosni Mubarak , or even closer to home Pervez Musharraf to see why dictatorship isn't really the best answer. Thermodynamically speaking, nature does abhor a vacuum, and if power becomes too concentrated it will try its best to spread itself as thin as possible. Dictatorships then, cannot be condoned and neither can the sort of politburo politics that would create an oligarchy of politicians and suppress dissent. A democracy works, and we have countless examples to back that up.

But it doesn't do very well in our country, and you may really blame the politicians for it, but they aren't really at fault. We are still in ruler mentality, we refuse to give politics the amount of disrespect it deserves. Our rulers are the best dressed, richest, most venal people in the land. They should be the exact opposite. You see, our rulers should be the worst dressed, poorest and most straightforward people in the land. We refuse to acknowledge this because we still want some sort of rajah, we dream of the sort of benevolence we read about in our schoolbooks, of Ashoka, the sort of egalitarian justice practised by Harishchandra. We have glorified and immortalised these historical figures, and we expect our new masters to have the same characteristics as these wise people of our history.

But perhaps the worst culprit of it all is our own self centredness. We only glorify such rulers because they unify us through our collective adulation. Without such a polarising figure we would be completely incapable of any collective action. Rational beings that we are, most of us act only in our own self interest. And of that there is no shortage in our country. We are pulled in a million different directions mainly because we have a million different agendas and most of us are content to reduce the agenda of public good to a sideshow, because our chai is getting cold. While we support the idea of a free and transparent government, that we should be didactic in our support, particularly to the dichotomy of having people committed to eradicating corruption doing so for their own political gain, is completely egregious. In our own awkward arguments, we would weaken the arguments of those who would seek to fight for us.

The truth of the matter is the world revolves by dint of self interest, it is set into motion by the sort of people who believe that it would stop if they left the room. There is no action without profit in our world, we just have to make sure to see the larger picture.

Sometimes it pays to align your opinion to the world of greater good. To analyse intent without judging motives. Sometimes the objective is bigger than the people working towards it.

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