in Politics

How democracy has failed us?

Missile technology has underwent great progress over the last half a century. We have supersonic missiles, missiles which can be launched from sea, air or land, intercontinental ballistic missiles and missiles which can launch nuclear warheads too. But if the delivery system of a missile fails, even the best missile is just a crap of steel, doesn’t serve its purpose, and can be dangerous to the party it was supposed to benefit.

Similarly, we might have the best government driven by the best constitution which was drafted by BR Ambedkar and other such eminent people, but if the delivery system fails, all that becomes a bunch of people sitting in large buildings creating a lot of waste, which defeats the original purpose of having a government and constitution. Most would agree that democracy has failed us, but it is important to know how much?

Most of our government departments are plagued by inefficiency and unaccountability. There is no transparency in the process and babus misuse their privileges giving rise to corruption. Election process is easily rigged by political parties who often give money or freebies for votes. Poor people, instead of seeing elections as their opportunity to elect the right people to ensure long-term growth for themselves, see elections as one chance to turn the bribe taker to bribe giver and rig their votes for short term monetary gains. If elections are not fair, the whole foundation of democracy shakes.

The Epicentre of Democracy - Indian Parliament

The Epicentre of Democracy - Indian Parliament

Due to the large amount of money doled out in elections, politicians and bureaucrats (hand-chosen by politicians) engage in corruption once in power to recover the money, giving rise to scams. Indirectly, it also leads to loss of confidence from industry and tax payers. It harms the public eventually, but people are too ignorant or too cynical to realize that. This led to a flawed democratic system which is existing in India today and continuing as such. Any change in the system has to be done by politicians themselves and as corruption has seeped into the highest levels, it is understandable why they don’t change the laws and rules.

Again applying the metaphor of a missile to a government, when a government fails to do its function, it becomes a very dangerous weapon in the hands of those in power. What is supposed to be for the people, by the people and of the people turns into something harmful to people itself. This defeats the very purpose of having a democratic government.

If you are thinking what am I trying to imply, think what would you do if you know a missile has lost control and can fall anywhere with disastrous consequences. You will look for ways to protect yourself, try to shot down the missile, or simply go mad and crazy. So why not the same in the case of failed governance? Why don’t we try to protect ourselves? Why don’t we get angry? Why don’t we go crazy?

I can write more, but I am leaving it here as an open question. Leave your replies, and I will make sure to respond to them as best as I can.

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  1. The article is thought provoking and correction is possible and effective only through systemic changes. we have to bring accountability to those who wield powers. There is need for decentralization of powers and responsibilities- effective implementation of panchayathi raj can help in making the system manageable.Educating the citizens to be proactive and work together as groups-civil societies-as watchdogs in asserting their due rights is also required.