India, many feel, is an oasis in the desert of failed democracies.
The world has too many dictatorships, starving nations where the ‘ruler’ spends millions on his birthday, ‘elected’ leaders who refuse to step down as their term ends, countries with fake elections controlled by army and religious hatred for neighbour or contestants who declare they would accept an electoral verdict only if they win!
Is it really an oasis or just a mirage where most parties are ruled by dynasties? A party whose members wag their tails at dynastic bosses calls others ‘dogs’ and thinks one family won the freedom for the country all others who died for it were fools. And that too just because it took on the name of the group of people who fought for Independence and the dynasty ruling it stole the family name of that group’s leader.
As a member of one party you abuse the rival party in vile terms. And then, denied ticket by yours, join that party! People are idiots, they will vote for any or all for the three ‘C’s – Caste, Cash or Coercion.
A party that allies with a religion-based party and a group that fought to keep one ‘kingdom’ out of the country, calls another ‘communal’ because it stands for the majority religion. A party steeped in corruption attacks another for not being corrupt.
A ruling alliance comes to power not on the leader’s drive for development but because of fringe elements supporting it. And it joins hands with two parties based purely on religion just to stay in power. ‘Electoral compulsions’ matter more than ideology.
A ‘leader’ of a party based on one caste group, where almost all its leaders (and officials appointed by it) have the same cate-based surname calls another party communal. One of its leaders, who were below poverty level a decade ago, becomes a billionaire now. It is in a race with a rival party in admitting dons and criminals released from jail. And it is supported by a party led by one convicted for corruption, his wife and his son.
In one State, whose people are known for intelligence, chief ministers are raised to cult status, whose death prompts people to kill themselves, whose leaders become billionaires and have their ministers literally prostrate before them. People are reduced to mere sheep, blindly following the cult figures.
No one, including the next of kin, are allowed to meet a party mentor in one state and the chief minister in another when they were dying, by a close ‘aides’ who take over reins on their death. A person nominated twice, not once, by such a cult leader to head the state temporarily, is insulted and thrown out by the ‘aide’ just to grab power. He is sacked and called a traitor. If he was such a traitor, why did the dying CM nominate him twice?
‘Democratic’ political parties hide their legislators in resorts or take them in buses to secret locations to prevent ‘horse trading’. If they are such a tradeable commodity, they must be donkeys (no disrespect to donkeys intended). This has happened multiple times in almost all major parties.
And even those that never had democratically elected party presidents, where successors, usually from the family, are nominated, swear by democracy! This can go on and on.That was why I called writing on politics a dirty job (‘No More Scavenging With Pen‘. Sept 28, 2016)
The post below (as usual received on WhatsApp), as
a letter addressed to Maharashtra Governor temporarily holding charge of Tamil Nadu, sums up the situation:
O PANNEER SELVAM,
PERMANENTLY TEMPORARY CHIEF MINISTER OF TAMILNADU,
FORT ST. GEORGE, CHENNAI,
THE TEMPORARILY PERMANENT GOVERNOR OF TAMILNADU,
RAJ BHAVAN, GUINDY, CHENNAI.
I AM THE TEMPORARILY PERMANENT CHIEF MINISTER OF TAMILNADU AND WOULD LIKE TO BE PERMANENTLY TEMPORARY CHIEF MINISTER OF TAMILNADU.