Friday, 19 June 2015

Should we really be proud?

Over the last couple of days, I came across a rather startling realization. We've been told ever since we're able to comprehend anything that we should really be proud of being an Indian. And then there are facets which we all are inundated with, and this process goes on for a lifetime. It seems as if someone had taken the onus of continuous reinforcement of the fact that you just have to be proud of being an Indian, irrespective of all the crap that's present around otherwise. And while a lot of the things we are told to be proud about in their pleonasms hold pretty well, I asked myself this question, "Should I really be proud" about some of the other things they boast of? So as a result of my mental brawl on getting an answer to the question, I've decided to start a series on it to get your opinions. And we'd be taking one tenet of supposed pride at a time. 

Of being the largest democracy in the world

In what has assumed a rather sanctimonious position in not only our thoughts but also in our curricula, our democracy, enshrined in the big bulky constitution, has assumed an irrefutable stance on the landscape of our destiny. We are asked to take pride in the fact that we have the four pillars acting as collective guardians of a nation that has more people than maybe100 countries combined. We're told to puff our chest with conceit whenever we hear about the rights our constitution endows upon us and we are supposed to flaunt the indelible ink on our fingers to mark respect for our overall constitutional establishment. We're given so much of hubris on this democracy of ours that we literally drivel whenever we see elections and we can only sing peans for the magnificent structure that makes sure fair and transparent elections are carried out. So much to be happy about, right? Na! actually there is a lot more to be concerned about in there. 


While patriotically, the elections are a testimony to our freedom struggle and the pangs and travails our forefathers went through to bestow upon us a nation of our own. But think of why it's the largest democracy. Why we have such a humongous system in place and what comes out of it, and you'll see the real picture. We are the largest democracy because we've got such a gargantuan population, dammit! I mean what's there in it to be so proud about. In fact such a tremendous population is just a liability with the ever increasing unemployment and burden on our already constrained resources. So by taking pride in being the largest democracy, we are inherently being haughty on having 10 times more people than our PDS(Public Distribution System) and other authorities can cater to. Now I don't really know if that is something worth taking pride in. 

On the other hand, it makes sense to see what comes out of a democracy. While it's completely acceptable than countries with autarky would cringe and cower because they never get to choose our leaders.  In essence we too are no different. We've got two main parties at the center(We actually had only one for the first 4 decades!) and while the prime leader is elected by us, we really don't have any more than 2-3 options at any point of time. The two parties propound two core ideologies and while the BJP has a miniature democracy within the party to project someone as a leadership nominee, the Congress doesn't even have that because of their incessant subservience to the Gandhi dynasty. So at the center, we never really have any options but to elect one who is allegedly tainted, or to elect other who doesn't even know how to run his own district.

And move to the states and the situation is far worse. We've got two party oligopolies almost everywhere. UP, TN, AP, all have two parties with a handful of prospective alliance parties dominating the scene. Now talk about using the democracy as a tool and changing the system by starting a party of your own. Well, in a country where nearly half of the people would vote for caste, or for some perks or who are too gullile to believe that some freebies would come their way, it'll take years to rise above the tomfoolery and win. And even if you end up being a formidable opponent,you're likely to be decimated by some opponent who sees you as a threat and who has got many such threats murdered before. And for those who're able to soar beyond all of it, like the AAP of today and JP of the late 70's, you already know what demagogs they turn out to be later on. 

So in essence, there isn't a single thing which should stand out as a good enough reason for me to be proud of being a part of the largest democracy in the world. Can you give me one to be feel that way again?