“Naked King”: Democracy and Politics in India

Harasankar Adhikari

In India democracy is as “naked king” who covers with high cost costume, but his whole body is visible to his people. But his people are praising his costume because they are afraid of punishment if they tell true of the king’s nakedness. There is no even a child who will say, “King is naked.”

India as largest democratic country is well-known to the globe. And its democracy is the political party based. Does politics ‘really work’ in India? People from lower to higher social strata, poor to rich, illiterate to educated know everything about democracy and party politics in India. This democracy is what and for whom, they (common mass & voters) are well-aware of it. Poor people whose daily hard work is the only source of survival with minimal self, they know their labour were/are/ will be the only asset of their survival. They know governments are nothing but a political party which is driven by some leaders with some special qualities. So, residents of India are silent spectators, and they have to vote according to the choice of their local party leaders. They are afraid of applying their own choice because they do not go through any disturbance in their hard and peaceful daily living.  The people only have to ‘accept this situation because of fear; fear of the dangers involved when getting in the way of powerful politicians or on the wrong side of them’.  People are more fear if they criticize the government they have to be ready to face dare consequences (i.e. torture and harassment and finally to be put in the jail custody). They have to participate in political activities primarily because of fear politics and secondly for material gain/some benefits.

Publicity and acts of political parties (both in government and in its opposition) for making good of the citizen are an illusion. But common people have to grasp it for their own security. Recently, demonetization as well as GST is not good for the people of BoP, they understand it because every day they have to face its dare consequences. It is like a trauma because they gossip, “Work and earn for a day. Do not try to save money at “Bank” or in cash because it would be looted by government. The new bill for banking sector would not be safe for bank saving and for cash saving it is dangerous, if further demonetization comes into force.”  They also discuss with fellow members, what good or when these good days will come. The government of Mr. Narendra Modi is only putting its best effort to collect taxes and destroy people’s earning, money and assets. No one knows, when and in what forms it would be rained over its citizen.

It has been observed that ignorant and poor residents of India are not being denied as ignorant or illiterate. They have much experience about the functions of governments and political parties. To them, democracy and election are like the mask, and it is only a show of people’s participation in governments. They shared that at Panchayat level, elected members of the Panchayat used to deny their opinion. Panchayat members think for themselves and their political party. There is a provision of Gram Shabha meeting for village planning. Sometimes, the member calls the meeting, and he/she only reads out their planning and finalizes it. No villager does not utter a word against it or his/her appeal for any suggestion is denied. For an example, there was broken bridge in the route of Haria to Itaberia (East Midnapore, West Bengal) near Mughberia for about 3 years. As result of this, transportation of crops and so forth has been disrupted and daily commuters at large number has to face problem. Repairing/reconstruction is urgently needed. After a long, government has approved and sanctioned for reconstruction. But due to the pressure of owners’ trekkers and other public transports, the work is pending. These transport owners are objecting because they gave huge money to local political parties for permission of flying. After, reconstruction their business would no long run. But common people have no voice because of afraid of local leaders. Surprisingly, they would vote either because of fear or in exchange for some money/materials. Common people opine that these political leaders gain more from politics, if they earn a little, it is not a problem. They sell their voter rights when political leaders purchase it. In this way, our democracy runs.

Is our democracy in danger? Who will save/rescue from this danger?  We have to rethink.

Jan 22, 2018

Harasankar Adhikari [email protected]

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