Mera Bharat Mahaan pat yahan ki janta pareshan


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I always hold that the kind of democracy that we have adopted is ill-suited to India, even though every ‘intelligent’ man and woman, not to speak of intellectuals and the entire media, sing paean of praise and shower unalloyed accolade in self-appreciation…
Democracy is ONLY a means to a satisfactory END viz. all-round development in the country and prosperity for all her citizens. If the results of the past 65 years since Independence is any indication – the single most important yardstick being prosperity of her people, it has not worked with 400 million living below the poverty line and another 400 million only a tad better. And especially the parliamentary form of government hardly work, leave alone efficiently. Which means the fruits of the entire superfast’ GDP growth of 8 or 9% of the past 20 years has only fattened the affluent 1 or 1.5%, the cream of India.
A majority of people in India – some of my close friends like Murty included – say our PM Manmohan-ji is ineffective and ineffectual. But I humbly say, even the finest of our CEOs or Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani or Narayana Murthy could have fared NO better, due to our peculiar form of government, particularly the coalition one. A single majority party in the saddle of the government could have done slightly better.
In western countries like USA, France (where of course the Presidential form of government prevails), Canada, Australia and UK, the democracy works because the citizens are relatively CLEANER, homogenous with pan-national sentiment with a far less population and the vast majority of voting population are educated middle-class – in effect, it is the awakened middle-class which can distinguish chaff from the grain that determine who should rule them.
In sharp contrast, in India, illiteracy that misleads people by tall talking politicians or by doles of money incentives on election eve; caste, language and geography consideration and the fellow-feeling – the apna jaatwalla, the apna basha-walla and the apna gaowalla feeling – it spontaneously gives rise to make people vote for their OWN man. And the men and women who thus get elected can be expected to work only in deference to the wishes of his/her own voters and can hardly be expected to have a pan-India nationalism and national perspective even on larger issues like say national security or combating terrorism, insurgencies or Maoist violence. And Indians by and large are corrupt, for example, the pooja we perform to propitiate our favorite deity or the money we put in a temple donation-box is always in exchange for a wish-fulfillment that is a quid-pro-quo.
And every election contestant needs tons of money, whether he wins or loses his deposit. Where will he get all the money if not through dubious means like brazen bribes? And when he does spend so much money in an election, he expects to rake in at least 10 times as much during his tenure in assembly or parliament. And the ministers come from the same tribe.
And the inescapable conclusion is: the educated, awakened public may applaud Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi party but one doubts if he gets a single candidate elected anywhere in India because the educated middle class simply does not add up the numbers to win elections and Kehjriwal doesn’t have the financial resources or caste factors working for him. There is a wide belief, of course a horrendously mistaken one of course, in India that the undeserving gets elected here because the middle-class prefers not to vote; even if the entire block votes, the election outcome will not be different.
In the case of coalition government, the minor partners like for example Mamata, Mayawati and Karunandhi extract their maximum pound of flesh in terms of allocation development funds for their states at the expense of the more deserving ones, plum ministerial portfolios, a major say in the measures being on the anvil and other concessions, when the government of the day desperately need their support for passing some significant legislative measure or the other; the ruling party will be squeezed even more when it is a No Confidence motion against the government and its very survival depends on its partners’ voting support.
The other problem in India, the opposition benches literally functions to oppose even the noblest of government measures. The shining example is the current parliament where even the most important legislative business could not be conducted.
Yesterday, Gautam Adhikari, the ex-editor of Maharashtra Times, writing in the TOI on the future role of China, rightly says, “And India has fallen out of the radar screen” (of even the BRIC nations)… China’s growing economic integration into the world’s power structure, while crucial, in fact blurs lines of difference between a liberal democratic values-based open market system and a state-managed system of Confucian capitalism in which harmony and consensus, meaning popular obedience, was a preferred norm. With China’s growing influence would emergent economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America find the Chinese model, instead of liberal democracy, appealing?”
One would unhesitatingly and resoundingly say, yes. The kind of government is least important to the people as long as it delivers. We need drastic changes in other areas, too.
However, having enormously benefited from our current form of government, the powerful political class will not allow any change in the kind of democracy we have adopted.
Some say a revolution will change things in the country sooner or later. One doubts that too happening what with our sab-chalta-hai attitude.

And the punchline: we Indians ceaselessly criticize the political class, legislatures, the law enforcement agencies, civil servants/bureaucracy, et al for the brazen corruption, slovenliness, weak work culture, uncivilized, at times bordering uncouth, behavior and worse, but pause for a moment: they are all Indians and representative of our society at large; given a chance in any of these jobs the rest of us would do no better. As an example, Kerala tops the development indices like literacy and education levels and relatively higher standard of living – no thanks to the successive governments but to the petrodollars pouring in from the gulf, and Keralites alternately elect Congress or Marxist Communist coalitions; yet the state is among the least industrially developed in the country because the people themselves, militants as they are, and in turn the legislatures they elect have been anti-business and –industrialists for ideological or whatever other reasons. The moral is, the people get what they deserve, whether it is the government, legislatures or bureaucracy.
So? Brace yourself for tougher times ahead…


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Ranjani Geethalaya(Regd.) (Registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. Regn No S/28043 of 1995) A society for promotion of traditional values through,  Music, Dance, Art , Culture, Education and Social service. REGD OFFICE A-73 Inderpuri, New Delhi-110012, INDIA Email: ranjanigeethalaya@gmail.com  web: http://ranjanigeethalaya.webs.com (M)9868369793 all donations/contributions may be sent to Ranjani Geethalaya ( Regd) A/c no 3063000100374737, Punjab National Bank, ER 14, Inder Puri, New Delhi-110012, MICR CODE 110024135  IFSC CODE PUNB00306300

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