Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Democracy The Best Policy?

[The below article is open to interpretations. You  may also find this article analogous to the Indian democracy. You may also want to read Jawahar Lal Nehru's speech: Tryst With Destiny]

Once upon a time a large group of children used to stay together in a house. Most of them were too young.  They were of such age when the parents decide what is good or bad for them – what they should eat, what they should read, what they should do.  One fine day, at the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, the children awoke and found that all their care-takers have left them alone. They decided to form a managing body to manage the activities and the house. Quite a few children wanted to manage the house. Who wouldn’t like to boss around the house? This created a kind of chaos and the children concluded on a convenient solution – to ‘elect’ the managing body. The idea was that whoever gets the maximum vote gets to be the Big Boss and he can choose his own team to manage the house. So far, so good.

Right from the dawn started the (almost) unending quest to win votes. Everyone tried to please the others.  Most of them got involved in other activities – like watching movies and playing cricket. They got tired of managing the house long before they actually started managing. Only a handful of them remained in the race to get votes.

Those in the race started trying all kinds of things to get votes.  Some promised personal television sets, while some promised increase in pocket money if/when they get to be the boss. Some offered aerated drinks to the others to ‘bribe’ them to vote for them.  Some tried partitioning the group depending on the hero they liked – so there was a pro-SRK group, there was a pro-Aamir group and there was a pro-UdayChopra group. The member s of these groups were great fans of their respective heroes to the extent that they worshiped them.  However, there was a group which was pro-allHeroes – the members of this group were free to worship any hero they wanted to.

The D-day came. The children went to vote.  Harry, being an SRK devotee, voted for proSRK group.  Ron, being an Aamir devotee, voted for proAamir group. Longbottom, who liked watching television a lot, voted for the person who promised TV. Draco by voting for the person who gave him aerated drinks paid it back. Hermoine, who was busy mugging ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars’, thought it’s waste of time to vote and didn’t vote at all.

If on one of these criteria a manager is selected, you can only imagine what the condition of the house would be. Even after periodic repeatation of this process – the house was in total chaos. Fuelled by the vote-seekers, the proSRK, the proAamir and the proUdayChopra groups kept fighting among each othet for no real reason whatsoever. No proper management was provided: perhaps because that was never part of the agenda - perhaps, because the ‘voters’ never really asked for it.

On the other hand, the same pre-condition prevailed in another house. The difference, however, was that most inmates of the house were educated adults. This house also followed the same process for management as the children’s house (described above). They brought to the table the issues that really concern them and their progress. The inmates of this house, after some time, had better quality of life, made good progress in their fields and were staying peacefully with each other. The same process, when applied to two different contexts gives completely different results.

The question remains - Is democracy the best policy?


deicider November 23, 2009 at 12:08 PM  


Anonymous November 23, 2009 at 10:25 PM  

UR worst blog ever...

Tejaswy November 24, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

What would you have to say about the UK democracy then ???

caneo November 25, 2009 at 1:26 AM  

its a big problem (mainly with how ppl handle power), one post aint going to cover it.

alpesh November 25, 2009 at 8:56 PM  

Yes it is a best policy,provided the managing body should get elected not on terms of false promises but on genuine address of concerns.

Prashant Mehta November 26, 2009 at 12:04 AM  

deicider ji

Well, the point i am trying to make is it depends on the context. Whether democracy is the best policy depends on space/time!

Anonymous ji
Thanks for the feedback but this is the only blog i have. I don't have any other 'working' blog. Could you substantiate/elaborate more?

Tejaswy ji
Democracy in India is, in origin and in principle, very similar to UK's. However, given the literacy in UK, it's not all that bad - and is conducive for democracy. The Queen, whose allegiance the military swear, is more of a ceremonial post.

caneo ji

You are correct. Power should bring with it responsibility. And i agree, we could write on and on and debate on and on on the good and bad features of democracy.

alpesh ji

Yes. I agree. But 'they' don't just "get elected". It's we, the people, who elect them. So, are you suggesting that democracy is the best policy when the people of elect leader not one the basis of false promises but on the basis of genuine issues?

Random Thoughts of a Humdrum mind November 27, 2009 at 12:59 PM  

Democracy in its literal term is " Governance of the people, for the people and by the people"...In indirect democracy (like india).. the governance is for the people and of the people but not by the people infact its by the elected representatives of the people.In a situation like the above there may be promises made and even followed (at a local frame of reference) but ideologies (and promises)change when we move up the pyramid (i.e to a national level) which results in mass unsatisfaction thereby leading to poor governance.
Moreover democracy in terms of economic governance has always been disastrous as the bend is more towards capitalism.
So Direct political democracy and Semi Communist economic system will be one of the better form of governance.

Prashant Mehta November 27, 2009 at 7:26 PM  

Random Thoughts of a Humdrum mind ji

you hit it exactly where it hurts :). Agreed. The political 'governance' ideology may not always be in line with economic 'governance'

nidhesh December 11, 2009 at 1:21 AM  

have u stopped writing?

Prashant Mehta December 11, 2009 at 8:00 PM  

nidhesh ji

No i have not. Actually, I don't have Internet connection from past 2 weeks. I'd get one this weekend (hopefully). I would be back. Till then, i guess KCR is providing us enough entertainment, isn't he?

Biswajit Biswas December 14, 2009 at 11:05 AM  

I have the same thoughts like
Random Thoughts of a Humdrum mind.

deicider February 16, 2010 at 6:04 PM

I think Prashant atleast there is another great mind at work here who agrees with your evaluation of democracy though not in a literal sense.You may like to read this and reopen the debate or else just be more knowledgeable.

Prashant Mehta February 19, 2010 at 1:15 AM  

deicider ji
Thanks for the link. Got a good 'insight' :)

myghosthut December 1, 2011 at 11:53 AM  

Democracy is the best policy only when the voters are literate and educated. In fact democracy is responsible for population explosion. The pro-UdayChopra fans when they become adults will produce lots of babies(obviously babies will be brainwashed to believe UC is the only god) just because democracy is all numbers.

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