Note:Part 1 and part 2 of this post, was published . We now wind up this topic with our concluding post.
We start this post by two quotes: First , ““People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” [Alan Moore] and the second is ““Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.” [Howard Zinn].
This is what is being missed by our democracy. We wish to argue that Democracy without active people’s participation cannot be termed as democracy. It’s a lumpy system where anyone who gets power and authority tries to misuse and exploits it. This is what has been happening in Maharashtra, West Bengal and many other states with democracies turned to authoritative regimes and used by the whims of the power lords. The absence of protests and active participation of people have made the states totally unreliable.
As another example, take the case of Delhi which has been polluted for years. Still not a single citizen has come out in open to protest for his/her rights. And therefore the malice and menace continues.
Carnegie protest tracker tracks the protests around the world. It shows the protests held in India on various issues from farmers bills to reservations etc. But no where one finds any mention of protests lodged against state governments. This is a big anomaly. It can be proved that state governments are rather more vulnerable to exploit and misuse power and position than the Central govt which comes under full national and international media.
If India has to find her new destiny then its essential that there is greater people’s participation. The government of the day must fear the collective citizens power. This transformation has to come from the educated class and the younger generation. We badly need a proactive citizen charter only then we can be assured of democratic governance. Else the haphazard growth, skewed religious developments like mazars and kabristans, rapes, urban mess will continue.
It’s also seen that left liberals are more agile and active when it comes to protests. Right wing politicians, organisations have to learn a lot from them. In fact they have to be ahead of the left liberals when it comes to protests and taking the common citizen along with them. Despite the blatant arrogance and misuse of power in Maharashtra the right wing politicians failed to come out on streets. West Bengal is murdering the karyakartas still the right wing parties and organisations have failed to lodge strong protests against Mamata Banerjee’s lumpy government. Kerala continues to ignore the national stream and has a very different system of governance than the rest of the country. However no one is able to project it properly.
To summarise and conclude we will say that our democracy cannot survive without active citizens participation. Democracy is not for the faint hearted and the complacent. It demands certain criterions from her own citizens. More and more people have to participate and voice their expression in a proper manner. Right wing organizations have the onus to collect these voices in an organised form and challenge the governments wherever power and position is misused especially in states.
One has to be fearless like Arnab Goswami who has shown to millions of Indians what true journalism is all about. It’s to challenge the power that be, most vociferously so that they get stifled in their dens. And for that we wish Arnab Goswami congratulations and best wishes for showing the country a new paradigm.
We wish all over readers a very happy and prosperous Shubh Deepawali. Lets imbibe the true character of this great festival and move towards Light removing darkness. We will conclude the post by quoting this from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad :-
असतो मा साद गमय, तमसो मा ज्योतिर् गमय, मृत्योर मा अमृतम् गमय
(Asato Ma , Sad Gamaya Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya, Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya)
Lead us from ignorance to truth, Lead us from darkness to light, Lead us from death to deathlessness.
Note: Part one and part 2 has been published and can be read on our website Http://www.samanvaya.org.in
Dr Asheesh Shah0