Democracy, derived from the Greek dēmokratiā, literally means rule by the people, as stated in the Britannica. Here dēmo stands for people and kratos for rule.
India emerged as a democratic republic nation on January 26, 1950, a fact known to one and all. And in 1952, you have the spectacle of the world’s largest election. But it is not here where everything ends. As we travel from that point to the present we will witness many developments which compel us to think, are we really living in a democracy? And it is at this juncture that the need for an elaborate study comes.
India at present has a population of 1.27 billion, 50% of which includes people from the age group of 0-25 and over 65% below the age of 35. With 1.27 billion populations India is undoubtedly the largest democracy on earth but a fact is that 1.1 billion people in this country still lives on less than $1 a day. According to a census report of 2001, 61.8 million people in India live in the slums, which mean half of the nation’s population is stricken by extreme poverty. And the most interesting and sensationalizing fact is that around half of this population and around 1/3rd of the rest doesn’t use their franchisee right, most of them still have no clear idea and some are fed up with the system.
Interestingly, in this nation where more than half of its population lives below the international poverty line, the so called people’s representatives are hardly millionaires as most of them are billionaires.
Is India a true democratic country? In many article published earlier on Times of Assam, this question has been raised. And here in this article, goes the answer. What is the real picture that Indian democracy reflects? A democracy full of draconian laws, a democracy full of extreme class variation, or a democracy crippled by extreme poverty.
When it comes to the draconian laws, I guess India is going to get 10 out of 10. Let it be the Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958 (AFSPA), the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, TADA, POTA etc etc & etc. One simple and precise point to prove my stand is just go to the Google search bar and type draconian laws in, as you hit the space to write in after laws, the Google server will automatically suggest India.
For most of the people in India, unfortunately repression is the only truth. Let it be judicial repression (repression through laws), mis-governance or military repression. A fact, which even the Prime Minister of India cannot deny. Put some stress on your brain now before reading further.
Moving on, let us now go back to the definition of democracy which I have mentioned in the first paragraph itself. With all the facts I wrote above can you term India as a democratic nation. Yes of course it is, as we elect our representatives, will be the answer if you did not put any stress on your brain. Think again, whom are we electing? Some class 10th failed candidates or some candidates having more criminal qualifications in compared to their educational qualifications. Don’t you think we are electing some useless morons to the house? The biggest question, are we electing dictators?
India was under the British monarch till the midnight of August 14, 1947. And after that the power of India went to the Nehru family, now known as the No. 1 family of India, the Gandhi family still have the reins of power. So, literally India still has a queen and her representative is the Prime Minister and the official stamp is the President. The next to the throne is also known to all. This is the real face of Indian democracy, the so called largest democracy of India.
When it comes to insurgency in North Eastern region as well as J&K and the Maoist problem in southern belt and central India, this democratic nation acts like a dictator. And it is here where the draconian laws exist. They impose a ban on an ideology and terms the people following that ideology as anti-national, citing the reason of the country’s sovereignty. The question is how safe is the sovereignty in the hands of these lawmakers, the very one, whom people like you and me have sent as representatives. They have time to ask for votes but they don’t have time to hear what you want to say. When the so called protectors of democracy do not pay heed to the slogans it forces a particular person to take up something which produces more sound effect. And that is where the problem lies. The problem is not with Maoism or separatism, it is with the so called protectors of democracy our leaders.
Now, ask yourself, is India a democratic country? Who is guilty, the one who took arms in their hands or the one who forced them? They too love peace, they too love development, just give them a chance. Bring reforms in the system first before reforming the rebels.