Other Side Of Democracy
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Other side of Democracy

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See interview of Ashok  Kothare

All civilized world had accepted democratic form of a government as the best form of government however, as I studied various aspects of this concept, I realized that it is not very perfect unless bordered by some margins of limits. 

When democracy compared with other forms of governments, promoters of democratic system, very often knowingly or unwittingly put up only one aspect that common people get the right to choose their rulers. In this, many other aspects they neglect and the resultant system what we get appears to be not so perfect. To understand my point, here I give idea about what are those other aspects to which I intend to refer. 

A community is made of people of diverse abilities and aspirations. Some are efficient, some are not so efficient, and others could be most inefficient. Similarly, some are ambitious for very many choices while other many have no big ambition, preferring to live a life of contentment. Again, we see that aspirations of different groups of people could be clashing in interests creating violent situations in the social life. In a democratic system, all these people of diverse motives insist to exercise their respective representation. In addition to good citizen not so good citizen are also very active in that, pretending to represent the society of their type. That means there is clash of conflicting interests. When we say majority vote, we consider opinion of majority, and if that rules; it begins to conflict with the other opinions. As a result, we see that in any democratically managed government there are clashes. Some are satisfied while some otters are dissatisfied. While democracy gives, weight to majority opinion it also offers equal right to the minority. Here I do not mean by minority Muslim because in our country minority word is mostly used to denote Muslim. Here I am referring to the true minority of many types. For example, amongst the so-called majority, there are many minorities involved. Take for instance Congress party, this party contains within it, many factions who conflict in interests amongst them and also high command of the party. 

When we say democracy, we refer to the elections that decide the popular opinions. There votes cast, counted to decide the popular opinion however, our experience shows that operators often manipulate this straightforward manor of deciding the popular vote and a very different “popular vote” appears on the surface. It is the mockery of democracy but this is the truth. Manipulation of votes by various means is the way of this democracy. As a result, what we see as the popular vote is actually the vote of operating powerful minority in the party high command. 

There are many means of manipulation; bribing the gullible to vote those who can pay is the standard method today. Almost in every election, we see party workers paying thousands of rupees to these people and they vote for them; money often overrides the true popular vote and a very misleading picture come up that shows a different opinion as the popular vote. Other method often practiced is to intimidate voters to vote for the intimidater. Manipulating with voting machine is the method used by many political parties who have access to the process. Generally, voters are ordinary people who are not very strong willed and so bullies working for the political parties can frighten them easily. A giving falls promise is also the method very frequently used by political people.

 The theoretical concept of democracy though appears very acceptable the practical picture that appears is shockingly disturbing. Teeth to show of democracy are very nice but the teeth to eat appear to be very nasty. This happens because, as I mentioned earlier in this post, diverse interests existing in the society. To make democracy function successfully the community needs to have certain innate capabilities. 

They are self-respect, fearlessness, stern belief in good values of life, honesty, mutual sense if respect for other members of the community. Some add patriotism as other important quality. If any one of the above given capabilities society lacks; the democracy suffers and what we get is the mockery of democracy. 

Here so far I talked about what we consider as a constitutional democracy. There is one more profound form of democracy, natural democracy. We often see conflict between these two democracies. Defenders of natural democracy claim very rightly that constitutional democracy immerses out of natural democracy. That is true. The difference as I see is that natural democracy belongs to the society while constitutional belongs to the government. For example, when Anna Hazare talks of democracy he refers to the natural democracy and when our politicians talk they always refer to the constitutional democracy. That creates many misunderstanding for the ordinary people who are not well versed in this subject. The freedoms of what we talk come from the concept of natural democracy and only a limited part of these freedoms constitutional democracy accepts. This makes the difference in them very clear. Constitutional democracy helps the smart politicians in manipulating the power and controlling people while natural democracy guides freedom fights. You cannot do freedom fights while accepting the controls of the constitutional democracy. Satygrah and non-cooperation movement (asahakar) of Gandhi is an example in point. Constitutional democracy is always manageable while natural, based on the eternal laws of nature, remains immune to all attempts to manipulate it. This is the reason why most smart politicians refuse to accept the very existence of natural democracy. 

Constitutional democracy decides the functioning of the ruling government and gives guidance to the people about how to form it and manage it. That clearly shows that the over all expanse of this form of democracy has limitations. The rights and responsibilities of members of the society towards the government, such a constitution spells out and if approved by the people that democracy controls the working of the government concerned. That means if somebody wants to work only with this form of democracy he has to remain within the limits of that constitutional provisions and so that person or persons are coming within the controls of the government machinery. Nevertheless, we often see that this government formed under such a constitutional democratic provisions claims to represent the nation, which is not correct. A government formed under a constitution is not the whole nation but only a public body. This is why the concept of ‘non-government organization’ popularly called NGO came up to look after many other things of which a constitutional government cannot consider. That means, GO and NGO together should work in proper mutual cognizance. Even so, governments often try to control NGO by making rules and laws, by giving ostensible excuses. Actually, a constitutional government has no right to control NGOs those work in the ambiance of natural democracy. If an NGO works within the governmental controls; that is not a true NGO but just another public body a part of the constitutional democracy. Due to ignorance of the subject, this callousness of government continues without any body questioning the authority of the government on this matter. Coexistence of natural democracy and within that constitutional democracy is the ideal way but politicians do not allow that under various pretexts. 

Natural Democracy is permanent entity whereas constitutional democracy imposed on the society by some arrangement. That means, occasionally constitutional democracy we see replaced by other forms of governments such as dictatorship, bureaucracy or others where people not allowed freethinking; while this happens, the natural democracy all the time remains in the dormant form or in other forms in the society, giving rise to freedom struggles. 

When we say President of India, actually that is President of government of India and similarly when we say Prime Minister of India actually that is Prime Minister of government of India. That means the nation truly does not have a president or prime minister or any of that type of epithets. Here we should note the subtle difference in two terms, country and nation. Generally, we use these words as synonyms but in fact, they are not synonym. A country implies a constitutionally formed government and so it is coming in the realm of constitutional democracy while a nation does not imply so and so a nation does not come within the realm of constitutional democracy. Therefore, we may say President of Indian country but not President of Indian nation. 

Some people belong to Indian nation but they do not recognize Indian country; this controversy makes many a questions difficult to understand. When all inhabitants of the nation shall accept the constitutional democracy, the differences properly cleared but that does not happen. Therefore, Indian country and Indian nation shall remain as two separate entities. Today we see constitutional democracy clamped on people per force and mostly accepted by them for the ignorance of the complications involved and over all helplessness. 

This theoretical explanation will help many things happening in our country; I refer to the naxalite movement on one side as an example of violent method and other example of Anna’s movement as an example of peaceful method, working within the fold of natural democracy. There are many other insignificant movements going on; they all better explained with this rendering satisfactorily. 

Finally may I ask my reader to what they belong, Indian nation or Indian country?


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You are, invited to visit my other blogs if interested. 

Ashok Kothare for stories 

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