Political Involvement is the

Oxygen of Democracy

The Soldiers of Babar stood tall on their horses as they wore power like a second skin. From behind dark shadows, they released a horse on the farm of a meek looking Indian farmer, and watched. The farmer looked blankly at the horse and shooed the beast away to a neighbor’s fields and went back to his work. Just like that. No curiosity, no questions, no defiance, acting as if he had just checked in from Pluto.

The soldiers returned to Babar and reported all that they saw. Babar smiled to himself and exclaimed. “Hindustan is in our hands. Anybody can conquer such a self-absorbed people who react to nothing.”

Maybe Babar was right, maybe wrong. But the fact that a handful of Englishmen could rule such a vast continent only proves that Babar was more right than wrong. Compounded by a Hamlet-like philosophy of peace at any price, the nation spiraled down to accept degrading humiliations, unparalleled cruelty, loss of immeasurable wealth, and slavery of the worst kind - the mind. Only when men conquered their greatest enemy, “Indifference,” they could throw away the shackles of isolation and powerlessness and challenge brutality and restore the nation to freedom.

Yet today, the golden threads of involvement that cracked the hinges of History in 1947 have all but disappeared. Relentless loot of the poor nation goes on and on, yet the people are silent. The dynasty sits on the thrones vacated by the white man and like the white man treats the majority of the land like second class citizens depriving them of security, equality and freedom from terror. With audacious immunity, tycoons and paupers, stooges and charlatans, predators and prey tumble out of the mean streets created by the much-hyped economy of Inequality. The craven media tilts at windmills of “Hindu terror” while the treasonous Hurriyat breathes free. Yet the people are silent. Even when marauding thugs of a neighboring state periodically unleash orgies of violence, the coalition of the heartless continues its “peaceful” engagement with a murderous regime of a failed state. And yet, the people are not only silent but continue to vote to power the same dirt bags, time after time.

Welcome to Utopia created by a legendary Indian apathy which shuns its valiant soldiers, hounds its heroes, and honors its money bags. Welcome to the “see no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil,” culture that spawned a criminal democracy that refuses to pay the soldier his just due, gives away valuable territory like POK or Haji Pir, takes over the cash from temples to fill their filthy coffers, eventually to use in influence peddling and coddling the keepers of mosques and churches, wheel and deal with land sharks, shady arms dealers, illegal mining companies, corporate fixers and foreign NGO’s who manipulate public opinion against Kudankulam reactor and uranium mining from Meghalaya. Yet the people are silent.

And so begins another decade of the extended hand, and gesture after gesture to hostile minorities. Saurabh Kaalia is brutally tortured by the Pakistan army, but for our toadying Government it is business as usual with the enemy nation. Nationalists like Subramanium Swamy are hounded out of Harvard by a pseudo secular gang, while illegal Bangladeshis are given a driver’s license, a passport, a voter identity card, a ration card, a Haj subsidy, job reservation, Government housing, free education, housing loans, free health care and a bunch of human rights morons who advocate day in and out for their superior “secular” credentials. Yet, we the self-centered Indians are silent.

When it takes only a day to trump up false charges against Ramdev, whereas it takes more than a year to act against the swindlers Hassan Ali, Raja and Kalmadi, we, the people, have lost. When protesting citizens against rising corruption are mercilessly lathi charged, whereas Dayanidhi Maran’s fraud of 440 crores is hushed up for over three years, we the people have lost even more. Boisterous, loud mouthed, and argumentative in our private lives, yet we act like docile lambs when we tolerate the mob that rules us. As sure as the stars that orbit the heavens, the saying holds true, “A nation of sheep votes to power a government of wolves.”

Like Newton’s first law of motion, the inertia accompanying a legacy of neglect and betrayal of the people will continue unabated unless a new fiery force stirs from the ashes of indifference and fans a legitimate outrage with a blazing message, “get out or get booted out.” Slashing through the self-righteous rhetoric and the gigantic spin machine of the corrupt establishment will not be easy. The people of India especially the Hindus must sink their differences and vote for an iconic power that supports national interests such as Narendra Modi. Ostracizing and delegitimizing the ruling gangs cannot take place when the people are not willing to acknowledge a world beyond their own noses.

When we live on the fringes of life and survive on the crumbs of Democracy, we lose it all, comfort, security and freedom. The welcome din of political involvement that rings in a true democracy will forever be silent, allowing a fatal darkness to envelope a land that cares for nothing, stands for nothing and falls for everything.


More by :  Aneeta Chakrabarty

Top | Opinion

Views: 3408      Comments: 2

Comment It is interesting that after each paragraph in your vibrant article cataloguing the evils prevalent in India's democracy, the people's response is silence and apathy. This is a judgment on the people to equal extent, but not in presuming, as some might, they are an innocent party wronged. A flower grows out of a pot that contains the ingredients of its growth, whereby the soil appears passive while the flower flourishes. People are not just innocent parties to prevailing evils, but the soil from which these emerge. If people were innocent, the soil would choke the incipient buds of corruption, not passively encourage their growth. The point I am making is that in condemning corruption in a given society, one tends to presume the public an innocent party that only has to assert its lily-white nature for virtue to be restored. The fact is, if the public were virtuous by nature, there could be no evil flower emergent from its soil. Virtue is an ideal that is distinct from the nature of the polity, not identified with it. A virtuous man, like Mahatma Gandhi, for example, only serves the public interest - his virtue is quashed by public feeling when it appears alien in that same soil.

04-Mar-2013 20:14 PM

Comment Excellent article. Today Narendra Modi has sounded a bugle to oust the dynastic party.

03-Mar-2013 09:14 AM

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