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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

March 29, 2009

Jai Ho democracy

The Indian election mercury is rising & the cacophony of the worlds largest exercise in electoral franchise is reaching a fever pitch. Indian Politics & elections are noisy and messy , the interminable debates & tamasha makes interesting viewing on TV, IPL anyway dint stand a chance. It could be described as nautanki at its best, the political realignments that are shaping is a good example to cite. Are the wily politicians smelling the votes & the voter moods in advance? The sight on the Gaddi is seen to be blinding political & ideological leanings. The Election commission in its act appears to be a harried shepherd trying to reign in wayward sheep’s scurrying in all possible directions with its guidelines & diktats. They are not dealing with sheep's though, wolves would be a apt comparison. No wonder this cacophony gets replicated in the parliament when it begins its act after the elections. The poor old fellow, Somnath Chatterjee, the erstwhile speaker of the last hustling was so exasperated with these unruly fellows that he blurted in its final session ‘ the people are watching your shameful act & will punish you in the elections’.

Compare this with the meeting of the people representatives of the People’s republic of China . The image flashes of orderliness & tranquil equilibrium of the thousands of delegates behind a massive auditorium & its red mascot. But this is like any of the images that the bamboo curtain dishes out to the outside world. Remember the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics? Perfect it had to be , the state had gone the distance to show superimposed images of fireworks displays just in case the actual ones did not explode while cute kids lip synched songs for others which the state did not deem attractive. In both instances the state dished out its projected image – about the system that symbolises perfection, about its collective harmony that operates like one big efficient machine.

The nanga naach of our democracy does not make interesting sight nor sound or can hold it own against the efficiency or orderliness of above. But like the squalor of ‘Slumdog millionaire’ it does tell a story of its own that may have a more universal appeal than that of closed societies which build a facade that hides more than it shows. Indian democracy seems to be an antithesis to such systems/societies, it challenges consensus & tranquil equilibrium and many a times common sense, deifies individuals over the system but at the end of the day works to provide power to its people to choose its aspirations through the ballot boxes. There is no contrived cheer or made up images neither are bullets or tanks to stop them like in Tiananmen Square. Jai Ho democracy!
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