Making a Mockery of Democracy

Jul 16, 2009

'Into that heaven of freedom my father … let my country awake….'

This song of Rabindranath Tagore will echo in our minds as the countdown to Independence Day begins. Hectic preparations are on for yet another Independence Day. We have been enjoying freedom for the past six decades, but a question in my mind remains unanswered. What do we do with our freedom? As it was said during the Reign of Terror, “Oh liberty what crimes are committed in your name”! Some of the recent developments have sent shock waves across the country.

Is something essentially wrong with our judicial system? Six of the accused in the murder of Prof. Sabharwal have been acquitted by a court of law. All the witnesses in the case turned hostile in court with all of them, including the police, testifying contrary to what we have seen on the news channels. It is obvious that the professor was beaten black and blue and was badly injured. Worst of all, the court of law declared the accused innocent due to a lack of witnesses. Thanks to the media, the case got national attention; but forgotten are the thousands of poor villagers and illiterates running from pillar to post seeking justice. Now, we require the courage to chant the words of Tagore “Where words come out from the depths of truth … Into that heaven of freedom my father let my country awake”

It is often said, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Aren’t our leaders autocrats and absolute monarchs and first class corrupt officials. Such politicians bring disgrace to our democratic set up. The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister is spending crores of rupees in erecting her own statues on the streets. The fact is that thousands of people from UP migrate to cities like Mumbai and Delhi in search of employment. Poverty is rampant everywhere in the state. In spite of this fact, she is spending crores on such monuments. Isn’t it a national shame and nothing but a mockery of democracy?

I doubt whether we really are in a democratic and secular country. In news from Jaipur, is a couple is facing threats to their life simply because the Panchayat refused to accept their marriage since they belonged to different castes. There is an offer of Rs 1 lac for those capturing the couple dead or alive. The caste system is so strong in our country that a democratic set-up like the Panchayat arrived at such a decision!

When we look at all these and many other events that are happening around the country, it is disheartening. Where is our country heading to? It is said the world is wicked not because there are wicked people in the world, but because of the silence of the good people. I think it is time for all of us to wake up and raise our voice against these undemocratic, inhuman, practices.

by Lancy Dias, Mangalore
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Comment on this article

  • Ronald Peter Almeida, Brahmavar

    Mon, Jul 27 2009

    How can you make a mockery of DEMOCRAZY. Majority rule cannot systemise individual freedom. ''Nine out of ten times the majority is wrong''- Bernard Shaw.

  • anthony, mangalore

    Sat, Jul 18 2009

    ref: democracy in india india claims to be the world''s biggest secular democracy! it is not! any nationalized bank you visit one sees godess laxmi''s picture. you still see the caste based signs outside restaurants.(such as udupi brahmin restaurants so on) one more recent incident........ mangalore electecd member of parliament said that he is going to uphold hindutva values....... its a comedy of errors!

  • Harin Prabhu, mangalore

    Sat, Jul 18 2009

    My friend, why are looking so far away from home. How many times has Democracy been raped in our state and is continuing in Mysore now.

  • Mundir, Riyadh

    Sat, Jul 18 2009

    It is in our own Mangalore city we were all experienced such things. The murderers who killed in day light was acquitted of all charges. No use of blaming any political parties or Judiciary system of India. We have to blame only the Ignoring attitude of the literate people. Until we all are united we cannot achieve any progress , but these political parties will not allow us to be united, they do all their best effort to divide our nation by castes, tribes, religions etc.

  • naveen, mangalore

    Fri, Jul 17 2009

    I feel democracy has failed because of Indian educated population.I just made a survey around my friend cirle,went on asking everyone to find out how many have voted for the Lok sabha election.Result is 2/50.....!!!. No wonder the youth is ignored by the political parties.

  • anita, mumbai

    Fri, Jul 17 2009

    It is a nice article which motivates me to pray more for this people.May God reward them for thier corruption

  • a.v.a, blore

    Fri, Jul 17 2009

    Yes Democracy has failed in India because of the kind of electorate and elected. Corruption is rampant. Freedom is being curtailed. Fanaticism is raising its ugly head. The system of governance is totally rotten. And the politicians have skillfully divided the people into religion, language and race for their own ends. This is the India we live in. Yes! India definitely needs 10 years of military rule, confiscation of all illegally acquired money by politicians, bureaucrats and business men. Our Election commission needs more power and needs to have in place a qualitative ion process of people standing for elections. And we should be able to legally challenge such frivolous rules that curtail even our basic freedom of what we can eat and drink. A citizen should have the right to sue his representative at any time if he feels he is not satisfied with his performance. Let us together change India for a better tomorrow. Its up to us to do it now.

  • Lancy M Fernandes, M lore/Pune

    Fri, Jul 17 2009

    Good congrats. it''s wonderful to be reflective about our own stds around us in our country. some principles seem to be only theoritcal. be need to question them till we see a change. keep it up.

  • Gratian Correa, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    India is a democracy only in name. In some states we cannot eat beef, we cannot drink alcohol, we cannot do this and that and so forth. Self appointed Hindu Moral police threaten our freedom and existence. Those who cry for Military Rule should remember these words "Absolute power corrupts absolutely". Politicians should get only two terms maximum of 4 years each in beoming a Corporator, MLA or MP. Before they serve the public, their assests should be d, only then they should be allowed to stand for election. Our Election Commissioner should be strong, not bend down before the government. This way corruption can easily be controlled and members of the Anti-Corruption should make increase their vigilance at police stations, airports, ports, government offices, municipalities instead of waiting for the public to call them. Are the law makers listening?

  • Antony Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney-Australia

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    I fully agree with Sridhar Achar`s comments above. Isolated cases like this are bound to happen, specially in a country like India with a massive population and illiteracy, diversified religions, castes, social cultures and systems.

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    something to ponder upon just before the independence day...good article...congrats.

  • Shridhara Achar, Puttur/ Bangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    Just a month before one more Independence Day, Lancy has raised certain relevant issues. There is pessimism in his write-up. But stray incidents like aquittal of accused in Prof.Sabharwal murder case and young couple of Jaipur facing life threat should not make us pessimist. The allround development and increase in quality of life is not negligible. But I agree with Lancy when he says we must raise our voice against undemocratic and inhuman practices. Media should play an important role in this regard.

  • Wilfred e pinto, Mangalore/u s a

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    i feel NOW "MILITARY RULE" is best for INDIA rather these/this democratic 80% corrupt govts/administion.We citizen can''t live with peace,thatswhy majority PROFESSINALs leave for better future abroad.

  • Joy Rodrigues, Pune

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    congratulation Lancy for this beautiful articles. You have given us the right attitude to reflect about our democracy as we near towards celebrating independence day. Atleast this article help us to open our eyes t osee the reality arround us in the eyes of real democracy.

  • Jossie D''Mello SJ, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    Thank you Lancy for your thought provoking article: “Making a Mockery of Democracy”. I think, as citizens we have failed collectively in raising our voice against corruption and unjust structures. Because of our “silence” we have become mute spectators and quite often we have been indifferent to such issues. Lancy, hope to see many more such articles.

  • Eric Coelho, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    Democracy has been a mockery since 1950. It all started with congress with the majority of the leaders looting the country and misusing their power left and right for personal gains. Since 1950 I would say that 0.0001% from any Political Party or Public and Govt Servant has been punished for his corrupted and misrule action. Silence of Good people has given an upper hand to corrupted people.

    The People in this country are not secular and they do not want to be. Marriages of Intercaste always comes with a Price or Negative Action. It took 60 years for the Congress to set right its Party in Order. Since 1947 a lot of mushroom and family feifdom political parties are born not to serve the people. What Congress did not do in 60 years, in the same way these New Political Parties will also do the same thing. It is like being nowhere.

    The Poor man and the common man has his own problems and life to take care. It is only every 5 years he can bring about change through voting. There is nothing the People of this country can do to root out corruption and or any illegal activities. We have a very weak Law and Judicial System. In USA it took a few months to Put Investor fraud Madoff to 150 years in Jail. Will this happen in India. It will be only a dream.

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