What is democracy ? Is true democracy on the decline ?
The word democracy is Greek in Origin. Democracy is an ever evolving term. People have many different definitions of it. But the following are some of the most essential features of true democracy-
Free and fair elections
Freedom of the press
Freedom of speech
Freedom to protest
An Absence of coercion and corruption in the society
Voting rights for all citizens, irrespective of ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation of the person
Balance of power (no dictatorship)
Basic human rights
No cruelty towards to masses
When people would talk about poverty in India, it’s crowded cities, impoverished people living in the slums, i used to feel a little bit guilty that we are an inferior nation. But i always felt proud that at least we are a democracy.
I would remind myself, that we have an unbiased magistrate, and a Police force making sure that law and order is in place in India. Even though we are poor, common citizens have access to the justice system. It’s free and fair.
I was kind of wrong
Democracy exists in India, but in reality freedom of expression and right to revolt against the system is on the decline. Press freedom is also under attack. I remember in Kerala where I was born, a policeman was arrested and filed with defamation suit, because he said something against the chief minister of the state. These kind of stories were unheard of in India a couple of years ago. If You say something against Modi, our current prime minister, You could be sure that the government will file defamation suit against You, and probably arrest You. Is this how a democracy should function? Have we gone to a new low like China?
I won’t even talk about democracy in China. A totalitarian state that suppresses its people and make them work like slaves, in the name of economic progress. A country that forcefully teaches communist ideologies to its citizens. Zero rights and constant monitoring by the communist party led government.. I am glad that I was not born in China.
The one thing that really surprises me about Poland(even to this day), is the freedom of speech You enjoy here. People openly criticizing politicians, mocking them, and even saying bad words about them online. For things like that You could be easily jailed in India. Here in Poland, offensive words against the ruling party is noting new. I am not in a position to comment further upon the current political scenario in Poland.
Rise of the far right
Far right political parties are up and coming all over the world. How many examples shall i give?
In Brazil Boisonaro was elected as the prime minister on the 1’st of January 2019. I can’t believe that a person who is homophobic and racist, can be the prime minister of a country as diverse as Brazil. Who elected this guy?
Trump is another example. USA, Land of the free, home of the brave. A president who I like for certain reasons(economic policies against China and its malicious trade practices), but I don’t like for a whole lot of other reasons. Some one who is abusive towards women, and terms any type of criticism against him as ‘fake news’.
It really pisses me off that newspapers like Washington post, and BBC along with magazines like Time, regularly criticize India and its government. While Trump is building walls to keep Mexicans away, and The Brits are busy with the Brexit deal, they have got the guts to write silly remarks against India. India is always a third world country for the Anglo Saxons. Common! get Your own backyard in order first. Colonization era is over. Keep the fuck away from our problems. Solve Your own mess first, and then police the world.
I think we are living in one of the worst times for democracy in this world. From Hungary, to Brazil, to USA. to Sweden, Norway, to India, people are opting for leaders who look and act like dictators.
I think we have to wait another 10-15 years for things to come back full circle. For the far right political parties to leave politics and for level headed Politicians to come back into power. Maybe then we can enjoy freedom of speech and expression.
An era where courts will stay unbiased. Governments will care about its citizens. People won’t be silenced. Maybe then Racism and homophobia will be on the decline.
What do You think?