I am an Indian and pretty naïve about world politics. Most of my thoughts would reflect Indian view of democracy.
So, What is democracy?
There are several bookish answers to this questions. Few of which are as below: –
- a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
- control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.
- for the people, by the people, of the people.
Honestly, I don’t understand many of these definitions because not a single one of them describes it completely, e.g., a party having 31-33% of vote share becomes ruling party(Majority?), nobody have a say in legislation post elections(of the people?) .
For me, Democracy is a modified form of autocracy. A form that knows how to manage the rising anger, how to manage anarchy, how to manage the chaos.
If we see from the beginning, let’s consider the example of Indian Union Elections,
- There are 543 seats for Members of Parliament.
- If we calculate on an average how many fight for one seat and how many of them actually fight.
- I would say there are no more than 04 members from one constituency who have a little chance of winning.
- Now It can be said that there are 1000 people (of 1.3 crore and counting) all over India who have a chance to sit on the throne for five years. And the list is almost same with a slight exclusion and inclusion.
- Almost every politician’s son joins politics, so inclusions usually are hierarchical.
So, if we see, there are only 1000 members who get to rule the country on their turn.
What could be one’s questions/objections to this?
- Many ground level people get to become prime minister/minister/MP/MLA. – Chandragupta Maurya was ground level person and founder of biggest empire. And every huge empire was started by a ground level person.
- Public can overturn the govt any time. – Public can overturn the govt only after elections and will choose the other people from the list.
- Autocrats used to loot people. – Taxes.
- There are more than 500 people who get to rule. – There were more than 500 princely state and many kingdoms, so there were more than 500 rulers.
Why did I call democracy a modified form of autocracy!
Every revolution/rebellion was started by oppression of society. When the oppression grew too much, public used to revolt and dynasties were finished and a new king was born to initiate a new kingdom.
But, elections are way of silencing the oppression in a different way. People vent out their anger on leaders by not voting them or voting against them. Which silences their without oppression. They feel like they have taken revenge but they have just chosen the other king.
Among all this what disturbs me is, in today’s world when people say we have finished King’s Rule, it is also said that “He/She is son/daughter of that person and politics to iske khoon me hai“. Nothing has ended. It’s not in their blood to rule, its in our blood to be ruled.