Deliverance from Unbridled Democracy, Unfettered Freedom

Sivaramakrishnan AStarred Page By Sivaramakrishnan A, 12th Jan 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

A minority is able to manipulate democracy and freedom to their advantage. The slip between the cup and the lip plays out ad nauseam to the chagrin of the majority.

Democracy and Freedom not a Panacea

Every country fights tooth and nail to reach the ultimate goal of democracy and freedom. The urge comes from within to be free and to have the right to elect the government. Most have reached this pinnacle but we wonder why they do not deliver the basics that benefit the majority. Soon after elections people rise in protest against those they have voted to power! The proverbial slip between the cup and the lip is at play again. We hit a brick wall as all leaders prove equally bad – flatter only to deceive! What then ails democracy? Why what we have craved for refuses to deliver in the end creating much heartburn and despondency? How to make it work? Is there a better system or are we just incapable of finding common path, working at cross purposes and impatient?

Minority vs. Majority

In most democratic countries, political power is just a musical chair – parties are voted in and out. But the dire situation continues. In poorer countries there is endemic corruption and near anarchy. Unfettered freedom enables a minority to ride roughshod over the majority by taking advantage of the system at every turn. The situation becomes more glaring by the day. The leaders in power are just beholden to the few with financial muscle – you scratch my back, I scratch yours becomes the mantra! The common citizens become mere spectators even in democracies and a cry in the wilderness ensues ad nauseam.

While we do not want to compromise on the hard earned freedom we see few able to bend the system to suit them at the cost the majority who play fair. Intractable bureaucracy and lack of transparency make it tough for most to get ahead. Why those we elect with such fanfare fail once they are in power? Did they believe they could deliver on their promises or they just wanted to enjoy their time in office? Do they know all along that the promises were hollow as the reality will put paid to their glib talks? The fact is the whole system descends into anarchy stymieing all hopes of the majority.

India at Crossroads

Going by numbers, India is the biggest democracy. It is said it can survive amid confusion, even anarchy and paralysis of the government. But, occasionally, rude awakening jolts the country like when a young girl was gang raped and succumbed to the brutality recently. The righteous indignation is palpable but then again the system is unable to come to the grips with the matter. The elite think they are above law. Then for those found guilty their crime is they are poor! The bureaucracy is in deep slumber despite the shock therapy of this case and other corruption issues. People have taken to the streets but how to make the system work? The government is beholden to disparate few to remain in power. The opposition is more interested in poking holes, gaining advantage than work on joint, bipartisan initiatives that are vital for the country. But when every obstacle is taken as an opportunity to score points and is part and parcel of relentless politicking, the sufferers are the common citizens.

India had leaders like Gandhi and Nehru who were revered in their time. In the modern world all are easy meat – none has the heft to take vital decisions. And freedom makes it easy for anyone to air views without taking responsibility. And internet gives all the bandwidth to spread their take – the more catchy emotional ones get instant audience. Even developed countries struggle to change course with path-breaking decisions necessary. It is then tougher for countries like India to change its direction. No wonder they remain mired in one controversy after another.

Majority has to Play the Part, Involve

Then the younger generation wants change – that is a welcome trend, but they do not want to get their feet dirty. They remain aloof expecting the system to deliver through remote control.To get out the rut requires superhuman effort and not the majority sitting inside the vehicle without lending their shoulders to the wheel.

Despite all the noise the situation will remain the same as long as we expect others to make the change for us. What change we want will come only through self-sacrifice from each. We cannot have the egg and the omelette – something has to give. It is not business as usual! Time bound initiatives and bipartisan cooperation will do the trick. The stumbling block is our attitude and lack of involvement to bring about the change. We get what we deserve in the end and if we think we deserve better we should also put in the effort – no more business as usual. The gap between reality and expectations has to be bridged to make sense of democracy and make it deliver. The tragic rape incident is not just a law and order issue; it is another wake-up call. It cries out for change from top to bottom in thinking and action. Otherwise, this will also be water under the bridge too soon, tragically!


Image Credits: All images are from Public Domain

Links to my recent posts:

Attitude Decides Our Life, Fate

Bridging Gap between Reality and Expectations

Death is the Ultimate Leveler

December 21 – Let The Change Come From Within

Practice the Age-old Maxim: Live and Let Live


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Tags

Anarchy, Bureaucracy, Controversy, Corruption, Crossroads, Democracy, Elite, Expectations, Freedom, Gandhi, India, Internet, Majority, Minority, Nehru, Reality, Shock Therapy

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
Professional accountant. General take on life, business, international news comments

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
13th Jan 2013 (#)

I'm not sure what you're getting at here, Siva. Are you saying democracy and freedom needs to be held in check? I think the problem is not too much freedom or too much democracy, but the leaders and politicians that are corrupted by the corporatocracy. Unfettered greed, not unfettered freedom and democracy, is the greatest problem in the world.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th Jan 2013 (#)

Steve, what I meant was the system of democracy and freedom are being taken advantage by a powerful minority whoever is in power. Greed of few ultimately trumps what the majority stands for - good governance and justice. Though there is no better political system than democracy and the freedom to choose our leaders, the common citizen feels played out time and time again. In India there has been legitimate outcry against lack of rule of law but it it ends up as impotent rage in the end. The system is just unable to respond - siva .

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
14th Jan 2013 (#)

and I agree with this...

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Thank you Carolina for your comments - siva

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
14th Jan 2013 (#)

have to agree here with Steve..

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Democracy and freedom are hijacked by few - without rule of law they descend to anarchy. India is a case in point and according to Karim, Bangla Desh is even worse. My point is unbridled, irrational exuberance, defeats the system. Thanks Carolina for your views - siva

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th Jan 2013 (#)

Thank you Steve for the encouragement - siva

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
13th Jan 2013 (#)

In Bangladesh, democracy is going far away from people to thugs and miscreants, who can manipulate everything with money.
Poor people of Bangladesh!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th Jan 2013 (#)

What a sad state of affairs, Karim. This happens in many countries where a minority makes merry at the cost of the majority - democracy or not! Just by exercising our voting rights, we do not reach our destination. In a way, all leaders prove equally bad in the end. To make democracy deliver to benefit the majority - that is the real challenge. Promises can be made and even elections won through them, but the harsh reality stares at all - siva

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Now the latest law passed which states that you cannot take any stands against the party decision, fair or unfair, nor you can stand in the election if party refuse to recognize your candidature. Lately, the rebel candidates won in a number of constituency where it seems like a sandal slap on the face of the political decision makers. In other words- politicians cannot read the writings on the wall!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Dear Karim, even in a democratic set-up few decide and continue to retain the reins whoever is in power. Leaders of all hues succumb to money power, sadly. But the drama plays on to dupe the majority who hope against hope for a better future - siva

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author avatar Buzz
13th Jan 2013 (#)

Thought-provoking, my friend. I love the ideas here.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Thank you dear Buzz for your support and comments - siva

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author avatar writestuff
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Thanks again for an article that points out the similarities of the 1%, regardles of country, of who rule over the majority via their rites of control: money, class and bigotry.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Thanks Writestuff. Voting a party to power is not democracy but we should be able to realize our goals. Yes, the privileged walk away with the spoils leaving the common citizens high and dry especially in poor countries though they can boast freedom and democracy! They vote too diligently! siva

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author avatar Carol
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Great work here highlighting something that is not right. A well deserved star!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Jan 2013 (#)

Thanks Carol for your visit and kind words of support - siva

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author avatar Retired
18th Jan 2013 (#)

Though provoking, Sivaji. I think democracy manifests differently in different countries, especially spanning East and West--but controversy, corruption and competition is rife everywhere. What we need is respect and love for all beings IN all beings...Namaste, rd

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Jan 2013 (#)

Thanks Rama-ji. I get a feeling the democracy and freedom that we fought for and what we achieved in the end is also part of the overall problem. Just like in authoritarian countries, few run away with the spoils. The poor hope against hope, playing by the rules while few flout all with impunity. That is why there is anarchy especially in poorer countries and I include India too among them. You know what I mean as you know the ground realities in India. Sadly, US has also lost its way for its majority to benefit from freedom and democracy. Namaste - siva

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
3rd Feb 2013 (#)

I have to say here Siva , that I sense so often the word democracy is used to appease our sensibilities merely because it sounds good, but more than often the truth is , that ' He who pays the Piper , calls the tune ', and those who are paying the piper may be a few mega rich , whose ability to control is due to the size of their bank accounts , and not necessarily their integrity. Thankfully there are some good people in leadership who have the best thoughts for others in their hearts , and who do achieve what they set out to do, but they are a rare breed , and they have to withstand the onslaught of some very devious individuals who constantly oppose them . these kind of leaders deserve our support , and prayers to be still standing when the dust settles . Thank you again for a thought provoking write .
Bless you
Stella

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
4th Feb 2013 (#)

Thanks Stella for your take. I wrote this piece keeping the lesser developed countries in mind. But I do realize even the mighty USA has similar issues! There are few powerful interest groups that try to dictate terms and prove more than equal. Rule of law is tough when some manage to be above law. But thankfully, people are clamoring for their rights and asserting themselves. But the vested interests are too deeply entrenched to give up easily. The majority does its duty and hope things work out, but the system is sadly skewed against them. However, the awareness is getting more and hence the future does not look bleak. As you have rightly said, our good leaders need our support and prayers - siva

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author avatar madugundurukmini
4th Mar 2013 (#)

freedom like free bird

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
4th Mar 2013 (#)

We have freedom and democracy - too much of it - without rule of law. That is anarchy! Thank you Rukmini for looking up my earlier posts - siva

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