LONG MARCH TO DEMOCRACY

PART DONE..PART WORK IN PROGRESS..

INDIAN DEMOCRACY..PART DONE..PART WORK IN PROGRESS

RAW CELLPHONE CLIP
NEW DELHI RAILWAY STATION – 16.09.2016

WE TALK ABOUT DEMOCRATIZING AIR FARES..BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE LONG QUEUES TO CATCH UNRESERVED, LOWEST CLASS SEATS IN OUR TRAINS FOR A JOURNEY OF 20 OR 40 HOURS?

IT IS NOT THAT PEOPLE GO FOR IT AS THIS IS THE CHEAPEST SEGMENT OF TRAIN TICKETS. THEY JUST CANNOT AFFORD EVEN THIS ONE!

AND THEY ARE A REGULAR FEATURE – BE IT DELHI OR MUMBAI OR KOLKATA!

THIS RANDOM CLIP HERE HAS CAPTURED A CONVERSATION A PERSON HAD WHILE SITTING IN THE AIR-CONDITIONED (HIGHER AC) COMPARTMENT OF ANOTHER TRAIN, A CONVERSATION THAT IS SYMBOLIC OF THE CHASM BETWEEN HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS IN OUR COUNTRY!

CONCERNS THAT TELL THE TALES!

LONG MARCH TO DEMOCRACY

©SantoshChaubey

LONG MARCH TO DEMOCRACY

PART DONE..PART WORK IN PROGRESS..

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INDIAN DEMOCRACY..PART DONE..PART WORK IN PROGRESS

CELLPHONE CLICKS
NEW DELHI RAILWAY STATION – 16.09.2016

WE TALK ABOUT DEMOCRATIZING AIR FARES..BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE LONG QUEUES TO CATCH UNRESERVED, LOWEST CLASS SEATS IN OUR TRAINS FOR A JOURNEY OF 20 OR 40 HOURS?

IT IS NOT THAT PEOPLE GO FOR IT AS THIS IS THE CHEAPEST SEGMENT OF TRAIN TICKETS. THEY JUST CANNOT AFFORD EVEN THIS ONE!

AND THEY ARE A REGULAR FEATURE – BE IT DELHI OR MUMBAI OR KOLKATA!

LONG MARCH TO DEMOCRACY

©SantoshChaubey

DO YOU TODAY IS THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY?

I am sure not many would be aware of this day though it is a United Nation’s calendar day and one of the most important UN observances.

The UN says of the day, “The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.”

So, how do we perform on all these parameters even if most of us are not aware of the day’s observance?

India is the world’s largest democracy which is also the robust one in its weaving. It is performing exceedingly well on some parameters but at the same time, is dragging on many others.

The UN website page dedicated to the day further says, “The values of freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy.”

Yes, India’s credentials in holding free and fair periodic elections is a marvel that the whole world must look up to. We are, in fact, the world’s laboratory in electoral practices, that in spite of being the world’s second most populous nation with the most diverse set of cultures and ethos, has been able to set and hold a gold standard.

What adds more to our impeccable record is that we are still segregated – on caste and community lines – on class and social lines – and on affiliations and ideological lines – yet India holds almost every year free and fair elections in every part of the country – be the national level polls – or polls in the insurgency hit states like Jammu & Kashmir – or polls in disturbed areas like the North-Eastern states. Our universal suffrage mandate and practice is technically flawless.

But when it comes the elements like “values of freedom, natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights and an equitable distribution of wealth, and equality and equity in respect of access to civil and political rights”, it is clearly a mixed bag that makes us a flawed democracy, even if we are too robust, large and naturalized to fail.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey  

INDIAN DEMOCRACY: A DILEMMA..

REFLECTIONS

“Indian democracy..
..is a dilemma..
..between being..
..politically correct v politically relevant..
..between being..
..politically apolitical v apolitically political!”

Indian Democracy-A Dilemma

INDIAN DEMOCRACY: A DILEMMA..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SOME STRAIGHT THOUGHTS ON ‘SPIRAL OF SILENCE’ IN ACTION IN INDIA

THE QUESTIONS

— Is the ‘Spiral of Silence’ coming into its own in India now?

— Is the 2004 General Election a beginning point to see the ‘Spiral of Silence’ in action in India?

— How is social media shaping the ‘Public Sphere’ discourse in India?

— Is India the next big leap for a socially relevant social media after the Arab Spring?

— India shows even the robust democracies can be the perfect social laboratories for the ‘Spiral of Silence’ expressions?

— Are elections the best avenues to see the ‘Spiral of Silence’ patterns in a democracy that has loads of greys?

— Is the Indian democracy caught in a dilemma between being politically correct Vs being politically relevant Vs being politically apolitical Vs being apolitically political?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

IIMMCI – THE PAGETURNERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY – GEOPOLITICS

Let’s try looking at the past while positioning the thinking in the future. Let’s fast forward to the 22nd Century to look back at the 21st Century on what would make for the biggest pageturning events based on the present day formations making for the engrossing reads.

So, on January 1, 2101 – first day of the second Century of the third Millennium – what were the pageturners of the 21st Century – when we look back to sift through the events and literatures written.

Let’s look back at the ‘geopolitical events’ of this developing list (and not in strict order certainly):

Most interesting pageturners of the 21st Century in Geopolitics –

1. How China became a free democratic country and a free market economy

2. How Hong Kong won it’s freedom from the mainland China

3. How China and Taiwan became friendly nations and neighbours with China recognising Taiwan’s sovereignty

4. How Japan became China’s largest trade and military partner

5. How Russia got out from the grip of Vladimir Putin and became an ideal democratic society

6. How Cuba became a free democracy and a multi-party system

7. How America became Cuba’s largest trade partner

8. How Capitalism finally won the war with Communism

9. How did the oil economy collapsed giving new dimensions to the oil politics

10. How Arab Spring won its beginning, following by massive losses, to emerge finally a winner

More coming, you may also suggest.. 🙂

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

A TRYST WITH POLITICS: AFTER 67 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

Yes, it cannot be compared and it is nowhere near to the history-defining moment of 1947 when Jawahal Lal Nehru delivered the epoch-making midnight ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech 67 years ago on India’s first Independence Day.

It is another history-defining aspect of India, Indian politics and Indian democracy that Jawahar Lal Nehru’s run as India’s first prime minister that continued for many years went on to establish a political dynasty in India, something that should never have been the case.

Remember, the Mahatma, the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had said to wind up the Indian National Congress in 1948 – “My suggestion is that, in so far as the Congress was intended solely to achieve Swaraj and that purpose has been gained – though I do not think what we have gained is full and real Swaraj – this organisation should be wound up, and that we should put to use all the energies of the country.”

Yes, that should never be the case. We cannot undo the past but we can think of the future based the day now. And we can hope so with a prime minister who has no family and who has willingly and honestly kept his separated wife (with mutual consent and in harmony) and his extended family away from any possibility of political patronage.

And the tryst with politics this year on the Indian Independence Day was about this man only and the sort of political changes that India has seen with him after the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2014 were declared on May 16, 2014 giving an absolute and overwhelming majority to a non-Congress party since the Independence in 1947.

The other time when a non-Congress political outfit had got clear majority on its own was in 1977, the watershed elections after the Emergency that sent Indira Gandhi packing, but the 295 seats of the BLD (Bharatiya Lok Dal) also included some 28 seats won by Jagjivan Ram’s Congress for Democracy (CFD). Janata Party had contested the election on BLD’s symbol and in alliance with CFD. And that makes the BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) tally of 280 on its own in this election the largest ever for a non-Congress political party.

And that person played the central role in it. His intense campaigning, his direct approach and highly commendable and successful governance record coupled with his nationalist and pro-Hindutva branding, aided superbly by the sky-high anti-incumbency against the Congress-led Manmohan Singh government pushed the BJP from some expected 200-220 mark to 280 seats in the final tally.

No one had expected so, not when no single party had been able to win clear majority after the 1984 elections, not even Congress.

And the political tryst this year has made that possible. The turn of political events this year has given the world’s largest democracy a prime minister in Narendra Modi who began his life from the weakest socioeconomic layer of the Indian society, worked hard, rose steadily and gradually and ousted the most powerful political dynasty of the country from the seat of power. It was an impressive win and a humiliating defeat.

A required tryst in Indian politics after 67 years of Independence! Hope it delivers.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIA, THE POSITIVELY ORIENTED DEMOCRATIC EXPERIMENT

Yes, its governance is still in experimental phase with some pretty rough hands given the charge to run the social laboratory.

Yes, its democracy needs much more to be called a democracy envisioned in its Constitution.

But, we cannot deny, that in spite of all its weak points and all its failures, it is still a functional democracy, even after 67 years of independence and is moving ahead with its democratic experiment.

We cannot deny that the movement of this democracy is positively oriented. Yes, voices are crushed and manipulated. But voices are also raised.

Look around for democracy in the global geopolitics. Look around for democracy in countries that have been ruled by foreign powers or have colonies of the western nations.

The slate is so badly crisscrossed that it becomes too hard to find even a single satisfying example. Yes, the subjective interpretations may come with some names but that would be akin to comparing the foreign rule in America with that in India.

India, one of the culturally most diversified countries, with many languages and dialects and with many religions, castes and sects is still a homogeneous democracy, even after 67 years of an independence that came with one of the worst religious riots the humankind has ever seen.

It is the positive orientation of the democracy only that a person from the weakest socioeconomic section of the society can uproot a political dynasty that has ruled the country for the most of its independent history with an overwhelming public support.

And we are from this functionally-moving-ahead democracy. We are from this independent country that has been able to this stage of its democratic experiment.

And following its Constitution, we are free to voice our opinions. We are free to choose what we should be. We are free to choose who we are going to follow.

Yes, circumstances do affect and force to make choices, but we also have the space to fight back. A Red Fort Independence Day Speech by Narendra Modi once again proves it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

TENS OF THOUSANDS ARRIVED TO WELCOME HIM OUT OF JAIL: WHY DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION?

September 2013

Thousands gathered outside the jail to greet him.

Tens of thousands arrived in Hyderabad to welcome him, to join the procession to his journey back to home, from the Chanchalguda prison to his palatial house in Hyderabad’s posh locality, Banjara Hills.

As if, a freedom fighter fighting some colonial oppression or an activist resisting a authoritarian government was coming out of jail. But sadly it wasn’t the case.

And that is acidic for the democratic health of the country. This celebration was, once again, representative of a deteriorating mindset of the masses. Yes, it is a deteriorating mindset that owes its sustenance to the continued political manipulation of the masses.

It is acidic because the person was detained in jail against charges of corruption. In a short time, he has amassed huge wealth. In his area of influence, he is seen as a strongman. We fail to trace his political history beyond his political lineage. Apart from amassing disproportionate assets, he has not done anything to be known as a great politician, a humane politician, in making. Yet, he has emerged as a big political alternative, in course of three years only.

That is certainly not good for the democratic spirit of the nation because the malaise here represents the larger malaise in the society where people fail to understand what is right or wrong and how corruption is eating the concept of the ‘Republic of India’; where people fail to put politicians facing serious allegations out of the office till such politicians prove their innocence.

The person in question was in jail for the last 16 months on many counts of violations in Disproportional Assets (DA) case. The ‘symbolically central’ Central Bureau of Investigation has filed 10 charge-sheets against him in the DA case.

Son of a popular politician, who was also a former chief-minister, the fellow is a powerful politician, running a diversified business empire. His jail-term is supposed to correlate with his assets, that are, by most analyses, disproportionate in nature.

It was alleged and widely reported that when the powerful politician father of this powerful politician son had died in an unfortunate helicopter crash in 2009, fake reports of several people dying of shock of the untimely demise of the great leader were propped to gain mileage of political sympathy. Silly!

As a natural corollary to the dynasty politics in India, nurtured and propagated by the most powerful Delhi-based political family of India, this powerful politician son demanded to succeed his father’s chief-ministerial chair, a chair that was denied to him.

Miffed with the denial of the royal chair of the chief-minster ship, he broke away from the grand old political party of India and formed his own political outfit. And in remarkable turn of events, in a pseudo-democracy with an alienated and ignorant electorate, he emerged as a strong political force in a short period of time, and so a political threat. That could have been a call for the opponents to move in 2011.

Threat to the establishment in office and court’s interventions were motives enough for the shambolic CBI to act differently from its character. Subsequently, resultantly, this powerful politician was forced behind bars and left there languishing for 16 months.

But, he kept on growing politically stronger and became even more relevant for the political equations in the changed circumstances after the Union government announced bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Maintaining a strong anti-Telangana stand and riding on a strong support base in the Seemandhra region could have changed the thinking of the grand old party of India that is facing an imminent danger of being wiped out in Andhra Pradesh after the bifurcation decision taken by the Congress led Union Government.

The political cliché that there are no friends or foes in politics shows us this ugly face of Indian politics, that, with a largely ignorant electorate, is eroding the democratic health of the country; is polluting whatever that is left in the name of democracy in India.

Whatever be the reality of the reported deals, between his political outfit YSRCP and the Congress, or of the BJP’s feelers to him criticising the CBI for his plight, we are going to witness some uglier political deal-making in the days to come.

No denial to this fact that Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of the former Andhra Pradesh chief minster Y S Rajashekara Reddy, has amassed wealth beyond his known sources of income.

The detention for 16 months of a son of a powerful politician with a regional clout tells us of the veracity of allegations. Had it been the case of some common man, who could even be one of Mr. Reddy’s die-hard supporters, like those swarming outside the Chanchalguda jail or on Hyderabad roads leading to the Jagan’s house, we could have believed a detention of 16 months was possible even if all the charges were false. Running a strong media empire and sitting on huge assets, Mr. Reddy had access to the resources, to finest of the legal minds in the country.

What becomes finally of Mr. Reddy in courts in his corruption cases will take a long time. It could go even beyond his lifetime. And meanwhile, he will keep enjoying his political kingdom with loyal supporters in the world’s largest democracy.

And Mr. Reddy is not alone. He is just one among the countless of the politicians facing serious corruption allegations. And he is just one among this lot of the countless that continues to enjoy to public support in spite of serious corruption allegations. Making people with serious corruption allegations politically stronger is also corruption and we are making so many of the breed stronger with every election.

That is detrimental to the democratic concept of India envisioned in its Constitution.

It reflects again and again in celebrations like these.

*“Why democracy in India is in imminent danger of disintegration?’ is a regular column on my blogging platforms to take a periodic look (say a weekly or a fortnightly or a monthly round-up of events depending on the factors in play) on political developments that are dangerous to the democratic health of the country and contribute to the process of social disintegration of the nation..”
https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/why-democracy-in-india-is-in-imminent-danger-of-disintegration/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WE, THE INDIANS, BUT WHO ARE WE?

We are to be blamed. We cannot shirk the responsibility. And so we are rightly to be condemned.

But who are we?

Are we the idiots, the nonsensical stuff, who are tailor-made to remain so.

You may disagree but, logically, I am correct.

What else should we be when we, so foolishly, elect the set of corrupt and criminally tainted politicians year after year, election after election?

What else should we be when we blindly follow the godmen who defy every tenet of godly behaviour?

Who else could we be when we fail to identify what is good for us, what is bad for us, what is practical for us, and what is logical for us?

Who else could we be when we repeat the mistake, again and again, not learning from the innumerable chances that our mistakes, that our errors of judgement, that our misplaced sense of discretion, give us, again and again.

Politics is supposed to be the sociological function to shape and strengthen the democracy in a country like India. Politicians are supposed to be the elected custodians to serve the cause of the people to support the elements of democracy.

Religion is supposed to be the ideological, spiritual and social function that inculcates a discipline to follow life according to the norm in a society, a norm that intends to promote the humane values, the concept of ‘humanity first’.

But, both, politics and religion are creating effects, events and undercurrents in the society and in the country that are antithesis to these supposed functions.

Add to it the cancerous concoction of religion and politics. It completes the circle of exploitation, of democracy, in the name of democracy.

And we, the idiots, are source of this jeopardy.

We keep on electing leaders while they are in jails. We keep on voting them in power even if they are illiterate, have been incarcerated for their criminal attributes, have court cases piled up against them, and are even alleged of murdering other human beings. The proportion of such politicians in the political lot is increasing at a dominating rate.

We keep on following and worshipping babas, the godmen, like fanatics even if they are jailed for allegations like rape and murder, even if they throw tantrums like film celebrities, even if they defy the god the name of whom they use to sanctify their unholy godliness.

Yes, we are to be blamed. We cannot shirk the responsibility. And so we are rightly to be condemned for the predicament we are in, for the imminent threat the Indian democracy is in.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/