Monday, May 31, 2010

Is India a shining example of Democracy?

The Panchayati Raj
Democracy thrives in India today largely because it has always existed in some form at the micro level even during the long feudal era. The village council, Panchayat, consisting of village elders played a key role in this long survival of grass root democracy.

The Panchayati Raj (rule) now enjoys constitutional status with built-in mechanism for regular elections and minimum representation of women and members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. There are over three million elected local representatives, making this the widest democratic base in the world.

The Panchayati Raj helps in purposeful understanding of the masses and articulation of their responses. The Panchayati Raj is perhaps the best means of spreading democracy at the grassroots. Mahatma Gandhi called the Panchayats ‘village republics'; these village republics contribute to making India a shining example of democracy in the world.

What is killing Democracy in India
First is the bureaucracy.
Second is the great Indian Fakes starting from Politicians who are on top of the rung and mulitude of all other Indian fakes from passports to currency.
Third being the state sponsored criminalisation of citizens with a heavy dose of freebies. Some samples- Free TV, free saris, free gas stove, free electricity, free marriages coupled with bribes, money laundering, hawala operations, smuggling, black money, Swiss bank accounts, illegal mining, commissions for contract, terrorists, cash for votes... and you name it... it varies from state to state notwithstanding the scams surfacing at regular intervals at every level of governance. The disparity between the haves and have-nots galloping at a faster rate than growth of population or the GDP!

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