Of leaders and systems
No leader can be bigger than democracy
FAROOQ JAN PARA
Democracy in subcontinent has been evolving on the pattern of its own socio-political ecosystem. One could find more conspicuous differences between the real politick of West and East than any similarities therein. The prevailing democratic system of governance in West came into being through a slow and steady process rooted in on persevering efforts of a large number of political thinkers, social scientists, scholars, artists and intellectuals of all hue, spread on a significantly long span of time in the history of those nations. As a customary reaction the kingdoms and monarchies resisted the change for long but they also got enough time to come to terms with the inevitable. Importantly, during the ultimate times of a consequential political transformation that was rising on the horizon of those nations more or less all people-ordinary or elite-had understood, accepted and facilitated that positive change.
Today an average Brit would love and respect a Nelson Mandela, a Tom Hanks or a Usain Bolt but only second to his/her Queen. But be it anybody, the Queen, any of their statesman type leaders or a common citizen, the democracy stands tall among all.
However, unlike the West, people of subcontinent did not fight for democracy as such but their struggles in the first place were focused on freedom from the clutches of alien rulers. Be it India, Pakistan or Jammu and Kashmir the common people were hardly aware about what real democracy could actually help them achieve. They were more familiar with the cruelty and hardships that the foreign rulers were inflicting on them rather than having any inclination or anticipation about what a truly representative and democratic political system could help them attain in terms of improving their level of freedom to live undaunted and resourceful lives.
People fought and sacrificed but they faltered to get what genuine democracy could have helped them to get. The common masses could not overcome the euphoria and ecstasy of achieving independence. Their ignorance about the essence and advantages of a truly democratic and representative political system made them to commit suicidal blunders. Innocent masses across Indian subcontinent Jammu and Kashmir included unwittingly threw up opportunities for an ever ready exploitative class to occupy and create hegemony on the political system of their respective nations. As a matter of fact the common people acted recklessly replacing Lords, Viceroys, Nizams and Maharajas with political dynasties.
Isn’t it quite evident that today all the sovereign nations of subcontinent are ruled by only a handful of families who have created a façade of democratic system to help themselves be at the helm as long as they could. They are ever persuasive in institutions like bureaucracy, judiciary, police, and media. They exercise their influence on arts, culture, education, science and business. Some of our preeminent intellectuals and opinion makers exhibit lopsided political leanings. Instead of siding with the people they prefer to be on the side of powerful, promulgating their plotted perceptions. Most of them unfortunately show lack of concern towards keeping the public informed and building their capacities vis-à-vis the willful deceit perpetrated on them via hollow and aimless slogans. However, it would be unwise to blame these self-seeking dynasties for what they are up to. Man by nature is selfish; these people are only putting their basic instincts to practice.
However, nothing is still lost for the common man only if he realizes and understands the essence and worthiness of a genuinely representative democracy. For a constructive and useful democratic political system the first and foremost principle should be that neither any dynasty nor a leader is accorded a higher status than the doctrine of democracy or the democratic political system itself.
But the million dollar question is how this crucial realization is going to dawn on the common people. It is particularly difficult when the ruling elite have already assumed insurmountable proportions of control over all spheres of the socio-political environment. Preferably we would require conscientious scholars, poets, writers, technocrats, businessmen to instigate the awareness of the people about their capabilities; their due rights and responsibilities, shake them out of the political slumber and point out towards the gross excesses those they have been inflicting on themselves by their own inattentiveness and insensitivity towards their interests and well-being. Ideally we would need genuine and down to earth leaders not necessarily sending the crowds into a tizzy with their hollow charisma. But leaders who have the courage to make people familiar with the realities surrounding them, leaders who could motivate them to face the truth and come out triumphant.
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Lastupdate on : Thu, 16 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 16 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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