Date: 2/4/2006


Friday, February 03, 2006 ///// India is an Elected Dictatorship ///// ///// Is India a democratic nation? Everyone says so. "India is the largest democracy in the world". Really? Yes, we do have by-and- large free elections (except in Goonda areas, ask Taslumuddin, Shibu Soren….). Yes, we have never had a military coup. But does that mean we have democracy? This question has puzzled me for a while as I have never felt India practices democracy. Whenever I am in India, I am scared of police while here in USA I feel absolutely safe. While thinking a bit today I finally discovered the answer I was looking for: India is an "elected dictatorship". Think about it: can you ever conceive going against a local MLA or MP? Have you read any newspaper ever criticizing any MLA, MP, Minister……? What happened to when they took on some members of the Govt? They were lucky they took on the modest Vajpayee Govt; had they gone against Indira Gandhi or Rajeev Gandhi… would have been closed and Tehelka journalists would be behind bars on some trumped up charges. How come no FIR was ever filed for several years against Rajeev Gandhi when he was alive? (An FIR was filed after Rajeev Gandhi was murdered and Congress Govt. lost power). In a democracy with people on top, an FIR would have been filed immediately; however Rajeev Gandhi being a dictator no one dared touch him. Rajeev was an elected dictator. Everyone knows that in Delhi every day there must be happening hundreds of thousands of big bribe transactions. One million Govt. folks there X one big bribe transaction minimum every tenth day (more likely every day) = 100,000 bribe transactions every day. How many of these do you see reported in newspapers every day? If you are lucky, may be one in a month. How come so few ever get reported? Answer: Because our journalists are afraid of their life. If this were happening in USA, the journalists would be having a field day. Underground investigations zindabad. Everyone knows what happened to Bill Clinton. Every tiny detail of his dirty doing got printed. He went thru impeachment proceedings right on TV. Rajeev Gandhi did Bofor Ghapla on a massive scale. Until he was alive, not an even FIR could be filed. CBI was forbidden to do an investigation ("Sale Sarkaar ko investigate karega"). Is India a democracy then? Do people have power or do our elected members have dictatorship rights? Does a common man get justice? No way. What a local Nawab decides happens. He tells the judges rule my way or highway. A common poor man keeps crying. Criminals are sometimes caught only to have the local Nawabs (MLAs) dictate to the police: free them. And the criminals are freed. Why does ferocious police free criminals? Because they are afraid of the bigger goonda, the local Nawab. In India, people treat their MLA's like God. You can witness educated people, even mighty IASs (smaller Nawabs), touching MLA's feet not out of respect but out of fear. Never mind MLA, even their distant relatives go around town as if a wild elephant is on the loose. MLAs = Nawabs. And yet every 5 years, MLAs go for election. Hence my term "Elected Nawabs or Elected Dictators". Now I am at peace. Everything fits. Elections, Ghapla, Nawabs….. So what are the tests for democracy? Free and fair election? Not enough. Here are the acid tests I have come up with: Are the journalists really free? Can they do an investigative work and publish it without fear? Can they interview people and write a story declaring XYZ is doing Ghapla? (In India, you frequently read in newspapers "According to police sources, xyz killed abc. Xyz was caught". The journalists don't even bother to do any investigation. Just print what police wants you to print. OR ELSE. Every one knows). Are the judicial, administrative and political arms truly independent of each other? Can the police dept. say "FU" to MLAs? Do Governors (administrative arm) get appointed independent of political parties (unlike Congressman Buta Singh, the recent Bihar Governor)? Why are MLAs (political arm) involved in appointing administrative officers? Do courts truly do justice without dictation from politicians? Does a common man say "I get justice in my land"? I am afraid India fails miserably on both counts. I am waiting for the day when people will rise in India and throw these rotten MLAs/MPs in jail without fear. 000000000