Date: 17 Oct 2011


The classical models of governance are: \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Democracy: Government by the people, of the people, for the people. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Monarchy: Government by a single ruler (king/queen, emperor) \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Aristocracy: Government by noblemen (hereditary) \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Oligarchy: Government by few persons \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Theocracy: Government by God (in reality this means government by religious leaders) \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Dictatorship: Government by people, that have seized power by force (often: military dictatorship) \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ We have a government which does not fit any of the above classifications, even though our politicians and commentators keep calling it a democracy. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Once in five years the people go to vote and elect their leaders. After that they have no say in how these representatives treat the people or the country. It is like getting married and finding out that your spouse is free to be as adulterous as he or she wishes, and you cannot even divorce him or her.There is no right to recall. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ People do not have any referendum where they can say whether any planned legislation is to their liking or not. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The choice of who to elect, in practice, is limited by the money and influence of the political parties. 156 Parliamentarians have serious criminal cases going on against them. Some are in jail. Many others deserve to be. Often governments are saved by bribing MPs. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Given the above, ours is definitely not government by the people.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ After the elections, the elected representatives are not of the people any more. They vote themselves massive pay raises, making them immune to inflation, travel in luxury cars with red lights on them, have a very high level of security, eat highly subsidised food in the Parliament canteen, enjoy VIP medical care, almost unlimited free travel and so on. No, our elected representatives are definitely not of the people. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Is our governance for the people? After over six decades of such governance, there is virtually no public transport system in the villages. Medical care, if it exists, is rudimentary. Roads are a disgrace. Inflation rages uncontrolled. Terrorists strike at will. Open and overflowing sewers, even in urban areas are an invitation to dengue, malaria and worse. No, our government is not for the people. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ When our government is not by the people, of the people or for the people, how can we call it a democracy in the classical sense? No we are not a democracy. Equally, we are not a dictatorship, monarchy, theocracy, oligarchy or aristocracy. What are we then? I recently came across a word which precisely defines our government system. We are a kleptocracy. The word is defined below: \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ PRONUNCIATION: (klep-TOK-ruh-see) \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ MEANING: noun: A government by the corrupt in which rulers use their official positions for personal gain. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ETYMOLOGY: From Greek klepto-, from kleptes (thief) + -cracy (rule). \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ We are indeed a Kleptocracy. If the people want to make us into a democracy, we have to act now. Anna Hazare has shown the way. Even if we do not agree with everything he says, we need to sit back and introspect and then find a better way to bring about this transformation. If we have nothing better to offer, let us stop criticizing Anna Hazare and his team and do our part in improving India. If we have something better to offer, let us offer it and prove that it is indeed better. Let us just not be armchair critics. __________________ 000000000