Fine diagnosis, but...
The Yogi and the magic of numbers*
“Of the many forms of government — old, new, and still in the making — electoral democracy, the system which enables people to choose their law-makers, their leaders and lodestars in freedom and without fear, is only the least imperfect. It is far from, very far from, being perfect. Worse, it can and does recoil to shapes and forms that are in their nature and impact, un-democratic, anti-democracy. This process can be called counter-democracy. India holds a doctorate in democracy; it is doing a post-doc in counter-democracy.
March 20, 2017
Fine diagnosis, but…
This refers to Gopalakrishna Gandhi’s well-researched article “The Yogi and the magic numbers” (The Hindu, March 20). Though Gandhi has used a language only ‘The Hindu’ readers will understand, the essay clearly diagnoses the present ailment of India’s democratic system of governance, though it falls short of suggesting any remedial measures.
The deep-rooted communal divide has a history as old as independent India.
The British handed over India to Indian National Congress and that party’s pre-independence clout made it difficult for any opposition party think in terms of coming to power until there was a real crisis of leadership in Congress. Congress also failed to earn the confidence and respect of Muslims who opted to remain in India and allowed separate organisations to grow to safeguard minority interests and even went ahead allowing separate Muslim-majority districts like Malappuram (in Kerala).
The era of the coalition-politics that followed left the electorate wondering whether there was any difference in ideologies of different political parties other than sharing power!
Political parties like Muslim League prospered taking advantage of the neglect of minorities within other political parties. This is not to justify the present ‘aggressive’ stance of BJP on political issues, but to emphasize the point that the heavy price we are in the process of paying can be attributed to the neglect of the Preamble and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution by those who were in charge of governance during the last seven decades.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
Source: The Hindu, March 20, 2017. Use the link below to read the articlehttp://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-yogi-and-the-magic-of-numbers/article17532562.ece