Do we live in a democracy?

  • Shiv Sena thugs hold Mumbai and Maharashtra at ranson as they protest the release of Shahrukh Khan’s movie My Name is Khan. The entire police force in Mumbai and other prominent cities of the state is out on streets to prevent violence and vandalism of Shiv Sainiks.
  • Protests continue in Telangana region, specially Hyderabad, over the demand of a separate Telangana state. The latest casualty of the ongoing protests is the Indian Premier League 3. The league decided to move out all the IPL matches from Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam keeping in mind the explosive situation in the region. An Andhra Pradesh minister has already asked the Deccan Chargers to boycott IPL-3.
  • Maoists are almost regularly blowing up railway tracks and are targeting security personnel in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and West Bengal. The central and the state governments are mute spectators and seem totally helpless against the Naxal attacks.
  • Sugarcane farmers from Uttar Pradesh descend on the national capital in thousands and completely block the heart of Lutyen’s Delhi. The traffic situation in the city turns into a total chaos and the common man has to bear the brunt of the situation.
  • Gujjars in Rajasthan bring the entire traffic on the National Highway 8 to a standstill because they want reservation for the community. The protests also spread to the National Capital Region for a few days and throws the normal life out of gear. The agitation continues for days and a helpless state and central government does little to resolve the crisis.
  • Last year, the thugs of Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navniram Sena vitiated the atmosphere in Mumbai by targeting North Indians. MNS workers continue to disturb the peace in the city and the state at regular intervals by raising  irrelevant issues like having shop banners in Marathi, reservation for Marathis in jobs among others.
  • In 2009, a hairdressers association protested against the release of the film Billu Barber. They wanted the title of the film to be changed to something else. The association finds the word ‘barber’ objectionable. In 2008, Sikhs protested and resorted to violence against the film Singh is King. They argued that Sikhs were misrepresented in the movie. The film was allowed to be released after its producer agreed to insert a disclaimer and an apology at the beginning of the film.

These are just a few examples of how the world’s largest democracy functions. While our useless politicians and media create a hype around India arriving on the world stage, these recurring incidents constantly remind us of the fact that we are a mobocracy; a country where a mob can do anything they like. The government, short-sighted politicians, and an incompetent bureaucracy does not have the required strength to face the challenges that come up almost every few days.

The latest terror attack on the German Bakery in Pune shows how lightly we take the security threats. The police in Maharashtra (especially Mumbai) should have been on high alert given the intelligence inputs from the Centre about an impending terror strike. But instead of that, the police were busy maintaining law and order due to the volatile situation created by Shiv Sena against SRK’s new film. The police were protecting cinema halls and rounding up Shiv Sena activists instead of addressing the terror threats.

Every few days, someone or the other creates havoc in the country for various reasons (regionalism, Naxalism, political protests, protests against creative freedom and many more). And every time there is a crisis, the political leadership of the country — instead of restoring order — would stoop to a new low for petty political gains.

The IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi did the right thing when he shifted IPL-2 to South Africa last year. He should have done so this time too. Atleast the viewers can get to watch the matches uninterrupted.

2 thoughts on “Do we live in a democracy?

  1. Dude , this is what exactly makes it a democracy, where every one is expressing , but few of the things like Bomb Blasts and Naxalites are due to our own security failures and has nothing to do with democracy .

    1. Hi Ankit,

      There is a link between security and mobocracy (or democracy) in the Indian context. Despite having a huge security force (half of which is permanently deployed to tackle internal issues – Northeast, Kashmir, Maoists) we are not able to tackle the terror problem. Most of the police force is busy in law and order problems due to the incidents I have cited. The intelligence gathering at the local level is almost nil and that is why somebody can easily walk in the German Bakery of Pune and leave a bomb there or 10 terrorists travel to Mumbai from Karachi and create mayhem.

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