Manipur practices ONE-DAY democracy
<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://www.morungexpress.com/write_wing/33101.html">Morung Express</a>
Democracy’s edges---there are detrimental effects from the flawed side of it as much as there are good things in its flip side. The negative side of democracy’s edges cut down the people to sizes and then reduces to ember. Ian Shapiro and Casiano Hacker-Cordon from Yale University (USA) in their joint venture to dig into this farcical development have opined that democracy is a ‘flawed hegemon which is all too easily held hostage by powerful interests; it often fails to protect the vulnerable or otherwise to advance social justice; and it does not cope well with a number of the political landscape’.
While introspecting and throwing thoughts on these findings of the two Yale University scholars you see Manipur, the laboratory of world’s largest democracy, India at the back of your mind. We have been reduced to just a One-Day democracy. The state of Manipur has been experiencing this One-Day democracy for quite sometime now.</td><td><img title="Democracy is another way of saying you are fucked!" src="files/pictures/2009/plan_b.jpg"></td></tr></table><!--break-->
The voice of the people, an engine of democracy, is relevant for less than 12 hours---you decide the fate of your leaders and representatives between dawn and dusk of an election day. And the following five years become “Powercracy”---the public pulse and sentiment find no accommodation in the system in this long five-year period, duration enough to annihilate anything. Practicality constraints are obviously the reason for the authorities’ inability to conduct polls that frequent but still then, the ethos of democracy should not be written off. The public voice is to be regarded with promptness and concern. Harboring the ‘King Nero functioning’ definitely un-soothes the already tormented sentiments of the hoi-polloi.
When American thinker Noam Chomsky calls the so termed champion of democracy, the United States of America as “Failed states”, what may be the restraints for the people here to adorn the American scholar’s opinion towards our ‘wardens’?
The world’s only Super Power has everything in its kitty to be able to comfort its citizens and the Americans in turn, has every reason to feel safe and snooty. However, the human sufferings incurred in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere triggered by the ‘United States’ dominating foreign policy has prompted Noam Chomsky, arguably the world’s greatest living thinker to christen his own nation as “Failed States”. Lessening human suffering is promoting democracy, the scholar noted.
We know there is no more serious institutional competitor of democracy after the fall of communism. Given the situation, in the event of the failure of democracy, the nearest uncharted system at hand perhaps, is Anarchism (Monarchy, Fascism, Capitalism of varied forms etc.etc. have been tested).
Anarchism is a political philosophy which says that any government, authority or power is ‘oppressive and unjust, that the abolishing of government will produce the greatest individual and collective freedom and prosperity and that is the governmental authority that imposes unfair rules on people, steals their money, and keeps them in slavery’. German thinker Max Stirner, Russian-born American writer Emma Goldman and many other philosophers both past and contemporary in Italy, Spain, Germany, France are prominent promoters of Anarchism. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon of France advocated in favour of Anarchism to certain extent. Peter Kropotkin of Russia campaigned for a communist anarchism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s idea that says, “People are naturally virtuous but corrupted by society”, has been giving inspirations to many anarchists throughout the ages world wide.
However, at the moment, there is no dispute to the maxim, “Democracy is so far the best system”.
But the argument is over the quality of democracy. Noted American political scientist Robert A. Dahl in one of his comments put it that in democratic countries where democratic institutions and practices have been well established, a fairly strong democratic culture exists. Dahl’s line can probably be considered as ‘barometer’ to check the quality of democracy. But first, an urgency to do away the One-Day democracy is the need of the moment and then let us ask---Majority of What and Majority for Whom but try to avoid the chicken-and-egg riddle that often lurks in any debating issue.
The writer is the editor of Newmai News Network (NNN)