Friday, 18 April 2014

Democracy's D-day!

Election fever has gripped the country and the largest democracy is going crazy over the demography of the fielded candidates!

Technology, in the past few elections, has played a vital part in the election campaigns. Television channels compete to take the opinion polls to a fever pitch. Drama unfolds when exit polls almost announce the winner and then take a U-turn, when the predicted candidate loses.

Each of the channels proclaim that the candidate they supported won. 

Technically all their claims will turn out right. During the opinion poll phase they will support one of the leading parties. The exit poll result will witness the channels support another strong contender to the throne.

Unless a miracle happens, one of the parties usually wins. There we are, the channels will then air the prediction that turned out right repeatedly, until everybody, including the channel’s crew is convinced that they were right!

Winning the election ensures that the candidates can relax for the next five years. Their vocal chords need not strain themselves till their term ends. But the party that ends up in the opposition has to continue straining their vocal chords every day, for the next five years!

Many issues are swept under the democratic carpet until the next elections are announced. From hitherto non-existent spouses to money stashed away in overseas banks, issues, will tumble down one after the other is quick succession. Such calcified issues will then do their scheduled rounds until they make or break a candidate’s chances of winning the election.

The Election Day is usually greeted with eerie silence as half the population assume that the holiday is for travel companies and hotels to increase their annual sales figure. They consider the voting day as an additional holiday to relax their stressed muscles. The other half continue the drudgery of discharging their duty, this time for the nation.

Strangely, though, they are given a black mark for being duty-conscious!

Black mark for doing your duty?
Some of them do want to exercise their voting rights, but the serpentine queue puts them off. To ease the pressure on such impatient souls, one brave man decided to reach the voting booth very early in the morning. After he cast his vote he sent a message to as many friends as possible, informing them that the booths are free and that they should rush to their designated booths to cast their votes.

Somehow, many of his friends decided to take his advice in the matter seriously and ended up at the same time in the booth. Before leaving their homes, they also had passed on the kind favour which resulted in a lengthier queue than what one would have expected.

The booth saw a large number of people returning without casting their votes. The good intentions in a populous country such as ours have very poor conversion ratio!

One person waiting patiently in the queue quipped, “How eager we are to be fooled by the people we elect!”

The person ahead chuckled and said, “At least in this we have a choice!”
Laughter, like infection, spread around, making their wait interesting. There was no tea served, yet the debate over the state of democracy continued for some time.

Being able to debate over the state of affairs made the people feel empowered. This in my opinion is what democracy accords to its believers.

What deigns as a thought takes time to percolate through the system. Once the thought percolates, a change emerges, again very slowly. Before the existing system crumbles, a new system takes root as a sapling and grows in strength. The whole process evolves over time and therefore is not dramatic.

This evolutionary process of democracy makes it bland, but stable. For a country that has withstood many centuries of revolutionary process, democracy is a welcome change! 

Author's note:

The views expressed are purely my views and are not meant to hurt anybody's sentiments. Readers are welcome to add their own comments. 

It may seem unacceptable, if I were to say that democracy is a slow, self-correcting mechanism where speedy justice is a far cry. But that is what makes it stable and sustainable...