Indian democracy, although even today, considered not so old! But it has survived many predicaments and is kicking up, like a torch-bearer in the globe. Eminent scholar K N Panikkar, in a recent Essay, in a fortnightly has said,"Crisis Of Indian democracy is because of the failure of the state to create a public sphere capable of generating critical engagements with social issues." I strongly feel that Indian democracy is surviving only because of principles of patriotism among country's pluralistic society and culture.Panikkar has further commented that the vibrancy of a functioning of democracy, therefore, would depend upon the social acceptance of the idea of equality, which as principle the Indian Republic has written into the Constitution. Lamentably, in practice equality has gone underground and has become a far cry in the fields political, economic and cultural in equality in India.No doubt, our Constitution has enunciated and created many measures and sufficient guarantee and safe guards to ensure democratic rights-but in actual functioning of democracy Indian people are deprived of equal rights in practice. The Constitution has provisions, like " there must be secured to all people-justice, social, economic and political; equality of status, of opportunity and before the law." But in practice Indian democratic system has failed currently in securing justice to all and democratic rights are not accessible equally to everybody.
To begin with, I must point out the deficiencies in the Indian democracy-our representative system in democracy is full with maladies. Notwithstanding the successive elections of Lok sabha and state assemblies under voting system have proved that Indian democracy is kicking up, in actual practice it has failed miserably. Under our democratic system, majority definitions have strange connotations. Strangely and sadly in our system majority is determined, who gets the largest chunk of votes-whether the percentage of vote is low or not all have exercised their franchise or the votes have been divided among multiplicity of candidates-but who ever gets highest number of votes in Lok Sabha and state assemblies elections are declared winners despite the facts that the figure of total votes ,cast, are less than 50 percent of the total electorate-This amply proves that whoever candidate gets largest chunk of votes is declared winner but in actual practice-the candidate become the representative of less than 50 percent majority and thus it clearly indicates that instead of majority vote, he or she has won the elections is considered minority votes winner! In this way, Indian democracy is not giving in political sense, a rule of majority. For example, in many states and Parliament, minority governments are elected by securing less than 50 percent of total votes and they are ruling over majority of people in the country-what a traumatic experience of Indian democracy?
Moreover, in Indian democratic system, poor and downtrodden have no chance to be elected to state assemblies and Parliament except through reservation of seats as defined in the Constitution-of course there are many exception but in general practice such things are happening in the Indian democracy.Mainly , the political class in India, is dominated by the affluent, educated and socially advance and powerful sections of society. Present system of representation has become exclusive platform of millionaires and multi-millionaires. To contest election has become so expensive that hardly poor could get a chance to be elected to state assemblies and Parliament. Thus majority of people of the country have no stake in having the governance under our democratic system. Such system is giving agonising moments to the deprived lots.and serious resentment prevails throughout the country, specially in rural areas.Rural people being fed up of exploitation, deprivation, inequality etc, are indulging in violence in the form of Naxal movements and in many instances they are indulging in insurgency, posing a big question mark over the present democratic system.
Apart from that, cultural equality and plurality has become a far cry in the country Entire Indian society has been badly entrapped in caste and religion cobweb.They are badly divided. The Anthropological Survey of India has estimated the existence of more than 4000 communities with different culture and system in our country- Because of that facts Mahatama Gandhi ,has shared the ideas of Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru, who initially promoted the ideas of secularism during pre-independence days and later on it has become part of the Constitution-but different ideas of fundamentalists like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Mohammad Ali Jinna, during pre-independence days, sowed the seeds of discontent and ultimate the great Bharat was divided into two nations-India and Pakistan and seeds of communal ism are flourishing in both the countries in the form of hatred between Hindu and Muslims in India and Pakistan besides looking downtrodden and poor with hatred and Hindu-Muslim riots, particularly in Gujarat where thousand of Muslims had been massacred under Narendra Modi regime in Gujarat particularly in India! Under the present system society have been divided on religion lines. Pannikar has said, " Indian society has become religionisation of politics and politicisation of religion. In the present situation in the Indian politics religion has become a powerful mobilising force, being invoked by both communal and secular parties in India to retain power in different states and centre.
On economic front about inequality is less said is better. There has been wide gap between rich and poor-Poor are getting poorer and rich getting richer day by day under the present system. Neo-liberal economic policy has impacted more and more inequality in the Indian society. So called economic measures under new economic policy and development appear to be an eye -wash except generating much black money through corrupt practices by political class and capitalists. Practically, these policies are ruining not only the economic equality but cultural, religious and plurality of the nation. Over 80 percent of population, majority of them in rural areas, are living on Rs 20 per day while 20 percent rich, capitalists, corporates, multinationals, political classes of all hues have concentrated country's wealth in their hands.Successive governments in states and union have even failed so far to identify poor and landless in the country. Its own panels have different percentage of poor in the country (please read my other blog to get exact figures of poor given by different government panels of government) . Jungles , tribal, land of poor tribal and middle class people are being indiscriminately being acquired for setting up industrial units by multi-nationals, corporates, capitalists, influential sections of political class and government itself in most of the states without paying proper compensation and rehabilitation for uprooting them from their houses and lands. Livelihood of poor is being deprived besides destroying ecological balances in the country under present system.
Last but not least , in my opinion, democratic institutions under the Constitution are being eroded by vested interests. Under the Constitution, there are specific provisions for reservation to SC, ST, Other Backward Classes, educationally and socially backward classes etc. These provisions have been implemented to some extend -but questions are being raised over such provisions by upper caste and moneyed people in the country!
Moreover, the social groups , Naxalites and others, fighting for rights to poor, tribal etc under the Constitution, are being termed anti-nationals. State power and private armies of landlords are creating violence to suppress the voice of poor and downtrodden. To change the system, violence is not the answers but the development of poor and down-trodden. Different wings under the Constitution like Judiciary, executive, legislature are under the grip of rampant corruption. Rahul Gandhi has rightly said that there are two India in existence in this country-one for minority rich and other for majority poor and downtroddenns. Even the just directives of judiciary under the laws and the Constitution are being violated by the government!
The Indian media, once considered peoples' voice, has gone to dogs. Most of the print and electronic media have been "Mudrochised" and instead of carrying stories of peoples miseries are keeping mum, thanks to "'undeclared censorship by union and state governments and proprietors of newspapers". Rupert Murdoch is considered these days a devil piece in media world, who utilised his print, electronic etc media to serve his enlightened self-interest to glorify himself as world's most powerful man.
Thus , the present democratic set-up under parliamentary democracy enshrined under the Constitution are under tremendous pressures of vested interests in the country-let us hope for the best solution?