Sunday December 15, 2019
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Democracy Gone to Dogs?

The party leaders in Andhra Pradesh are assuring the "free electricity to all Masjids and Churches", and very special facilities to the students following Islamic faith. Is it not against the constitution to practice open discrimination in terms of religions and castes?

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facebook, congress
Earlier Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari had said that the party needs to check the veracity of these pages/accounts, "whether the Facebook pages are linked to us". Wikimedia

BY SALIL GEWALI

If a party’s leaders and its “narrow policies” are more important than the country, one should doubt the integrity of the party itself. Its ulterior motive should be exposed. Yes, wild allegations, vindictiveness, deceits are what have been adopted by the majority of leaders of certain political parties. Please note that lot many things in the country have long been going against the very principles of democracy.  Is it not too much that the Congress party should have a high command consisting of only one kind of people? A person with childish immaturity and lacking complete political acumen has been offered the highest post and is given free hand. I think it is utterly disastrous. Not just that, in the party the seasoned political leaders are not allowed to stand tall and throw their weight. Is this not undemocratic itself? This perhaps is driving many people away from party for past few years.

With emphasis I further say that the aspirations of diversified communities cannot be fulfilled by those who have lost in the wilderness of selfishness and raw vindictiveness. Yes, the past sixty years have brought forth absurdities galore in Indian politics. We have leaders who are murderers, we have leaders who have amassed untold wealth and so on. Some of our leaders are under matric who can’t even read the oath’s content correctly.

democracy
We have leaders who are murderers, we have leaders who have amassed untold wealth and so on. Some of our leaders are under matric who can’t even read the oath’s content correctly.

Look at, a person usually ends up being blacklisted for petty wrongdoing which bars him from fighting even for a job. The miseries and worries only await him/her throughout life. But, on the other hand, the political leaders are allowed to run for the topmost posts in the country in spite of several serious criminal offenses and incompetency. Not just that, they can contest the election right from the “jail”. Is this not an abnormal disparity and also the soft underbelly of the Indian polity? Is this a healthy sign of democracy for which we are proud of? Still formidable, some of the parties’ leaders are coming out against the very principle of the sovereign nationhood. True, we have lot many questions than answers.

Very funny, one who ask for votes under the guise of Dalit are bursting with wealth. Yesterday maybe in rags but today they are flushed with riches!  Just check with Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and the like. Were they all not entered politics wearing the outfit of penance and pledging to serve humanity? But they are now found to be involved in numerous unholy deeds. Discrimination, brutality, and arrogance are what they have embraced all along. The solemn terms of significance like a comrade, proletariat, communism of Communist party have almost reduced to the pretext just to eyewash the masses. Under the cover of this ideology, a lot many massacres have been brought off.  Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Mao Zedong must now be shedding copious tears in heaven as their followers are misreading their masterpieces and taking up the arms to hurt humanity.

democracy
We have leaders who are murderers, we have leaders who have amassed untold wealth and so on. Some of our leaders are under matric who can’t even read the oath’s content correctly. Pixabay

Furthermore, here in the democracy you can emphatically speak “lies” and still you can claim yourself as the most truthful. Here the lies can also be “processed” successfully. It involves a simple technique. Repeat that lies as true many times.  Many false ideas have thus been got across as true and vice versa. There are many agencies or service providers these days that discreetly help turn a lie into a wholesome truth. Thanks to the people who have almost learned to accept lies without any grudge!

Nothing could be so disgraceful than the fact that the general citizens are taken for a ride so easily in democracy. Look at, just to win the election the certain National party, more precisely Congress Party, is promising moon. Will giving Rs 72000/- per annum to every poor citizen be viable. The party leaders in Andhra Pradesh are also assuring the “free electricity to all Masjids and Churches”, and very special facilities to the students following Islamic faith. Is it not against the constitution to practice open discrimination in terms of religions and castes?

democracy
Nothing could be so disgraceful than the fact that the general citizens are taken for a ride so easily in democracy. Wikimedia

Yes, no wonder, we just become awestruck by any “falsity” if that comes out from the political party we love to fall back upon. But we strongly condemn and belittle any worthwhile plans and policies if they are formulated and implemented by the party we choose to dislike. How come good initiatives done towards the nation building can be blameworthy? But too strange, that the renowned scholars and columnists come out to criticize and demean them.  One feels, this way we have willfully “blunted the sharpness” of our own intellect and reasoning faculty. We also pollute our thought-process and mislead our general public and hurt the nation.

Here one’s question — ‘should we still hold the custodians of constitution free from blemishes and prejudices?’ No, never they are quite “culpable” for such development. If one dispassionately re-evaluates the cases, one gets overwhelmed by the surge of despondency and regret. Our designated custodians have tolerated so much of lawlessness and the “self-expediency”. A good many past missteps or lackadaisical attitude of the “guardians” of the constitution have led us up to this tragedy. Keeping mum when a house is in fire is itself an open invitation to the trouble. It seems almost the same has happened in Indian politics. The guardians of the constitution have sealed their lips and as a result now we have an uncontrollably tumultuous orgy of political farce.

ALSO READ: PM Narendra Modi Engages with Celebrities to Boost Visibility

Phew, this is how in the cauldron of hot-mix of politics, the leaders without integrity and the confused citizens, the democracy has virtually suffered the irremediable disfigurement.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great Minds on India’. 

Twitter: @SGewali

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Impeachment Process Divides Global Opinion, but Shows Democracy in Action

Trump Impeachment Drama Gets Attention, Mixed Reviews Around World

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Impeachment Process of Donald Trump
President Donald Trump waits outside the Oval Office of the White House before walking with first lady Melania Trump and son Barron Trump on the South Lawn in Washington, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is traveling to Florida for a campaign rally and the Thanksgiving holiday. VOA
As the impeachment process against U.S. President Donald Trump unfolds, it’s not only Americans who are following every twist and turn. Millions of people around the world have been following the testimonies on Capitol Hill and are fascinated by the political warfare in Washington. Many observers say it shows American democracy in action.

Trump is accused of threatening to withhold $392 million in military assistance to Ukraine, unless Kyiv launched a public corruption investigation into the family of his political rival, the Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden. Soliciting foreign interference in U.S. democracy is unlawful and Trump strongly denies the allegations.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Britain is trying to break out of its own political crisis caused by the 2016 vote to leave the European Union. With a general election imminent, many Britons see their own recent political chaos mirrored across the Atlantic, says political scientist Thomas Gift of University College London.

“Both the U.S. and the U.K. [Britain] are rivaling one another for levels of dysfunction in government, or lack of ability to get things done,” Gift said. “Typically, the world, including the U.K., looks to the U.S. as a model of democratic governance and has had, for a long time, institutions of power and leadership that project integrity. And I think watching this, particularly from abroad, I think does to some extent undercut that belief that the U.S. is this kind of moral, ethical and democratic leader.”

Polls suggest less than one in five Britons have a positive opinion of Trump — and that’s echoed in the views of many watching the impeachment process play out.

View of the Arc de Triomphe
General view of the Arc de Triomphe as French President Emmanuel Macron attends a commemoration ceremony for Armistice day, 101 years after the end of the First World War, in Paris, France. VOA

“If it goes through the House, I really hope that the Senate really stand up and do something about it. He shouldn’t be president and he should be impeached,” London resident Dayo Thomas told VOA.

In Paris, there is mixed interest in Washington’s political battles. Jacques Grau, a physician, believes the impeachment process is a good idea. “It allows democracy to function,” he told VOA.

Student Selene Ay says many of her contemporaries are not that interested.

“I know a lot of people followed after [Trump] was elected. But I think it kind of died down, I guess. People don’t care that much.”

There appears to be greater interest in Russia — and seemingly, greater support for Trump. Moscow resident Mikhail says the Americans elected Trump, “but now they want to take the decision back. That is wrong,” he said.

Fellow Moscow resident Dmitri says it is a political struggle. “[Joe] Biden’s team is just looking for compromising information to make Trump step down.”

They may be strategic rivals, but Russia doesn’t necessarily welcome America’s political problems, according to Andrey Kortunov, director of the Russian Council on International Affairs.

Buildings in Cairo, Egypt
A general view of clustered buildings in Cairo, Egypt. VOA

“The only U.S. president who can fix problems with Moscow is a strong U.S. president,” Kortunov told VOA. “So if Trump is under impeachment it definitely weakens his position and it becomes more difficult for him to manage this very complex and very delicate relationship. We need to have predictable partners. Weakness makes leaders unpredictable.”

With 1.3 billion people, India is often called the world’s biggest democracy. In Delhi, there is admiration for principle of impeachment. “It means that it is a very fair, a proper democracy at work,” according to Dipika Nanjappa, who works at a local voluntary organization. Retired government official Ashish Banerjee agrees: “We need to be more accountable. Our leaders need to be more accountable,” he told VOA.

Cairo resident Sameh Ghoneim sees echoes of Egypt’s own leadership in the alleged actions of Donald Trump. “He is only interested in personal gain,” said Ghoneim, who works as a mining engineer outside the capital. “He will look for corruption in others when it helps him.”

ALSO READ: Trump to Pursue Higher Sales Age for Vaping Devices: ‘An Age Limit of 21 or So’

In South Africa’s Johannesburg, opinion on Trump’s fate is again divided. “I think he’s doing just fine, so I don’t see the reason why he should be removed,” said local chef Khanyisile Shongwe. Cleaner Joseph Maisa is no fan of the U.S. president. “He doesn’t bring nice things in America. That is why he should be removed.”

The impeachment process could go on well into 2020, as the U.S. also gears up for the presidential election following what promises to be a bitterly fought campaign. Each twist and turn will be followed closely across the globe. (VOA)