The ongoing COVID 19 crisis has clearly exposed the weakness and shortfalls in American democratic culture, system and wisdom.
With around million Americans infected by the virus and more than 50000 people losing their lives, a healthy democratic country, that America claims itself to be , should have gone into a near silent mode without airing counter productive critical views, with grim determination to overcome the crisis with cooperative spirit.
Counterproductive criticism in crisis period :
On the other hand, this crisis period has been marked in America by politicking, counterproductive arguments, use of abusive language about the duly elected American President and media’s comments losing sense of proportions and visual, print and social media liberally using vituperative language and publishing sarcastic cartoons
Such scenario in America today gives an impression of a divided country, with various groups exhibiting bitterness and hatred against each other, giving an overall impression to the outside world that American democracy lacks maturity.
Limits of democratic system :
While there is no dispute with regard to the superiority of democratic form of governance over that of dictatorial regimes or communist governance , the underlying factor governing the quality and merit of democratic form of governance is tolerance for opposite views and liberty not being considered as personal affair but recognized as social contract and adjustment of mutual interests.
While the entire world community is recognizing the fact that social distancing is immediate need to overcome the crisis, particularly since vaccines/drugs for treating the virus are now only in the development stage, it is shocking that public protests and voices are being heard against the government’s directives to observe social distancing regulations in USA. Further, it is even more shocking to see section of people protesting against American President and demanding his resignation by holding protest meetings with “body bags” in front of the White House, even as the country is facing grim crisis.
Further, the despicable terms such as idiotic, clown etc. are being freely used to criticise the actions of American President.
The above condition indicates that the concept of personal freedom have been taken to ridiculous level , which make many people suspect that what America has today is not orderly democracy but chaotic democracy.
Need to rally behind the leader in crisis period :
In a matured democracy, while confronting with a severe crisis of COVID 19 that America faces today, what is important is that people of America should rally behind the American President , indulge in productive discussions and consultations and finally accepting the decision of the President in toto.
With regard to the COVID 19 crisis in USA , there could be different views as to whether President Trump has failed to check the entry of virus into America. Nobody seems to have a clear answer to this vexed question.
Everybody in USA seem to agree that WHO has failed in it’s duty to forewarn the world about this COVID 19. Probably, if such forewarning has been issued, President Trump might have taken early steps to prevent the virus spreading, on which one cannot comment conclusively at this stage.
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As it is known, no American President is a master of all subjects and he is supported by an army of advisors with specialization in different fields and he is heavily dependent on them for taking crucial decisions. He receives advice and takes his decision by a process of consensus and finally President’s views being decisive. In this process, there may be different style adopted by different Presidents to express their views.
With regard to suggestions of Trump like use of Chloroquine drug for treating COVID 19 , there could be different alternate opinions.
In daily briefings, obviously President Trump has been airing various suggestions given to him by different experts and probably throwing it open for public debate and deliberations to understand the public perspective.
In America like so many other countries , President does not decide the drugs for treatment. But scientific bodies like Food and Drug Administration in USA (FDA) test the drug and recommend it’s use.
All said and done, whatever one may think about the track record of Donald Trump in earlier days and as President of USA, it is necessary that in a matured democracy , people should realize the need to stand behind the duly elected leader in a democratic way, at the time of national crisis.
Even if criticisms were to be aired , it has to be done in a dignified and healthy manner and without diverting the attention of the society to politicking rather than curative plans and strategies.
Learn from India :
Perhaps, the citizens of America has a lesson or two to learn from the way that India has reacted to the COVID 19 crisis.
When Indian Prime Minister Modi wanted the country men to clap on one occasion and on other occasion switch off power for a few minute and light a lamp to applaud the medical professionals and express national solidarity, the entire country responded , though some could have questioned the need for such symbolic gestures.
Media and think tank in Amrica need to introspect :
It is high time that media in USA should introspect about commenting on any issue or views in a crisis period that would degrade to the present level of hate mongering. Media in USA has a lot to answer and explain to the people about the behavior during this severe COVID 19 crisis.
It is also high time that think tank in America should examine whether American democratic system and practices is now going astray.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday claimed that the previous Left Front government’s “terrible legacies of corruption, misgovernance and party domination” over 25 years were major hindrances for the BJP- led government’s developmental efforts.
Despite the erstwhile Left government’s “all-round non-performance”, Tripura under his government would become a model state in three years since the state had gained leading position on many counts in the last two years, the Chief Minister told IANS in an interview as his government completed two years on Monday.
“In just two years, we made Tripura corruption-free, removed middlemen’s role, initiated online systems in almost all public services to reach the doorsteps of people, reduce crime, boost growth and per-capita income,” he added.
To further improve connectivity between land-locked Tripura and the rest of the world, ambitious projects of railways, roadways, waterways, and airways are under implementation, Deb added.
After completion of the ongoing such projects either by year-end or early next year, all northeastern states would benefit in terms of easier connectivity.
The 49-year-old Deb, the 11th Chief Minister of Tripura, claimed that during the Left regime ‘dal tantra’ (party-run system) dominated in all spheres, while ‘ganatantra’ (democracy) was non-existent.
“The BJP-led government had to cope with Rs 12,902-crore loan burden left by the previous Marxist government. We had to pay Rs 5.56 crore per day to repay the loan along with interest,” he added.
The BJP in alliance with tribal-based Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) had won the Assembly polls two years ago, breaking the 25-year uninterrupted rule of the Left Front led by Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Highlighting his government’s two-year performance, Deb said that in 2017-18, Tripura’s per capita income was Rs 1.05 lakh. “Because of BJP regime’s good governance, Tripura rose to 16th position from previous 21st position among 37 states and union territories in the country.”
According to Tripura Chief Minister, Sikkim topped among the northeastern states in per capita income with Rs 3.17 lakh while Tripura is now at the second position among the eight northeastern states with Rs 1.54 lakh.
Deb claimed that after the completion of the five-year term of the BJP-led government, Tripura’s per capita income would be Rs 2.26 lakh in 2022-23 and the GSDP Rs 95,46,333 crore. The state’s current GSDP is Rs 63,466 crore against Rs 44,161 crore in 2017-18, when the Left Front was in power, he said.
“The BJP government has taken several steps to boost the state’s economy by mobilising available resources. The total tax collection has increased from Rs 1,915 crore in 2017-18 fiscal to Rs 2,338 crore in the current fiscal (2019-20), a net increase of 21.82 per cent. National GST (Goods and Services Tax) collection is 3.7 per cent, but in Tripura this is over 10 per cent.”
Deb, who pledged to make Tripura drugs-free, said that to save the young and future generations from the menace, his government after assuming office on March9, 2018 launched a war on drug trade, cultivation and smuggling.
“As Tripura has taken a lead among northeastern states in curbing drug menace, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked governments in the region to make northeast India a drugs-free are by 2022.”
Deb, who holds the Home portfolio, said that the conviction rate in Tripura has increased to 47 per cent from 29 per cent and organised crime against women reduced by 10 per cent in two years.
“Crime against women in Tripura is 15 per cent less than the national average. To empower the women, 10 per cent posts in police department have been reserved for the women.”
Deb said that the Tripura government had introduced 21 new schemes and taken many steps in two years to improve the quality of education, including introduction of NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) curriculum.
The Chief Minister assured that his government would take steps to protect the jobs of 10,323 Tripura government teachers recruited during the previous government’s tenure but now facing termination due to High Court and Supreme Court verdicts.
Regarding the expansion of eight-member Tripura council of ministers, Deb said that it would be done in due course of time. (IANS)
A great historian and socialist thinker Howard Zinn once said, “Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.”
Youth-led movements have increased tremendously in the recent times. But its not just today’s world where youth-led movements and protests have become so important. Even years ago there were many movement led by the young souls of our nation. One of the best examples is the 1974 Railway Strike led by George Fernandez.
The voice of the youth is crucial for the effectiveness of service by the government. It has a powerful impact on the politics the country.
Here’s what the youngsters feels about politics in India.
“I feel there’s nothing more influential than politics. For me, especially, it reflects the moral ground of people. In India, sadly, politics is overpowered by the fuel of caste and religion. Here, it’s tangled with ethnicity and creed, which is manipulated and overused by those who come into power. It’s about the ones who govern and how they make it. It’s no more about justice, equality or even mere humanity, in the current times. So be that Akhlaq, Rohit Vermula or a bazillion others, all struggle to still seek justice, under the scenario of Indian politics,” says Debolina, a journalism student at Bennett University, Greater Noida.
Abhay Sharma, another student at Bennett University says, “Politics in India is simply based on religion and corruption. But all this cannot be hidden from the eyes of this generation. Youth is playing a very important and crucial role in controlling the corruption done by politicians. Mostly if we see, the people who raise their voices against the bad done by the government are usually under the age of 30 (ignoring the opposition parties), because we belong to a major population.”
Abhay also feels that since this generation is being well educated they have a better vision and understanding about the politics in the current scenario.
“No country is a perfect country. As citizens of a democratic country, it is our duty to challenge the wrongdoings of the government and that is the first step towards bringing change,” says Abhay.
“Youth is definitely becoming more aware and woke but at the same time the extremism is rising. Country looks united and divided at the same time,” says Radha Vekhande, a copywriter for an e-commerce app named Bulbul.
It is pretty much clear that the youth understands the manipulation done by the political parties in our countries. The youngsters being the future of our country are the only reliable changemakers and they are living for it.