Is democracy only about elections? Looking at the current trend in the country's politics, one can not resist but arrive at such a conclusion. Are we all bothered only about a mega event called election conducted at regular or irregular intervals depending on the prevailing situation and let other very important issues lose significance amid all that is political?
The Congress at this moment is virtually a dead horse and Arvind Kejriwal is doing nothing extraordinary by flogging a dead animal. The Congress will clearly lose the next elections by a whopping margin and most of the opportunist political forces are judging the situation in terms of electoral gains.
Democracy with no hope?
A humiliating trend has set in for the country's voters today. We Indians often boast of our democracy over so many dictatorial and non-democratic regimes in and around but at the end of the day, we are doing even worse by legitimising an evil class to rule us for a substantial period of time.
While democracy is supposed to establish an inclusive self-rule, India today has found itself at the mercy of an exclusive class, which can only be identified with negativity and hopelessness. A nation long suppressed under tyranny will find great solace in a transition to democracy, but when a long-established democracy finds itself being hijacked by opportunists who don't care for anything substantial, then there is little remedy for such a disease.
To speak the truth, India is on the brink today, and if no strong leadership takes over the reign in sometime and chart a way forward with conviction and courage, it can become too late to turn things around. But what is surprising is that even with a threat looking imminent, there is no sense of urgency visible among the leaders except for the next polls.
Economics doesn't wait for politicians' approval
Crucial issues like foreign direct investment (FDI) or non-utility of a subsidised economy have been dumped into the dustbin of short-sighted political leaders who prefer to treat the issues conveniently. Economics does not wait for these leaders' approval, half of them perhaps even don't know what the issues are, and will take a brutal revenge in due course. But who has the honesty and integrity to admit that it is high time we do the right things?
Parties live only for polls
The political parties in the country today mostly abide by a 'top down' model and despite losing all connection with the ground reality, pretend to speak for the people and hence seek their votes. Actually, these parties engage in a divisive social engineering which drive one section of the electorate against the other and enjoy the fun for they do not have the will or capacity to resolve the pressing issues on the ground.
Mayawati does not want vote now and hence she did not topple the UPA government but Mamata and Mulayam are more than eager to go to the polls now, only to ensure that they live up to the next polls! Are elections both means and ends of the Indian democracy? If that is so, we are doomed for a hollow procedural democracy does not have an endless warranty period.
Nothing will change post-2014 (or 2013)
All those who think that come 2014 (or even earlier) and the ongoing crisis will be over are just living in a fool's paradise. If there is any change, it will be just the colours in power and those in the opposition. Post-2014, the Sonia Gandhis and Digvijay Singhs might relish the moment of living away from the glare of today's conscience-keepers, who, under all possibility, would lose it then amid the rubble of FDI and fuel price hike.
Fashionable revolutionaries little answer to failing politics
The Gandhis are a spent force today no doubt, but is there any clean and clear alternative? If the political class is considered the first front, it remains within ruins.
The second front is made up of the media, which is a favourite food of the ever-expanding middle-class of the country and the two feed each other. This class wishes a revolution but is reluctant to take charge of the hassle and hence, wait for an avatar to fight for them.
This paves way for the new breed of freedom fighters known by the names of Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and the long line-up. These 'revolutionaries' are actually the country's third front today (and not over-ambitious alliances imagined by unreliable political leaders) but their revolution is conditioned by cameras and microphones of a tireless media and claps of a day-dreaming middle class. The opportunity was there for Anna Hazare but soon the initiative fumbled and now the fight has turned into a farce.
Politics is not instant coffee
Politics is not instant coffee and neither a consumer-friendly commodity. We have been voting under our democracy regularly since independence, sometimes even more than required, but after 65 years of seeing off the British, we have discovered our saviour in a person called Arvind Kejriwal, who restores power connection for a defaulter, projects himself as an alternate power centre and wait to become a messiah. The mega venture called 'India Against Corruption' is busy exposing a non-entity called Robert Vadra but is never devoted to understand why India is indeed corrupt today.
Every evening, India's revolution begins on the TV screens. Media anchors, what experts say, 'privatise the public space' and fuel debates: Is Kejriwal good or bad? Will Mayawati want polls or not? Will Mamata pull out or not?
My question is: Will India ever understand the real issues or not?