The Clear Stream of Reason

Democracy in India is dead. Our forefathers had dreamt of a nation ‘where the mind is without fear and the head is held high’ but sixty-three years from that momentous midnight hour, did we indeed redeem our pledge substantially? We should allow the question to echo in our minds until it resounds in the very ‘depths of truth’; until it is apparent that our ‘tryst with destiny’ is turning out to be a misadventure. It’s a desert where even the seeds of democracy cannot be sown and yet, brigands in the guise of friends try to conjure visions of it bearing fruit.

Polling seasons come and go and we find ourselves perpetually trapped between the horns of a dilemma. We are unsure of whether we should exercise our voting rights or not. The candidates are mostly Cipolla’s bandits, unsuitable, not only to run for public offices but even for jobs that solicit a trivial sense of integrity; yet there is always a pressure from political agencies to go and cast our votes. Democracy cannot survive in a situation where there is such a pervasive lack of awareness. All logic leads us to believe that the system will inevitably fail in a situation where equal value is assigned to votes cast by individuals with unequal awareness levels, more so when unaware people significantly outnumber aware individuals. Democracy is bound to fail in a situation where a fundamental facet of the process, free and fair polling, has to be enforced with intimidation by the state. Are we even ready for democracy?

To say that average awareness levels in our nation are appalling would be a euphemism. This is no exaggeration considering the fact that in some tribal areas, adults pierce the bellies of three to five year old children with hot iron rods believing that this would rid them of worm infestation and honor killings and witch hunts are a common occurrence. It’s not just the remote or impoverished regions, even literate folk in urban areas have alarmingly low levels of awareness. The predominance of yellow journalism is a case in point.

Would it be unfair to anyone or against the principles of equality and freedom to give unequal value to individual votes as long as the identity of the individual is not revealed or the values assigned to individual votes are not made public and the process unbiased and automated?

Analysis will reveal that it would be beneficial for a nation like ours as it will ensure better governance which in turn will ensure equality, freedom and ultimately pave the path for true democracy where all individuals reside above an acceptable threshold of consciousness and everyone can have equal voting rights without being detrimental to the tenets of the democratic system. The clear stream of reason will then not loose ‘its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit’.


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