By Hindustan Times
India is the largest democracy in the world. It is a living, breathing, functioning democracy of 1.2 billion people. But look closer and you wonder, how democratic is the Indian democracy? Democracy in India is defined most clearly by the process of elections. However, it seems that the electoral
process is the only democratic thing about India’s democracy. Does it extend beyond elections? People vote for candidates. Leaders are elected. Democracy over. There is little accountability that elected leaders and governments have towards the people. Rather, the elected leader becomes the ‘ruler’ of the people with little inclination toward serving them.
A new democracy The people, having cast their votes, now have no more say in how their country is governed. They have no say in how the money they pay as taxes is spent. They have no right even to expect that any kind of service or infrastructure will be provided to them.
The egalitarian ideas embedded in the constitution remain mere words. Rights like the right to education remain empty dreams of the future. The Indian citizen has been deeply conditioned, through years of bad governance and ‘democracy’ to not expect anything from the elected leaders. The colonial lords have merely been replaced by ‘netas and babus.’ Cut to the post-liberalisation generation. They are the new, young Indians. Subservience and apathy is not in their genetic make-up. They have a certain freshness, a confidence. They expect things from democracy. They expect things from their governments. They cannot be shooed away. Youth of the nation After the generation of freedom fighters, this is probably the first generation of youngsters that is willing to rise in protest. Just like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, India had its very own protest movement led by Anna Hazare. But the youth soon grew weary of the agenda of the likes of Anna and Arvind Kejriwal.
In Dece-mber, when we saw them come out on the streets in Delhi and elsewhere, they were sans leaders and NGOs and parties. They just wanted to be heard and demanded action. The people of India are not begging for action fro