Democracy - A Citizen's View
A Democratic Introduction
Democracy is a form of political organization in which all people, through consensus (consensus democracy), direct referendum (direct democracy), or elected representatives (representative democracy) exercise equal control over the matters which affect their interests
With so many conflicting interests being reality, equal control over any matter seems impractical.
Would the oppressed and oppressor have equal control over any matter?
According to one definition, democracy is a political system in which all the members of the society have an equal share of formal political power. In modern representative democracy, this formal equality is embodied primarily in the right to vote.
If the democracy just boils down to this aspect of right of vote, how much value does this special right provide to 41% of the population who fall below global poverty line? Could they ask for Rice at reasonable price and get it? Could they ask for equal opportunities amidst the influential, powerful and the corrupt ?
The aftermath of World War II also resulted in the United Nations' decision to partition the British Mandate into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel declared independence and thus was born the first full democracy in the Middle East. Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system and universal suffrage.
India became a Democratic Republic in 1950 after achieving independence from Great Britain in 1947. After holding its first national elections in 1952, India achieved the status of the world's largest liberal democracy with universal suffrage which it continues to hold today.
A Democratic Stand
Democracy is a compromise between it and the other ways, It is not a solution for Ills and shortcomings of a society, but it gives a person an opportunity to serve the country and its people. Ultimately the citizen is only part of the society he/she belongs to.
The fact remains, good governance is an indicator of a healthy and sound society, irrespective of the governance mechanism involved but not the other way around.
In Kerala there was a king called Mahabali, he is remembered even today for his good governance.
There was A Khalifa Umar RA, about whom our father of Nation, Gandhi Said “The best thing to happen to India would be to be reigned by a dictator as just and upright as Umar, RA.”
It is not enough that there be just one good ruler, for instance during the Khilafat of Ali RA, a person remarked hinting on Ali RA’s governance “We did not have so many problems during the Khilafat of Umar RA”. Hazrat Ali RA replied “During the time of Umar RA we(Sahaba) were his advisors, but now my advisors are people like you”
Democratic Quotes on today’s governance
When a man spends his own money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about how much he spends and how he spends it. When a man spends his own money to buy something for someone else, he is still very careful about how much he spends, but somewhat less what he spends it on. When a man spends someone else's money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about what he buys, but doesn't care at all how much he spends. And when a man spends someone else's money on someone else, he does't care how much he spends or what he spends it on. And that's government for you. – Milton Friedman
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. – Milton Friedman
A Democratic Closure
We are thankful and grateful for our heritage, it is part of that heritage that nudges the lazy bones and inspires the sedated mind to think and act for a better future.
Can we do better? Perhaps the first step could be to realize that we can if we could afford a few madmen who would be relentless in their pursuit of betterment.
The only problem is, I can’t be that madman, and yet it is my democratic right.
With prayers and well wishes to people of Egypt, hope you find a better tomorrow insha allah.