ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘democracy

Ideological death in Democracy?

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illusion-free-choice.pngI was talking to one of my seniors at office about current state of politics. It got me thinking about the ideology in a democracy. We have been brought up in a society where we came to know how much our forefathers had to struggle to achieve the democracy that we live in.

We have learned that political ideology can be broadly divided into left and right with a center. Left leans towards communism, right leans towards capitalism. Let me take an example of India. Historically we have seen Congress and BJP as left and right parties. Over the years they have grown center-left and center-right.

Today, I don’t see any stark difference their ideologies. Whatever keeps them in power. Congress introduced MNREGA and BJP has continued with it. BJP might very well give loan waivers to farmers before 2019 elections. Both the parties have benefited selected business houses in their own capacity. Both are against electoral reforms and hate scrutiny of donations to political parties.

Makes us wonder is there any classical ideology left in politics? In the sense that does society at large support such ideologies of left/right/center? Coz political parties can only adhere to such ideologies as long as people vote for them. In US, right and left has sustained for decent amount of time, given two party system and high percentage of registered members. In India it has moved to a scramble all too soon. Number of regional parties, based on anti-Congress plank, have mushroomed in last 30-40 years. Their ideology is not left/right but is to uplift certain sections of society.

Advent of Trump, an amalgamation of left right and center, signifies a landmark event in democracy. Democracy anyways is a recent experiment on how to run the society. About last 200 years or so. I believe it’s still in a development phase and will take another 200 years or so, to judge the pros and cons. Maybe we will see a new societal system altogether, who knows.

One thing is for certain, the era of discrete left and right might already be over in major democracies of the world.

Written by arpitgarg

December 17, 2016 at 8:29 pm

Why US Elections make me sad: And no it’s not about Trump

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money_politics.jpegElections in world’s oldest democracy and the leader of the free world should have been about all that is good about Democracy. It should have been a showcase to world which can influence non-Democracies to become one. However I am afraid to say US elections make me sad. I’ll tell you why.

The debate should have been about the candidates, the policies, what they can do or not. However I see the media discourse about who is raising how much money. Money, which should have been abhorrent when associated with a candidate, is being considered a virtue. The liberal media is celebrating the candidate who gets more money out of the wealthy donors, the Oligarchs.

Consider the headline on CNN, “Clinton burying Trump: $42 million to $1.3 million”. It reeks of a feeling that a candidate with more money is more virtuous. And this makes me real sad. It feels the real purpose of democracy has gone lost. Each person, rich or poor, was to have equal say. However a donation by rich, which is then used to influence other voters, makes the voice skewed. Rich has more voice even in elections. I am sure if Trump had raised more money, the headlines would have been is his favor. It’s not just CNN, its all media. In fact it’s a general sense.

Whole concept of democracy has become a sham. In the world’s largest democracy, India, it is even a bigger sham. Billions of dollars of black money is spent during General elections. It’s akin to buying votes.

So much money in politics and its naked celebration by media makes me sick. Makes me wonder, where did it all go wrong?

Written by arpitgarg

July 16, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Trump Rhetoric: Vibrant Democracy

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trump.jpgThere has been a lot of hullabaloo in international media about a phenomenon called Donald Trump. Indian media has called him names; UK went ahead and had a discussion in the parliament deriding Trump. Gulf countries are too appalled by his rhetoric.

I have a different take on this. I believe Trumps rhetoric strengthens the democracy. Don’t start scoffing. Let me explain. First of all I don’t believe democracy has fulfilled why it was conceived. There is no power to people. Money abuse and Corruption has kept power in the hands of top few, both in US (oldest democracy) and India (biggest democracy). Do I have an alternative proposal to democracy? No. At this point we have live with it, but it has not functioned well.

Stating my lack of fondness with Democracy let me explain why I believe Trump’s rhetoric augurs well with it in its current form. After all what is Democracy? Power to people. When power goes to people to elect a leader, run their country, they will choose whoever they like. Now who will the people like? One they understand and who they think will do good for them and the nation. If people are supporting Trump, it means they like what he is saying. In the sense he is mirroring people’s views. Isn’t this what Democracy is?

Now one can argue, if it’s a correct thing for people to choose Trump. Are people doing the right thing? It would be calling the judgement of people in question. This will be to question the concept of Democracy itself. Remember, Power to People!

So you can question if Democracy is good or bad that is letting such a rhetoric from Trump flow. But what Trump is doing is a sign of vibrant Democracy. In the same vein, people berating Trump are also sign of bubbling Democracy.

No Harm, No Foul!

Written by arpitgarg

February 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Posted in Political

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