Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is one Government viable for 1Billion people? Contd…..

There are various modes of Governance around the world with some people actually happy with the state-of-affairs in their respective lives. Democracy or whatever people think it is, seems to have a prevalent preference. However, when 83% of the population agree to do something and can’t find a way to implement their collective will, it violates the fundamental norms of our liberty.

The fact of the matter is that the people have been very effectively isolated from the system. Take for example the recent two-day banking strike protesting against something. Let’s assume whatever it is that just got protested against, was worth protesting. However, how does, shutting down all ATM machines and all employees of the banking sector staying back and trying to figure out a way to spend a weekday at home, getting absolutely crazy in the process constitute a protest? A symbolic protest would have been when all employees were present at work and would interrupt their work for lets say 10min to stand up from their desks and maybe assemble outside; even then, some people who wouldn’t want to protest could continue with their work. That would have been a demonstration of collective will. I had to use the ATM on both days. In the last four months, there have been about seven all day strikes out here. The argument is that such a feeble protest does not affect any changes; you have to inconvenience the masses to get noticed. Thus, the system refuses your basic liberty and ceases to be a democracy. This when practiced over time, isolates the people from the system. Then, individuals start adopting this model. The most common practice for administrators to avoid a situation that they are not willing to get involved at the moment seems to be to become unavailable.

A friend of mine once said Indians do not work for themselves; they still seem to think that they work for the British; why else would they habitually come late to work? Therefore, interrupting one’s work for ten minutes sounds ridiculous; like ‘when did we start working that we are going to interrupt it’. And speaking of democratic rights, people seem to know that they have to be vigilant against bad labor practices. Therefore they are verbose about why they will not execute a particular assignment while the working hours are spent between the canteen and card games; but the fact that when you are hired to work, working is one of your responsibilities somehow never gets into the equation.

This conflict between the people and the government they choose is partly related to the fact that in a democracy, the constituents of the ‘majority’ probably changes with time. Another part is probably a deficient consciousness regarding the lack of any physical existence of the government and the political parties.