The lost art of Democratic Discussion in India


By Prateek Sharma


Over the years, as the Indian society evolved the sense of morality devolved. We as a pluralistic nation just don’t seem to step outside from our cocoons and engage ourselves in logical discussions. All we seem to do is to reach or have perceived to reach an impasse even before we start.

Modern India seems to be fueled by a constant rage, a fire which doesn’t seem to burn out and turns further into frustration. We should not be too surprised by this rage, as our society is being led by people who like the sound of their own voice, especially during the “News” hours every evening. This kind of vigilante journalism and unprofessional reporting helps the company to reach its targeted profit but instills a mass paranoia within the society. Many media house and other publishers, report an incident not by stating an individual has died but rather a believer from a particular community has died. The question thus arises: are these mainstream media outlets responsible for destabilising our society? Yet, the problem is not the aforementioned question, but the fact that we are not ready to have this conversation; not to blame but to rather understand the “why” behind the issue.

First Reason

But then again how can we have this conversation, when every major platform is either owned by individuals of influence or have some kind of backdoor murky deal with the affluent. Just to clarify, our contention should not be to raise a finger at the influential and the affluent, rather have them join the lost process of decision making, and to have to confront these individuals directly would be redundant.

Second Reason

Well, sadly modern India has never been its own master or governor. A closer look at the Indian history would help us prove this claim. If all of us try to remember one part of Indian history, it would quite natural that we would end up remembering a king, ruler or an emperor. If we agree that we had these royalties sitting on top and governing us all the time, followed by, are British masters, and then we finally got the independence; for the initial years, we were governed by a self-proclaimed Prime Minister. The reason we should call him  self-proclaimed cause he never got elected there were no elections or anything of the sort. After which, when we finally got a chance to make a decision on how to govern ourselves instead of coming together the nation ended up getting pushed to the vicious circle of a failed electorate system. This electorate system once again replaced the convergence of the citizen with divisive state and zonal boundaries. Our power of having a democratic and real discussion was taken away from us placed in houses with green and red carpet respectively.

In short, our electorate system destroyed us even before we were able to get a taste of power. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is no people on Earth who would not prefer their own bad government to the good government of an alien power.” Not to blame Gandhiji, but it would only be realistic to imagine that he would never have predicted the kinds of governments we have had over the years. Neither, would he had been able to predict that we would end up becoming slaves of our own people. We are the only nation in the world, presumably, that is “democratically exploited”, cause we as a nation decided that is better for others to makes decisions for us. This helps us to run away from taking any responsibility.

If India doesn’t bring change in their electoral system, which is long due and in the mindset, we would end up becoming slaves of our kind, perpetually.  Cause from all the above-mentioned truths and facts we have essentially given away the most important facet of being a human; thinking.