Indian Democracy: Comedy of Errors

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At the stroke of midnight hour, August 15, 1947, the largest democracy was born- an infant still unable to comprehend the complexities associated, frightened. But the cradle was being rocked by steady hands of stalwarts like M.K. Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel, among others. With all the major leaders of the world expressing concern and doubt regarding the feasibility of providing “Rule of the people, for the people and by the people,” in a nation composed primarily of illiterates, it was an arduous task for our political leaders to come out with flying colours.

The feeling of patriotism and public weal reigned supreme and our politicians took to the task of nation building with much zeal and vigour. The importance attached to the common goal was such that our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru made members of the opposition a part of the Cabinet. We had a prominent example of a member of the Parliament resigning at his own volition when minor charges were brought out into the open against him, without waiting to ascertain the veracity of the claim.

Now, 68 years have passed, and the infant has transformed into a giant labyrinth, with many stakeholders and self-proclaimed “saviours of democracy”. With regional parties making hay in the sunshine of coalition politics; with NGOs and pressure groups opening up altars of truth at every nook and corner of free space available; self-proclaimed spiritual gurus venturing into politics, we do come across various hilarious statements made by people of repute, who in the heat of the moment lose control of their train of thoughts and blabber something which, though unfortunate, does provide one with ample opportunity of laughter in an otherwise humourless world.

We shall start with a statement of ex-chief minister of Delhi, Ms. Sheila Dikshit who proposed that rupees 600 per month is enough to feed a family of five. Doing very basic mathematics, which we Indians are so adept at, we arrive at rupees four per person, per day! If the rumours are to be believed, a self-proclaimed social worker who was a staunch supporter of the ex-CM went around the slums of Delhi, distributing four rupees per person and telling them to go eat to their heart’s content. He was found some time later in a drain pipe, clothes soiled, and four rupees in his pocket.

But Ms. Dixit would be a petite figure compared to the colossal structure of Mr. Rahul Gandhi, if preposterous statements are to serve as a benchmark. Some of his statements have been mentioned here:

  • There is so much unemployment in Gujarat and 27000 crore posts are lying vacant. In a state population of 6.2 crore and a national population of 125 crore, only someone of his stature could envisage something like this.
  • He attributed the White Revolution of Gujarat to all women of the state by pointing at them and saying, “Gujarat ko kisne doodh diya hai? Toh isstaraf dekhiye, in mahilao ne diyahai. Gujarat ki mahilao ne doodh diya hai. (Who has provided with milk to Gujarat? Look here, it’s the women of Gujarat who have provided milk to Gujarat.)
  • He took the bar higher by saying that two out of every one child in Gujarat is malnourished.

 

But enough of RaGa! Although we cannot have enough of him in this god forsaken world and though I thank my stars every night before going to sleep that I was born in the RaGa Era, we have to move on.

Individual performances which stole the show recently also include SP Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, who, on the subject of rapes and the undergoing moral deterioration of society, which caught the imagination of the entire nation, and moved the concerned people to the streets, simply said, “Boys will be boys, they make mistakes.” 

Recently it was a matter of national pride that Kailash Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize. Meanwhile the MLAs in Madhya Pradesh think that one of the Bharatiya Janata Party members, Kailash Vijayvargiy has won the prize. 

BJP: We congratulate him for his success and it is a matter of pride for us.

Congress: Since BJP is in power at both centre and the state, they are abusing their power and awarding their own people. We condemn this in strictest terms.

Wonder who helped Rabindranath Tagore and Mother Teresa grab their prize!

These are only some of the examples of how the Indian Democracy has become a comedy of errors. With politics, and in general everything, becoming a level playing field and new faces turning up every day, the show is bound to get more interesting and ludicrous. And when it does happen, do keep an eye open for such magnum opuses, because a life without laughter is a life wasted.

Pranjal Srivastava

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