In my interview several years ago, Acharya Kriplani had said that India achieved its Independence after suffering 700 years of slavery, hence people do not understand the meaning of real democracy and their duties and rights in an Independent democratic India. This mindset has perpetuated dynastic rule in the country which is a travesty of democracy. In a true democracy there is a constant analysis of mistakes to reach perfection which is systematically suppressed in other political systems. Kripalaniji suggested that there should be a great debate on democracy in media and Parliament but unfortunately no Government has been interested in it due to reasons best known to them, resulting in the gradual distortion of democracy.
In order to start this debate, I had announced in the past an award on the best book and article on ‘democracy’ with the blessing and a letter from Jayaprakash Narayanji. I had sent a letter to Shri L K Advani the then information minister at the Centre who promptly replied that he would see what can be done. But after some time an anti-democracy Emergency was imposed on the country by the then Prime Minister, Smt Indira Gandhi to protect her dynastic rule and thus the debate could not materialise.
To again start the process, Shri Manish Manjul has prepared a presentation on the subject and will try to collect one crore signature on this subject. Today everywhere in the world, there is a demand for justice by removing the age-old injustices with the aim to impart social justice and equal opportunities to every section of human society which is possible only through democracy.
The meaning of democracy is Government of the people, by the people and for the people, i.e. a representative Government in which the duty of the leader is to look after the welfare of the people who have elected him to the Parliament. In Indian context, it is Bahujanhitaya, bahujansukhaya -i.e. Government for the welfare and happiness of the majority. This ensures the participation of the maximum number of people in the Government which, according to Jayaprakash Narayan becomes a participatory democracy.
A country which takes care of its majority in democratic, political, social and religious field progress fast. ‘This has happened in all big powerful countries of the world. The ideal political solution is Sarvajan hitaya sarvajan sukhaya-welfare and happiness for each and every individual. But it is only a phrase for catching votes and ultimately ends in Alpajan hitaya, Alpajan sukhaya-working for the welfare and happiness of only the minorities even at the cost of majority. This is the very antithesis of democracy, a distortion of democracy for creating vote-bank through anti-national appeasement of the minority.
Today throughout India political parties are becoming family owned private enterprises grabbing all cream opportunities leaving only crumbles to the public.
This debate if properly conducted and publicised can throw up many new ideas and actions at par with other powerful democracies of the world and expose the stifling corruption and sycophancy developing in the country.
Though in a democracy the progress is slow as it ‘agrees to disagree’ yet it is self generating, self sustaining and peaceful giving stability to prosperity if the Government does not place restrictions and focuses instead on encouraging competition and entrepreneurship.
Gandhiji on democracy
Democracy is not compatible with police or military dictatorship. In a democracy, the desire of the people is supreme, there is complete freedom of expression and there is no barrier of cast, creed, community, minority, majority, religion and language in a true democracy. Democracy is not possible without the full participation of every section of the people of the country where a village will be the basic unit. Hence a democratic person should work only for the reservation of the democracy instead of for the interest of his political party.