Friday, December 21, 2007

A shame for the democracy!

The other day, while returning home from work, saw a message posted by the railway department in the compartment. It talked about a suggested nominal hike in the parking lot charges. It also said that people could appeal against this, and had to file their appeals by a particular date.


I could not help but think about the state of "democracy" back home. The politicians extol its virtues every time. We call ourselves the largest democracy in the world. Shouldn't it now be changed to the largest partial democracy in the world? Look around, in many places, people are forced to vote for a particular person by force, goondaism, because they are scared for their lives and families. I rush to say that this is not the case everywhere, and also to say that this is far far better than a country being ruled by autocrats, but there is still many a mile before we can actuall pride ourselves with a complete "Democracy" seal.

And on this democratic landscape, Nandigram stands out as a sore sight, a blemish. But more than that, here are real people, in a democratic world, tortured, not even by an opposition, but by the very party they elected to power, and to which they probably still belong. Whatever the government's excuse, this is an intolerable crime in a billion strong democracy. And when a resident laments that the next time too the same people will come to power because they come asking for vote with a symbol in one had and a dhoti in the other hand as a threatening symbol for wrapping the dead in the family, we can just hang our heads in shame.

Here is to a new year filled with hope and light for an emerging country - let us step into the light, let us have the strength to raise our heads in pride.

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