Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Government of the people, By the people, For the people

Sounds familiar. Government of the people, by the people, for the people...Heard it before?
Yes many times.
In the school it seemed easy to learn. Had never heard such intelligent play of words. It was literally poetic! But it was not poetry.
It was the most popular definition of democracy.

Then slowly the meaning dawned and made me ever so proud to be an Indian. I awaited my eighteenth birthday with eagerness much similar to that of a child who feels that the moon is within his reach...Oh! how powerful I would then become. I'll be able to vote and choose my representative in the government. The feeling was supremely intoxicating.

And I think a majority of my country-men think the way I thought then. Therefore we are more than happy making the most of the holiday that we get to cast our vote. The trip to the polling booth is quite similar to one of the family joy rides and the whole process, at least as I have witnessed it, is like a school fun-fare...people dressed in better if not their best clothes, pressing a button on the EVMs in privacy and then coming out to mingle with the crowd. After all its a great opportunity to find most of one's neighbours!

And days later watching the results on television channels, which again is no less than a hugely popular entertainment show!

So when I read about Salwa Judum, Naxals, Maoists, farmer suicides, Islamic and Hindu terrorism and much more I am not able to see any connection between my sweet dreams and the bitter reality.

A government that I choose cannot be abusive to me, how can the State and its administrative agencies be unjust, how can the Police kill innocent people, how can the Judiciary be indifferent to the plight of the common man...?
How can I go on being mechanically normal when so much suffering, injustice and inequality surround me...?
I think I am truly intoxicated by the Power of my Vote and so I don't even feel the pinch when I am cheated with so much blatant violation of human rights and abuse of power by those whom we the voters have empowered.

Zohra Javed.

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