On clash of Ideas in a democracy | A Column by Mayank K.

The modern era marked the rise of democracy in many countries and it created space for different dogmas within the society. People directly started participating in the process of Government making through what we call elections. People’s choice stands out to be the final verdict.

Various idealists such as capitalists, socialists, communists, nationalists, etc came up with their ideas. Based on these ideas political parties were formed. They strived hard to promote their ideals. People too, according to time, preference and situations go for these ideals.

Recently, the clash of these ideals led to a great problem across our nation. The bottom strips of the news channels are flooding with the news of violence by party workers on each others. The irony is that the big faces and the leaders are not affected but the party workers fall prey to such violence. However sometimes MLAs and MPs are also threatened. It has been noticed in the past that every ground adopts an idealism based on its socio-economic factors. All idealisms can’t be successful that too at once and everywhere. Even the deck of playing cards consists of that one ace (either of a club, spade, hearts or a diamond) which remains triumphant.

Not so long ago a group of people with a specific political idealism were frequently attacked in Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar etc. Even these political victims who are in power in other states of the nation try to prove their might by showing tit for tat principle. If we look for the reality we will find that actually these political parties are in reality intolerant of each others. They are blind in order to promote their vision, their propaganda. Aptly says Orwell in his Animal Farm, ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In a democracy time and situation matters the most. Changing the Government at the central level and in states is equally important at regular intervals. A single party ruling for decades at a stretch is also not considered good in a healthy democracy. It may give space for corruptions, scams and other such big and small problems. Hence, the incumbency factor is also important. An ordinary voter has immense power at his fingertips, which these political leaders know and try hard to woo them during the elections. But the voters are equally aware and show their presence of mind by voting for the deserving candidates and it must be respected in a democracy. But, after the government is formed it’s necessary to support them in the development of the land by gulping down our ideals and favourites. For example, X and Z are among the contenders for the election and I am a supporter of X. But, X fails to prove its majority and Z comes to power. Now I must understand here that there might have been some shortcomings with X that led to its defeat. Now for me it will be good to support Z for the development of the land instead of abusing Z, simply because he is not of my preference and has a different Idealism. Even if I continuously speak ill of him how am I going to benefit? It’s wise to try again in the upcoming elections. If my land represents him as our leader we should support him. Yes of course when there is something unethical going on with the support of authority it is my duty to oppose it and condemn it as a responsible citizen.

Even in the age of Jonathan Swift in England there were people divided between Whigs and Tory supporters. There were at times clashes and violence as well. Our current political scenario also somewhat looks like that. As the passage of time we should have made a huge progress idealistically as well. The bonds of humanity should have been strengthened instead of remaining loose like the sand dunes of the Sahara. As a social media user it’s really frustrating to see people tagging each others as Bhakts (Those who support PM Modi primarily and also BJP), Komnasts (spelled as कौमनष्ट  in Hindi meaning of the destroyed community or community less people), AApias / AAPtardians for Aam Admi Party supporters. Most primarily we are all Indians and we need to understand it as Tagore in one of his poems in Gitanjali said, “Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.” But these are one of the ‘domestic walls’ that we are creating on political basis.

As responsible citizens we should try to ensure the welfare of the state as well as people. For this we should try to participate in Democracy and hence the Government making process. One comes across three kinds of people, first those who vote and have a clear vision and idealism, second those who vote without any political idealism and make their mind in the eleventh hour and the third who don’t vote. The people belonging to the third cult don’t participate in democratic processes but when they face problems they start blaming the authority. It’s necessary to note that the EVMs during the elections provide you with the NOTA option. If you don’t like any candidate in particular you can go for NOTA. But voting in a democracy is the duty of the citizens. One thing which was very nice about our college St. Xavier’s College, Patna, that it promoted voting during the elections. It gave credit for it and made its students aware of the value of a vote.

We live in a democracy where we all have freedom of expression. We are free to support our idealism. Ideas are always countered by ideas, not by violence. There is always a space for arguments and debates in a healthy democracy. What we need is to behave humanly and enact wisely. The most attractive garden is that ornamented by a variety of flowers. What we should learn from it is how the different breed of flowers although show their traits and function according to their will but exists in peace with the other breed of flowers.  A garden consisting of a single breed of flower looks monotonous. We also can and should promote our ideas but in a peaceful way respecting the ideals of others as well.

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Mayank Kashyap is a graduate in English, hailing from an ordinary place  with some extra ordinary experiences. He likes to provide wings to his imagination through the beautiful genre of poetry. He likes to sign with a pseudonym – Morningstar.  He had an excellent time at St. Xavier’s College, Patna, where he studied literature and had a close look at what life actually is. Now he devotes his time to reading and writing. He reflects his experiences through words like a painter depicting his world on a canvas.

Email: kashyapmayank81@gmail.com

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