The Need for Democracy 2.0

Democracy as said is the next best system of participatory representation to no representation at all. It is a very flawed system with lots of loopholes with which it can be subverted and sabotaged. Democracy in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines are dynastic and feudal. It is the feudal in character as if we are serfs and they are landlords. Democracy amplifies social stratification and does not break them down or bring about a social change. Billions of dollars are spent in any provincial poll in India, with a price on every vote with the rate varying from rural to urban constituents. Majority of Indian public representatives  are millionaires with vested business interests in the system. Industrialists sit on parliamentary committees where legislation are drafted and passed regarding their own businesses. This is gross conflict of interest.

Mass movements are the fuel that chastises a decadent regime.   They are regime breakers but the challenge is to be governance transformers. Freedom fighters don’t make good administrators as history teaches us. Hamas is a revolutionary organization, but it has made a mess of the Gaza Strip, forcing it to collaborate with Fatah; whom are fighting, but those are the people who have experience in running the set up. This is a major flaw in democracy, popularly elected leaders do not carve competent policies. A new system which infuses participatory representation and skilled governance is required. The Palestine prime minister is a former World Bank Technocrat, who has changed the picture into a brighter one.

As is seen in the Lok Pal Movement (anti graft legislation for the uninitiated), the civil society activists are the individuals who are well intentioned, popular and have the skill set for running a system; they are lawyers, bureaucrats and career political activists who have a sense of the ground. They have a drawback that they are not elected by the people, and the political class are defaming them that they are illegitimate spokespeople for the masses.  They should probably run for office next time around in 2014, that will bring in some good people into the mainstream.  Mamata di has brought in some technocrats in to her cabinet such as Amit Mitra and Bratya Basu, post the counter revolution in the Bengal May Polls. Most politicos in India have some kind of criminal charge against them in contrast, which does not evoke any awe out of our leaders.

In this networked era, where digital activism is on the surge with the Arab Spring and post the Singaporean polls,  a new social contract for democracy needs to be worked out if our Faith in democracy as a system has to be restored.


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