Does democracy start and end with election !

Its just a coincidence or a pre-planned affair, would be for everybody to notice and reflect. A week or so before the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections,the power cut which used to take place for 3-5 hours a day, suddenly stopped and the very next day after the elections, the power cuts resumed.

This small incident goes on to show the 'other side' of democracy. If such tricks take place in Delhi, I am not surprised to see people all over the country have taken to the courts for getting redressal on various civic issues including the prevailing traffic system.

My question is simple, does democracy start and end with elections?

It is the experience of people that their elected representatives once elected vanished for five years. Even when, the tenure of elected representative got shorter due to the delicate nature of coalition politics, still the people did not have the fortune of meeting or seeing their representative more often. It was same for newly elected representative as well as sitting one's.

In these circumstance, people have found a way of their own. If democracy is 'of the people, by the people, for the people', then 'of the people' have come to connote a whole new dimension.

During election time (before the elections actually take place - a period of 4 to 12 weeks), people have come to expect good things. Among those numerous feel good stuff, you may actually find your elected representative available in town and receptive to your concerns, he/she may really take pains to address your problem, power cuts are less frequent and the economic environment genuinely feels like that at the centre of country is its common citizen and not somebody else. In these times, people turn proactive and try to get out of their representative the whole share of his/her contribution to the constituency which was missing in the interim period before the last election to the present one. In a word of caution, it would prudent to add that such affairs as mentioned above are still less frequent even today.

So, democracy will come to be viewed for 'elections' only. It may so happen that, instead of five years, and as technology for conducting elections gets cheaper, elections may become more frequent which may lead to a more people friendly democracy. Till then, watch out for 2009, when the next general elections take place.


Anonymous said…
well i feel almost the same...i dont no how people have faith in these politicians...i hope we get some freedom from such a system of these greedy politicians...
Siddhartha said…
Abhishek I can understand your helplessness. A few years back in 2004, when general elections to the parliament was being held, one of my friends raised a similar issue.

The question here is, if we want a clean government, then what are we doing for it. After all, India is a democracy. So, the blame game ends with us because, we do not participate in the elections as we should.

The best solution is that, intellectual like you and me, take a pro-active view and participate, starting with the local election process and help in forming a type of government, we would love to see, guide us into to a bright future.

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