What makes India stand out from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal?

I am sure that most of you (in the Indian sub-continent at least), would have heard of the terrible happenings in Nepal over the past month or so. Well, things haven’t been great there for a long time now, but it is only in the past month that the matter has taken such a serious turn. So many innocent people dead, so much property destroyed, so many people left homeless, scared for life – all because one man wants to hold on to the throne.

 

But, it is also a very good example of what people power can do. People were out everyday, demonstrating against the ruler of that great land. They wanted ‘DEMOCRACY’. They wanted to elect their leader. They didn’t want a ruler, a king. In the end, the so-called ruler had to back off and do what the people demanded. People power wins! Hopefully, things will settle down in Nepal.

 

People in Nepal wanted a change, and they got it.

 

India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal – countries that should be very similar politically, but are not. India is by far the biggest country in every way compared to the others.

 

Pakistan is ruled by a military dictator who proclaims that his regime is more ‘DEMOCRATIC’ than most democracies in the world.  It may be true that he has given more freedom to the Pakistani people than their elected representatives ever did. But, to hold on to power like he is doing is not a very good example of Democracy. Pakistan, by far, has had the most number of military dictators among its sub-continental neighbors.

 

Bangladesh – first a part of Pakistan, then a country by itself. It too has had its share of Military dictators, but it’s definitely better off right now with elected representatives.

 

Sri Lanka has been democratic, but has had it’s own share of problems with the Tamil Tigers.

 

India – the largest democracy in the world. And, to tell you the truth, a country whose people no longer care about democracy. Democracy has lost it’s meaning in India. Yes, we have ‘free’ and ‘fair’ elections all the time. We waste HUGE amounts of money on these elections. But who exactly are we electing? We are electing the kind of people who are not fit to even run a family, let along take care of an entire locality, district, state or the country itself.

 

When state level elections are held, we don’t even know who the Chief Minister is going to be! The party that comes to power, more often than not, is the party that can bribe the most, cheat the most and somehow even persuade people to vote for them the most! And all the pre-poll promises go down the drain as they concentrate on their main job, the most important job of their lives – make as much money illegally as possible before the next elections!

 

And what do we do about this? Absolutely nothing. People no longer protest against the sad state of affairs – the bad roads, terrible water supply, non-existent drainage, garbage overflows, power cuts and what not?

 

Even after 58 years of Independence, if we are not able to provide people with the most basic living conditions consistently, what progress have we made? Sure, there are lots of things that we can show as progress – AirTel, Reliance, Tata, Maruti, Infosys, Larsen & Toubro, Wipro – the list goes on. These companies (and many more) and their products are world class. But, even they complain about the poor state of things in India.

 

We, as citizens of the country, are responsible for this. I have an idea (a very silly idea): When it’s time for elections (yet again!), we should BOYCOTT the elections. Yes – don’t elect anyone. Why should we? To make those buffoons filthy rich? Again, why should we? Better yet, we should protest against holding elections if the candidates are not made of the right stuff.

 

So, what makes India stand out from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan? It’s the people – who no longer care of democracy.

 

I know nothing is going to change in this country – but these kinds of thoughts pop up in my mind once in a while.

 

–Dileepa

 

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