The recently concluded elections in America has brought into sharp focus a narrative that some claim – may not auger well for Democracy.
That gives rise to a question –
‘ Is there a churn in Democracy ‘ ?
There were times when Monarchy was in practice everywhere. Later the world started experimenting with other forms of governance. Fascism came into practice but lost favor quickly (but not before foisting a World War).
Communism and Democracy were the other popular governance methods that were adopted by many countries but with it came an era of cold vibes and a clear divide on ideological lines.
In recent times Communism has lost the race and is on the wane, Democracy is now the most popular choice of many countries.
Democracy itself has evolved, in fact it’s a host to many of the aforementioned ideologies. They continue to be practiced to this day but within the ambit of Democracy.
The hullabaloo over the election of Trump has opened a pandora’s box of intrigue, confusion and suspicion on the subject of ‘Democratic values’. Extremely divergent opinion are subject of debate – some claim that the edifice of Democracy has suffered serious harm while others believe that nothing much has changed .
Trump fought elections like any other and won, the White House is rightfully his. No doubt he has been brash and offensive at times – his vision for America may be radical but to brand him as an oppressive figure and refusing to accept him is a blatant slight on the democratic process.
MODI had a similar reception, a section of people made no bones about their dissatisfaction with his rise. His opponents still view him through a communal prism, they brand him as a divisive Leader.
The two democracies, the oldest and the biggest, are a divided house. A section of the population in both the countries are dissatisfied with the choice of their leader. Those opposed believe that Autocracy has taken root. They claim that this isn’t a nuanced change but a regressive and disruptive narrative that doesn’t bode well for Democracy.
Their concerns are misplaced, these are doubts raised by a group of people attuned to certain way of life and values, they aren’t willing to compromise with them, it’s they who find it difficult to adept to change. These are the people who are up in arms, unwilling to accept change simply because it isn’t in their comfort zone – it impinges on the preset values that are deeply ingrained in their psyche.
Radical change happens because the common man craves a change. Call it a Revolution or a ‘New thought Process’, change is necessitated due to disillusionment with the system in practice. A ‘Strong Leader’ is the criterion that influences the electorate in today’s world. Trump is an outcome of such a preference, Americans want a strong leader who is willing to take harsh measures. The focus is on ‘one individual’ rather than on a party .
This is not just limited to America. Politics is centred around one individual in Russia – Putin, he is all powerful and enjoys wide support.
Similarly, Xi is the Core leader of China.
We saw the personality cult played out in India during the last general elections. People voted for a man who promised Growth & Development, all other things like manifesto’s, ideology etc were discarded. What appealed to them was just that one individual who promised change.
We are in a phase when our preferences have changed, we are now swayed by a radical thought process that has permeated the society around us. To term this ‘thought process’ as a devil that’s out to destroy Democracy is wistful thinking.
“An epitaph on Democracy written by the privileged few is condemnable. “
Picture Credit: Zee News