Tuesday, May 25, 2010


There is no doubt that the process of democracy have been usurped by the politicians and their family members in several countries in south east Asia such as Sri Lanka , India and Pakistan. This has caused difficult situation for the citizens, as these politicians now control the destiny of the country and their misdeeds directly cause sufferings and problems for the people.

While politics and politicians are a necessary part of democratic process and they have a due role to play in the democratic governance, unfortunately many countries in south east Asia could not ensure that dishonest and self centred people would be kept away from entering politics. On the other hand, the first choice of criminal elements in these regions appear to be to get into the politics and seize political power . In such conditions, several people think that the democracy in several south east Asian countries have become a counter productive exercise doing more harm than good.

While it is well recognized by political thinkers all over the world that democracy is the most civilized and desirable form of governance in spite of its limitations, The time has now come to fine tune the process of democracy in practice. Otherwise, the democracy can well become an oppressive regime of politicians , who manipulate the electoral process and corrupt the entire system in their efforts to attain power and stay on in power. The present time calls for a citizen’s revolution , that appears to be inevitable in the evolving process of democracy.

Obviously, most of the politicians are corrupt and they indulge in manipulative politics, with an attitude and approach not much different from the feudal lords (zamindars) of the earlier days. Unless the citizens would effectively assert themselves and insist on fair play and good governance, the politicians will go out of control that would inevitably lead to chaos and turbulence in the society.

The serious problem today is that the media, which should be the vehicle for airing the views and grievances of the citizens are now being largely controlled by the politicians and most of the politicians are now part of business enterprises directly or indirectly. With media itself being deflected , by and large , from its ethical standards and principles, with paid, motivated and selective news becoming the order of the day, the sane voice of the citizens often do not get media coverage. The question is how a citizen’s movement to make politicians behave can be launched in the absence of media participating in the movement in a big way.

The challenge facing the future of democracy is really hard and it calls for efforts from principled and dedicated citizens , who should combine quality of wisdom and courage to fight for genuine democratic practices.

The outpourings of the individual citizens in the internet expressed in the blogs only go to indicate the frustration and anger of the average citizen about the role of politicians in the country. But, such anger are not translated into effective voice that would put fear in the minds of the politicians and correct their behaviour.

The politicians really are banking on the innocence and economic vulnerability of the poorer sections of the society, who are sought to be appeased by extending some free schemes to them from time to time. The politicians appear to think that they can continue their games by making false and cosmetic promises to the poor people and keeping the media under their control to publicise their tempting schemes.

While the poor people who are the real targets of the politicians may not understand their game due to their innocence and vulnerability, the educated section of the population should raise their voice at every opportunity. The question is whether the educated and informed people in adequately large number would rise to the occasion and convey their protests to the politicians unmindful of the hazards involved. The hope is that there are some concerned citizens who are protesting and one should pray that the seeds that they plant should grow into a positive and vibrant movement of the citizens to reform the politicians and the political system.

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