Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Democracy = division?

Its panchayat election time in Karnataka and ET had a small report on it the other day. Karnatakas infrastructure destroyer-in-chiefs party has a manifesto that does not mention the word "urban" at all. The manifesto is all rural. The article quoted him saying that they had deliberately left out urban problems out of the manifesto.

The way Bangalore is going, I am wondering what is urban and what is rural. I am also left thinking if only urban areas require roads and electricity. I hope Karnataka does a Bihar and throws these dinosaurs out of contention and into history, where they belong.

But thats not the point. Anytime we read about democracy, we read about votes being split caste wise, religion wise, dissected into sub castes and regions. Then there are alliances both in existence and created by imaginations of political analysts.

This brings me to the question, is democracy only about division? Is it democracy that is dividing our people? Into urban and rural? Creating or magnifying some imaginary grouse? Deepening schisms that exist instead of alleviating them? Creating mountains of molehills?

Every 5 years or whenever a government falls we have to stand on one side or the other; sometimes, it is like a Venn diagram with barely any intersection. Nobody wants the intersection; indeed every party is busy carving out another division. India has to progress, one way or other. If this were the mantra of all parties, that, "we will bring opportunities to you, here", we could all be united instead of sowing seeds of dissent every place, every time.

Why divide in the name of democracy?

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