The Test Of True Demcracy


    By: Hejang Misao, MSW.
    Insurgency is the hallmark of North East India in general and Manipur in particular. It becomes the excuse ground for all failures (law and order, development etc.)  in the region or the state. In such backdrop Manipur will once again test the meaning of true democracy by going to poll for the ———– Legislative Assembly on 8th January 2012. The right to vote is the exclusive right of a citizen. The exercise of adult franchise established the supremacy of the citizens over the executives. Election is the main factor that decide the fate of the people at least for five years if not topple in the meantime. However, the irony is that voters seldom exercise their right to vote especially in the tribal areas of Manipur. Proxy with coercion – the hand that holds the barrel decides the people’s future.

    Making a critical look at the performance of the elected people’s representatives one can make a precise conclusion that they end up their office tenure in pleasing their god father rather than delivering welfare services to the people. As a result development takes the back seat. In the name of democracy people are made the scapegoat and most of the developmental funds are siphon off taking the chance of culture of silence which is mainly because of fear of reprisal or lack of awareness.

    Every discussion topic is centre around the issue ‘who will get the blessing of the god father’ not who should be voted to power for people’s welfare. Justice and equality as the main feature of democracy is held under ransom – one has to pay for its realization.

    People wanted and long for a true democracy where vox pupuli is reckon with and taken into consideration for crucial decision making but can’t help. Democracy as government of the people, by the people and for the people has a very little meaning in its true sense in reality. Interestingly government, obvious though, remain a mute spectator – centre and state – to this entire episode in spite of the incidence taking place just in front of their nose. To be honest the government is very much aware of the ground situation and realities.

    The age old strategy of political conspiracy and intrigue is still valid the aftermath of which is the rampant violation of human rights and political rights. Social disorder and economic backwardness are the cascading effect of the so called manipulated democracy. “It’s been more than five years or ten years that I didn’t cast my valuable vote” is the common words of the people. Election becomes something that is just in theory without practical.

    Surprisingly the election commission comes up with a mechanism where they proposed the idea of fitting cctv in the polling booth with a view to ensure free and fair election. No doubt this mechanism will check the proxy voting system and pave the way for every adult to exercise his/her franchise. The big question here is will this really establish the spirit of true democracy? Should we call it justice when your choice is dictated by someone or the exercise of your voting right is done under duress?


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