Sunday, June 15, 2008

Editorial 'Degeneration of Democracy': LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 May 2008

There is much truth and relevance in the ancient philosopher-cum-statesman Aristotle’s categorization of and preferences for different types of states which still appeal to the present realities, especially in a dysfunctional democracy like ours. Aristotle called tyranny, oligarchy and democracy as perversions of better forms of state – monarchy, aristocracy and polity respectively, and meant some sort of constitutional elite governance by the last. He was of the firm view that because of the proneness of democracy to degenerate into license and mobocracy it is not to be preferred but of course tyranny is the worst form of state. Nowadays we also witness the same type of license and mobocracy in our country with all the noble values and principles espoused by our constitutional framers and even prior to them by the indefatigable national liberation fighters given a go-bye for narrow group interests. Curiously two glaring perversions of this sort occurred almost simultaneously – one in the North and the other in the South of India. The pictures above speak for themselves but we further say that the attack on the press freedom blatantly resorted to by a communal organization espousing the causes of the ‘most downtrodden of the masses’ bodes no good for the future of our polity. If at all they had been piqued by the innuendo of being ‘hired leaders’ they could have retorted, a la Sri Sri, that many papers too are and act like ‘daughters of Capital and anthills of lies’ and more effectively rebutted any vily propaganda against themselves than by stooping to such low levels of anarchic violence. Likewise the Gujjars better realize that craving for more backwardness never helps any community, antagonizes the rest of the society and perpetuates sloth and meanness. It is high time that individuals and communities think of the fate of the country and democracy first and their particular interests only next.