Not everyone needs a democracy

Today, the U.S President spent some time with the students at St. Xavier and spoke ever so eloquently about how the youth of our country can shape the future. He also mentioned the importance of democracy the lack of the same in some countries such as Myanmar. Personally though, I think that he was talking about China.

China was one of the poorest countries in the world. It never ever had a democracy. By all accounts China is rich today. No country can take China lightly. economically or politically. The Olympics held in Beijing were perhaps one of the best in the world. China today can threaten Japan and get away with it. Yes we all can say that China is not democratic and that human rights are violated by Beijing. Frankly, do we care ?

The wikileaks data on the Iraq war crimes are clearly establish that more than a hundred thousand Iraqi civilians died. Such death were the indirect, some would say direct results of the US invasion of Iraq. Did these individuals not have any human rights ? The dead cannot fight for themselves. frankly they don’t need to. But by not prosecuting the perpetrators, the US – defacto rulers of Iraq, have completely turned a blind eye to some of the worst atrocities in recent times. I do not remember reading about any gross violations of human rights in China. Agreed, there are instances where the Communist government completely ignores the any rights a person may have, but even then such violations are for the benefit of other citizens. In a democratic setup perhaps the same steps would be taken and the only difference there would be that such steps would be time consuming.

Let us look at India, perhaps the shining example of a flourishing democracy in the developing world. India is so poor that it would take at least two generations for the nation to reach the level of lifestyle in Europe or North America. But did India really have a choice to be anything but be a democracy? Unlike the Chinese, who are mostly Hans (some minorities too, but there numbers are nothing as compared to the Hans), India is by its very nature a diverse society. Not just in terms of religion, but hinduism by itself is extremely diverse. It has been argued infact, that one of the reasons for the ease with which the foreign invaders were able to colonise India was because of its building non-tolerance towards other communities and culture. In my opinion therefore, India, from its very inception as a nation in 1947 was destined (doomed ?) to be a democracy. Anything else would simply be a failure. There would only be power struggles and perhaps we would fight each other back to the medival ages. The only good thing would be that perhaps all this squabbling and the subsequent formation of little Indias, would make us take more pride in the Armed Forces than we do today.

Everyone takes there own time to come up with the laws and the form of governance the nation would want. Obviously democracy is the closest to a free market system and therefore liked the best. But it took some time for the nations to come up with own concepts of democracy. Why does then the western nations are always in a hurry to push democracy down the throat of other nations ?

There are many poor in India, nearly half the districts in some states in India are “infested” with Naxals. Arguably the creation of democracy. Do we see such things in China. No.

Yes, the common Chinese does not enjoy the same political freedom the common Indian does. but does that really matter. when compared to the political systems of the west, yes it does matter. but thats not the scale with which to measure it with. Chinese never had political freedom. (By contrast Indians did have semblance of democracy in Janapadhas or even the panchayati raj system.) Today the local chinese has more money than he ever had. If the Chinese are to be compared, then the only scale they are to be measure with are of their own past. And in this context the Chinese are doing excellent. Too bad that the U.S. or Europe does not like it.

Not everyone needs a democracy. Not everyone needs political freedom. There is however a need for fulfilling the basic necessity of the people – education, electricity, food, housing, jobs etc. The Communist party of China has been able to provide the same to more chinese than the Indian government has been able to provide to Indians. What good then democracy does.

What is good for the goose, may not be good for the gander



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