Lessons in democracy
SouthAsia’s coverage of the Indian elections was extensive, to say the least. It covered almost all facets of the election scenario including statistics, predictions, party positions, the minority and money factors and the glamour quotient added by the participation of celebrities. Indian elections, no doubt, are a raucous affair. But the coolness with which the country goes about the task of conducting elections on such a massive scale never ceases to amaze me.
It is not that the elections are conducted in a most transparent manner under peaceful circumstances. That’s far from being true. There are incidents of violence before and after the elections. Allegations of rigging and misuse of authority are rampant and candidates use unfair means to manipulate the result. But despite all this, people take immense pride in the process and in democracy. They enthusiastically participate in the polling and express their opinion through their vote. Perhaps it is this belief in the democratic system that makes India different from the rest of the South Asian nations. I hope the other countries learn some lessons in democracy from India.