Power & Market

Democratic Hypocrisy in India

I was taught in childhood that Democracy is by the people, for the people, and of the people, maybe it was a goof by my teachers because what I have seen is Democracy has now become Buy the people, for the selective people, and off the people. Why do we like Democracy, what’s so idiosyncratic about this system that distinguishes it from other forms of the political system? Democracy gives us freedom, the system gives us rights, and it gives hope for a liberal society. Democracy is an antonym of a Totalitarian system, maybe.

In India, politicians have so much power that they can give a person a job and can also take away his job. This is Democracy in India, the leaders here are worshipped, the normal people have to respectfully greet the politician, and people can’t speak within their rights in front of any leader too, they have to speak within the ceiling set by the “people’s” leader. Above all you a common man can’t even reply anything to swear words of that person if you want to reach home alive. People beg in front of leaders for their basic requirements and they will act like they have done some favor by spending money on the people which is taken from the system! India isn’t a democracy it tries to make itself look like one. After 75 years since independence all you will see is the rallies of politicians, the divide and rule of people in name of ethnicity, snatching people’s liberty, laws applied only to common people, large assets of politicians and their money and the list can go further. 

This had to happen. This will keep continuing if the system keeps giving power more and more to the government thinking that it will uplift the people. The collectivist fallacy and people still have got some hopes for improvement.

Ironically in a dictatorship, there’s one dictator; a totalitarian, but in a democracy like India we have many dictators sitting. The netas who live a luxurious life, assassinate those that go against them, abuse their subordinates, make cronies fatter, can acquire as much wealth without facing consequences, steal the liberty of people, fund gangsters, etc…. The emergency of Indira Gandhi, Meat shop bans, demonetization, reservation, tax on cryptocurrency, and more examples can be given to prove the country’s grip on authoritarianism.

To make it very clear, Democracy doesn’t guarantee individual liberty. Democracy is one of the mediums of it. The main aim is Liberty, which is the freedom, rights, and independence of citizens. People are manipulated in such a way that they are more and more dependent on authority. The authority decides our life in many ways and one can have no clue about it. Mises and Hayek rightly rejected the concept of differentiating Political Freedom and Economic Freedom because in India there is so-called Political freedom in name of Democracy which nowadays just means voting. Mises said:

But as Hayek pointed out in 1944 in his book The Road to Serfdom, economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life that can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends.

It’s funny when the communists of the country who are only good to show their activism on the streets and causing a disturbance in day to day life of people are seen protesting in the current system. But, what’s your solution to this problem? Increase the role of the same corrupt government? No wonder, why their influence on the country is reducing which is quite a positive development in the country. But, socialism is still regarded as moral here and capitalism means evil, coming from a country that was saved by Capitalism in 1991!

Democracy is very important to the people of the country but what they don’t understand is, Democracy is means but not ends. Democracy is means of Liberty and Democracy solely cannot grant freedom. Democracy is for Liberty, not the other way around! Something similar was said by Hayek in The Road to Serfdom:

Democracy is essentially a means, a utilitarian device for safeguarding internal peace and individual freedom. As such it is by no means infallible or certain. Nor must we forget that there has often been much more cultural and spiritual freedom under an autocratic rule than under some democracies and it is at least conceivable that under the government of a very homogeneous and doctrinaire majority democratic government might be as oppressive as the worst dictatorship.

Many intellectuals are seen criticizing the current party in power in India for becoming authoritarian but when wasn’t the system authoritarian? Privatization in present or “equality” approach in past, whether from Left or Right, the country has always been authoritarian in the truest form, no need to distinguish from one another because you all are collectivist in a Brotherly Conflict!

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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