International Day of Democracy 2018 is on Saturday, September 15, 2018: Debate article on 'Democracy in India is dead', for or against?
Saturday, September 15, 2018 is International Day of Democracy 2018.
first link (below) provides discussion on: The Death of Democracy in India-Dr Gurnam Singh, Coventry University, UK
(This article is based on a presentation given at a meeting in the UK Parliament on 10th Dec 2012, organized by Kesari Lehar, a grassroots movement that is campaigning against human rights abuses in India)
It seems to me that the only time the political system of India attracts any kind of scrutiny by the Western media is during a general election campaign. Every 4 years or so India becomes billed as the world’s largest democracy and India is presented as a beacon of freedom and human suffrage. A beacon of Western secular democracy in the OrientWhilst there is no such thing as a perfect democracy, I think we desperately need to reassess this popular but wholly inaccurate view of India as the worlds largest democracy; not least because the failure to do so, has I believe fermented Western apathy towards gross human rights abuses committed by the India union, of which the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana is but a tip of the ice berg.Yes, there can be no doubt that India has experienced something of an economic boom during the past 15 years or so, but accompanying this has been and even more dramatic growth in political corruption. Astonishingly today, almost a third of the MP’s in the current parliament have criminal charges against them! And therefore it is not surprising that much of new found wealth trickles into the pockets of the political criminal fraternity rather than ordinary Indians, the small farmers, the rural poor, the labourers and the millions of artisans. According to the World Bank, the situation for the poor in India has actually worsened, 450 million out of a population 1.2 billion live below the international poverty line – measured on earnings of less than £1 per day – Half of India’s children are malnourished and many thousands die from diarrhoea every day. So whilst the free Indian democratic state may be transforming the lifestyles of a few powerful individuals with dubious credentials, life is pretty grim.Today India is analogous to a runaway train that if not checked is headed for a very horrific disaster the likes of which, given the size and scale of the problem, the world has never seen. Today, as pointed out recently by the India intellectual and human rights activist Arundhati Roy far from being a democratic state, for Non-Hindus i.e. religious minorities and Dalits, India is effectively a colonial state.
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second link provides: Death of Democracy in India, Birth of Censorship
“What are we, Saudi Arabia?” asks Pushkar Raj, the general secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties in India. He adds, “We don’t expect this from India. This is something very serious.” What Pushkar Raj refers to is the newly passed, highly controversial cyber law issued by India’s Department of Information Technology this past April that restricts what content can be posted or made available to the public on the internet. Free speech advocates argue that these new rules are just excuses for the government to expand censorship in the country and further limit the rights to freedom of speech and expression that are guaranteed by the Constitution to the citizens of India.
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what price democracy?
The USA has a long history of supporting dictatorships around the world and only encourages democracy as an excuse for regime change where US foreign policy dictates.
The USA supported Saddam with military intelligence during the Iran/Iraq war and encouraged him to start the war, the excuse was to try to stop Iran's (percieved) islamic revolution
At the same time the USA secretly sold heavy arms and munitions to Iran.The USA and Europeans sold chemical weapons to both sides. The USA gave support to both sides, why? .....it would not allow one of the two countries to succeed in controlling the oilfields of both countries!
The USA has been equally prolific in supporting dictatorships and democracies throughout the world, think of South America, Africa, Asia and the middle east.
When a non-democracy no longer suits US purpose then it is suddenly declared a pariah state. An example of American hypocracy.
I do not believe that USA would wish to force democracy on Iraq, rather it would prefer to force an assemblance of power which is guaranteed to be allied to USA.
A true system of democracy in Iraq would be unlikely to "toe the line" in terms of US foreign policy, the country would likely split into 3 autonomous regions.
I have seen television footage which show people who's families have suffered oppression and even torture under Saddam, emotionaly crying that life was better before the invasion and that the Murder, oppression and torture under the American military is worse.
US is still holding about 40,000 (mostly innocent) civilian prisoners in Iraq who are subject to daily torture/humiliation and after languishing in prison for the last few years, many have died, often as a result of US torture.
Iraqis have had their dictatorship replaced with another (much worse) dictatorship in which there is no hope, only fear for the future and no stability or prospect of a let up in violence.
Saddam was evidently an old man and could not have been expected to retain power for more than another decade or so.
It would have been much better to let the power struggle in Iraq to take its course rather than interfering by way of an illegal invasion.
The reputation of the history of the USA is besmirched by its very foundations out of slavery and oppression/murder of the former indiginous populations.
It is only in the last 1/2 century that many non whites are free of the virtual apartheid which pervaded so far accross American society.
The respect that Americans have for each other has been forced upon them by laws of equality which safeguard basic human rights.
Unfortunately the US government has no respect for international law (unless it be expedient to do so).
The US has no respect for The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights for peoples outside of its borders.
When one day America does lose its economic and military power I believe that it can only be expected to be shown the same distain for which it has displayed to the rest of the world.
Today is May 1st - International Workers' Day?
I would like to ask if there is a real 'working class' left in Turkey! After the horrible coup of September 12, 1980, the generals created an apolitical society in Turkey. Turkish youth lost interest in the countries politics. Unions lost their influence, and most union leaders have become as rich as the bosses! There is no real democracy within the unions. Workers have to educate themselves and get hold of their unions, get rid of those parasite leaders.
Global capitalism is doing the same thing in many countries, thus creating a 'safe environment' with cheap labor so they can make greater profits. With the collapse of the socialist system (Soviet Union), the working class lost most of its support. Today, in many countries, they work hard and they earn less. Turkey is just one of them.
There is no problem with the workers celebrating May 1st in Taksim Square. It is the marginal left wing youth groups that are provocating (or are provoked themselves) the clashes with the police. The police, of course, is more than ready to attack and destroy. These groups are not helping the working class at all. On the contrary, they are harming the struggle of the workers.
Turkish working class will have to realize their strength and they should demand what they deserve. Celebrating in Taksim Square is their right. I am hoping that in the coming years there will be half a million workers celebrating Labor Day as they deserve it.