If my memory serves me right, the first words I uttered on my first day at school were, “Vande Mataram.” Patriotism and nationalism are in my flesh and bones. My devotion to these ideals is what made me write this essay.
Before we discuss our topic, we must know that India is not a country which was always poor and underdeveloped. North India saw its golden age during the Gupta dynasty whereas south India saw the same in the Muvendar period, during the Vijaya Empire and during the times of Shivaji. During these eras, India peaked in literature, science, mathematics, architecture, politics, infrastructure and many other fields.
Then, during the 1700s, the British arrived and so ended India’s glory days. The British and the Brahmins made laws that affected the lives of all other communities. India was divided on the basis of class, caste and religion. India managed to get independence in 1947 but at the very high cost of partition. Sacrifices also had to be made by people like Lala Lajpat Rai, Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Rajguru, Sukhdev and others.
After independence, the responsibility of ruling the nation fell on the shoulders of the Congress. Although Congress claimed to be secular, giving space to institutions like the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha did grave harm to secularism in India. This was recognised by thinkers and activists like Periyar.
Ultimately, various poor governmental decisions led to the unstable nation that India is today.
Democracy is not an easy task. It is about responsibility. If you can’t handle it properly, it will result in a disaster. Unfortunately, this is what has happened in India. Elections happen in India and every citizen, irrespective of their education, class, caste, gender and religion, can cast their vote. This is the classic way democracy functions but the problem is how Indians handle power. In my opinion, the answer is, “Not very well.”
For instance, just consider the 2017 RK Nagar bypoll where All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Amma faction leader TTV Dinakaran allegedly attempted to bribe Election Commission officials.
RK Nagar is not an exception. Things are like this are recurring in Indian democracy. Democracy is useless when people who exercise it are self-centred. Such people become easy targets for communal politics.
Democracy is the base of our Constitution. If democracy gets corrupted due to our negligence, we would have to pay a heavy price in the future.