The disfigurement of democracy starts when the end of the election signifies the temporary suspension of democracy. The popular perception in today’s world is built around this shallow and undemocratic narrative. Democracy has become synonymous with elections and this has allowed demagogic politicians to practice hyper – electoralism, in which the mandate received by them, from the populace, implies that they have the supreme authority to carelessly tinker with, and eventually expunge the democratic structure.
Majoritarian politics has bolstered itself due to this assumption, that an electoral mandate has the supreme authority, and democracy is subordinated to this numerically large support received by them, from the populace.
The electoral mandate is not in any way the public approval of the future policies of the government. The citizenry has put the reins of the country in a particular political party’s hands, because, it believes that this party would work towards the welfare of its people, and will be a ‘good listener’. Being a good listener means that the government will try assiduously to listen to the demands of the citizens, and then, it will respond to and fulfil these demands.
But nowadays, the government espouses a top-down administrative approach, which is inherently tone-deaf. This kind of government is not able to comprehend the relevance of participative politics. Democracy becomes a complex bureaucratic administrative task, in which the people don’t have any role to play. It becomes a domain, which is exclusively inhabited by technocratic experts, who extern the grievances of the public, from this ‘highly exclusionary fiefdom of democracy’.
In the ivory tower of democracy, the political pundits show a scintillating display of strong-arm tactics, in which they brazenly show the unbridled power of executive supremacy. ‘Beneficial policies’ are formulated in a ‘la-la land’, which is like an ahistorical social vacuum. In this ‘la- la land’, the government continues to have delusions of grandeur, in which the beneficiaries of its constructive formulations are in seventh heaven.
An example of a nonsensical policy is the global education strategy, being followed by most democracies. According to the government, the privatisation of education is surely the most appropriate option, through which the unlettered masses can be educated.
The centrality of participative politics in a democracy needs to be acknowledged. Only then can we reclaim our country and our constitution from the megalomaniac marauders.
In a democracy, it is finally the people who constitute the country. The high handed methods of various democracies are increasing at breakneck speed because we still have not realised that the letters of the constitution are lifeless without the people’s participation.
We need to create new dialogical spaces where we can freely express our unarticulated feelings and demands. The citizens in a democracy can’t be kept under the jackboot of an authoritarian and majoritarian government for long. The walls of this newly constructed exclusionary edifice may seem impenetrable. But the walls are actually hollow. They wait for the full-throated and resonant dissent to fill this hollowness.
This dissent will emerge, only if the passivity of the citizens is superseded, by critical consciousness. To achieve this consciousness, we need to foster discourse and we need to organise protests. Street mobilisations have the sheer power to overturn the arbitrariness of the faux democracies of today’s world. Protests will help us to retrieve the important discursive spaces which populist governments across the world have occupied.
From the chaotic and raw dissent of protests, participative politics will be reignited. The spiritless and lost voices will be redeemed and they will force the government to stop the devious dealings with the corporate supremos. The people will inject the fury of dissent and participative politics into the veins of the emotionless body of democracy.