There is a reason why democracy has always trumped dictatorship – this is owing to the fact that democracy gives a voice to the voiceless, and even though it is on paper, it gives power to everyone. A level playing field where the starting point seems to be equal for everyone has become the accepted norm.
And, even as we sing laurels about the same, there seems to have cracks developed along the way and with the massive influx of social media into our lives, perhaps the lines which had always divided us has become more visible.
“See, not everyone is a fan of democracy – this system has taken the power away from the elite class and has given the power to the people who lie last on the foodchain. When this ecosystem has been disrupted, how can everyone like this system? And yet, we have survived, because we vote – irrespective of class, race, and religion,” said a leading psephologist.
And yet, not everything is hunky-dory – the evil that is social media has made the lines of division very visible. It is not as if they were absent, we were just aloof and pretended they never existed, but now people, with or without a face, can speak on a host of issues and this has led to fissures.
“It is not as if people did not hate or despise people from different races and religions before, but now, this hate has become very visible. Perhaps this is another way a democracy functions. We know now, who exactly hate the Blacks, Hispanics, minorities among others,” said a prominent social media figure on the condition of anonymity.
Countries across the board are divided, there are varying opinions, and these opinions can be vicious as well. So, when Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden, he complained of election fraud and called the entire system rigged. His followers cheered and clapped along.
Back home in India, when the incumbent National Democracy Alliance retained Bihar, the opposition leader cried foul and said that EVMs could be rigged. Even he found supporters at a time when Indian elections have been hailed to be impartial and one of the most robust. However, even as a large section of media in America shied away from Trump’s allegations, Indian media kept giving Tejashwi Yadav a lot of footage.
This is how democracy functions; this is what the challenges will be. And, yet, it is the best that we have going forward!