A democracy fit for kings
When I ranted about the power failures we’ve been having in this part of the world, I was bracing for a backlash. I did title the post “Retarded” after all. Surprisingly, I did not get a single email, tweet or comment that took offence to the word. I did however, have some people question my usage of the term “rule”. To clarify, I’ve always claimed the political establishment of this country functions like a medieval monarchy. India can claim to be a democracy all it wants but the fact is that any “government” that comes into power rules over the people like the kings and queens of old.
There are people who disagree with me. Fair enough. An opinion is an opinion and nothing more.
Or is it?
Let’s look at the facts shall we? I could go into details and quote facts and figures almost from the day we became “independent” but that would take too long. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just talk about recent events. In fact, I’m just going to site the power grid failures as an example seeing as it fresh enough in people’s minds. This is what happened:
The first failure was of the entire Northern power grid. In terms of scale it was one the largest grid failures in the world and affected about 300 million people. There was some public outrage but no official statement as to why it happened. Sure, some obtuse reference was made to some sort of “fault” near the city of Agra but nothing specific was stated. When pressed on the issue the power minister Sushilkumar Shinde, reminded the Indian people that it took the USA and Canada four days to restore power after the 2003 blackout. Furthermore, according to this deluded man, India was an “expert” in the field of power. If that sounds unbelievable to you, view this interview. You might want to do it quick though, it would not surprise me if this is taken off soon.
A day later India suffers another blackout. This one is the biggest failure of any power grid since the dawn of electricity. It affected 660 million people, knocked out power to about 19 states and caused chaos on a scale that even Indians hadn’t seen. And if there is one thing we Indians know about, it’s chaos. This time Mr Shinde doesn’t even bother making an official statement. So the government decides to take immediate action.
They promote him.
The man responsible for the biggest most catastrophic electrical grid failure in the history of mankind is now the Indian home minister.
Think on that for a moment.
Shide responded by essentially telling the people to be grateful that we weren’t suffering like those poor Americans back in 2003 (Btw, the man’s claims are incorrect, the 2003 situation was largely resolved within 20 hours not 4 days. Details here). Not by apologizing, or even accepting responsibility. No, that he passed over to the “states” that he conveniently blamed. He did not even have the decency to stay on long enough as power minster to clean up his mess or at the very least find out what the fuck happened. He did however, take time enough to rate himself as an “excellent” power minster.
India and its people did not even get so much as an apology. But that doesn’t surprise me. For when in human history did a king ever apologize to his subjects?
“Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken” Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
Well, simply holding elections does not make us a democracy.