The Cusp of Democracy & Autocracy

A country where earning Rs.18 a day tags you not poor, Election Commission spends Rs.73 per voter to conduct the general election 
- Jitendra Rajaram

"Out of 123 democratic countries in the world, not a single country is 100% democratic. Not a single democracy conducts 100% impartial election. In India where 36% population lives in a $1 a day, the cost of election is more than $1 a vote. The irony doesn't end here! The political parties conesting in such elections have spent more $13 to woo every single elector in 2019 General Election of India. Owing the amount of money spent, should we call it a democracy or plutocracy?

Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klass wrote in the first page of their book “How to Rig an Election” with a statement “The greatest political paradox of our time is this: there are more elections than ever before, and yet the world is becoming less democratic”.

The book written by Nic Cheeseman & Brian Klass, Harper Collins Publication | Yale Universty Press 

As Victor Hugo said, “Nothing is stronger than the idea whose time has come”, it is evident that time still has not come for the democracy. Across the world, democracy is an idea still arriving or perhaps its route is diverted to plutocracy. The fact is, never in the past, money was as powerful as it is today. In the cusp of emerging democracy and falling autocracy lies the plutocracy.

When empires were ruling the world, the power used to be achieved by waging war. War was the driving force of scientific inventions. Out of many one main objectives of the invention used to be winning the war. During world war two, Hitler, Truman, Roosevelt, Churchill used to engage their scientists and scholars in creating more lethal weapons, bombs, tanks, missiles and space shuttles.

Since democracy started heating up, the science started to invent a mechanism of controlling sentiments of masses. In 20thcentury, the oil used to provide fuel to war machines, in 21stcentury, data funnels crappie thoughts in the minds of voters. “When I realized that people believe what the Internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything,” says Andres Sepulveda, Hacker to help win elections in most of the democratic countries of Latin America (Klass, 2018).

Today, Data has replaced Oil to become the market driver. Now power is not achieved by the oil-driven jets or tanks. It can be obtained by corrupting minds of the people who vote. The data industry has made privacy an impossible right for the citizenry of sane nations. Data can let anyone read your mind and can even feed your mind with the information of their choices. Social Media is nothing but a gigantic worldwide brainwash system.

The father of the Indian constitution was not aware of the data industry. However, he was sure that democracy will be under attack frequently. Social Media has just brought the newest way of attaching it. He had predicted, he knew how one-day democracy will be ripped apart. He had rightly said, "Democracy in India is only a topdressing on an Indian soil which is essentially undemocratic" (Ambedkar, 1946). He had a valid reason to describe Indian democracy this way. The structure of caste hierarchy in India ensures that (1) never paid or (2) severely underpaid peasantry remains deployed across the rural industries. This peasantry has the utmost desire to have at least one meal for the family. This system keeps almost 36% of Indian under severe poverty. A country where earning Rs.18 a day tags you not poor, Election Commission spends Rs.73 per voter to conduct general election (Dainik Jagran, 2019). What more! The largest party by winning margin spent Rs.700 per voter to win the election.

When France was declared a republic, monarchs of Europe managed to convince the media and people that rule of Empires is in the best interest of the people. Vienna summit was nothing but an attempt to kill the idea of a republic. That was the time of revolution erupted out of extreme poverty. From Monarchy to Republic, democracy is the hard-earned system of governance. This is why it is in constant danger even when it has not fully grown to its capabilities. During the architecture of the constitution of India, in the parliament on 17thDecember 1946, Ambedkar had said “Constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated. We must learn that our people have yet to learn it.” (Ambedkar, 1946).

We have to make people understand that the constitution and system of governance are hard earned and technology is ruining it. Very soon, social media giants will be declared as war machines. It is only a matter of declaration; the war has actually begun a decade ago. When asked how to escape social media rumors, the world’s most powerful social media peddler Andres Sepulveda said “Do you see memes floating around WhatsApp, Insta, and Twitter? Who creates them? No matter how funny or provocative, just think of why memes are being created! This side or that, there are people being paid for creating those memes. It takes less than a minute for us to inject those memes from a million fake social media users to 10 million real users. No one can control what happens next! (Jordan Robertson, 2016)”

Hacker Andrés Sepúlveda
Exactly at this place, I have a message! This struggle is not new, the tilt of power is not new. It is just that in order to gauge the power of technology, we don’t have any doctrine to refer from the past. However, what is most encouraging, is that the playing field is not as un-even as it used to be.


Works Cited
Ambedkar, B. R., 1946. Good Reads. [Online]
Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/692976-constitutional-morality-is-not-a-natural-sentiment-it-has-to
[Accessed 17 6 2019].

Ambedkar, B. R., 1946. Good Reads. [Online]
Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/692976-constitutional-morality-is-not-a-natural-sentiment-it-has-to
[Accessed 17 6 2019].

Klass, N. C. a. B., 2018. How To Rig An Election. 2nd Edition ed. Noida: Harper Collins, India.

Dainik Jagran, 2019. Jagaran News. [Online]
Available at: https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/election-cost-per-voter-in-lok-sabha-election-1554278490-1
[Accessed 18 June 2019].

Jordan Robertson, M. R. a. A. W., 2016. Bloomberg Media. [Online]
Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-how-to-hack-an-election/
[Accessed 19 June 2019].

जाने क्या क्या


"ये अचानक बढ़ी कौतुहल का ग़ुबार भर है, कविता कह देना बड़ी बात होगी, पेश है आपके नज़रो-क़रम के लिए "

कुछ मीठा मीठा छूट गया,
कुछ कड़वा कड़वा साथ रहा। 

उसके आने जाने तक का,
जाने क्या क्या याद रहा।

फूल, किताबें, मंदिर ओटलें,
वो गली गलीचे गुजर गये।

भीड़ भाड़ कि धक्का मुक्की,
में ये शहर बड़ा आबाद रहा।

सायकल, गच्छी, सीठी, घंटी,
छुप छुप के संवाद किये।

अब आँखों की अठखेली का,
न वो हुनर रहा न उन्माद रहा।

कुछ मीठा मीठा छूट गया,
कुछ कड़वा कड़वा साथ रहा। 

उसके आने जाने तक का,
जाने क्या क्या याद रहा।

- जितेंद्र राजाराम