Speaking to reporters outside Parliament a couple of days ago, Congress spokesman par non-excellence, Manish Tewari said that it was up to the opposition to decide if it wanted a democracy or a mobocracy. Mobocracy? A fiercely honest assessment of the putrefying polity, as a friend pointed out.
Since the can of worms has been opened by a politician himself, I deem this to be an opportune moment to toss around a few more mutant versions of democracy, as are spoken about in hushed tones in various circles:
Damn-o-cracy: Shall we go and finger that supposedly tamper-proof EVM a tad, come the hustings. Or shall we not? Damned if we do. Damned if we don’t. Good lord in heaven, how can you NOT vote! Alternately, ha ha hee hee ho ho, you voted us into power, didn’t you, you wretched little souls? Now shut up for the next 5 years.
Fool-o-cracy: This gets a leg up during the pre-election phase. And then it is perfected over the remainder of the term. Largely involves broken promises which frequently include words like poverty, illiteracy, infrastructure, clean governance, inclusive growth (read: exclusive?), transparency, crony capitalism, non-crony capitalism, crony non-capitalism and absolutely non non-crony capitalism. When the person uttering lofty speeches is tottering at the edges of dysfunctionality, he/she sometimes even resorts to mumbling words like peace, third wave of radicalization and harmony. Fabulously foolish that the citizenry is, we get fooled by this each time that we get fooled.
Vote-o-cracy: Notably, this is the defining virtue of our political system. We cast our votes, very often having to choose between the devilry and, well, the devilry. Then they count these votes and declare winners. Or something of that sort. I am not sure of how exactly they are winners and what is it that they win, but I sure know who loses.
Ignorant-o-cracy: A sub-classification of vote-o-cracy (see above), this form is the most favored by political parties. It delivers fantastic results, especially when insufficient information pertaining to the credentials and performance track-record of the contesting candidates, is made available to the voters. Arguably, this form thrives even in some pockets of the urban constituencies, such pockets often comprising over-educated, under-informed and zero-caring folks for whom enlightened ignorance is a zero-loss way of life.
Booze-o-cracy: This is the life force that sustains the continuing rot in the political system. A sub-classification of vote-o-cracy, this is an effective, time-tested and result-oriented form. Especially in rural and semi-urban areas. It also morphs into laptop-o-cracy, tv-o-cracy, job-o-cracy, rice-o-cracy and cash-o-cracy.
Thug-o-cracy : This form is usually practiced in certain badlands like UP, AP, Bihar, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana and a few other states whereby some alleged thugs are poured into the electoral funnel with odious glee, such squeaky unclean do-gooders then coming out of the other end of the funnel before being finally lodged inside temples of democracy. It is pretty much downhill post that as they pass legislations and define public policy post taking up residence in the aforesaid temples.
Dynast-o-cracy: The bedrock of our political system. Needs no further explanation.
Lick-o-cracy: This involves certain poodles, under-achieving or otherwise, and other such sycophantic, tail-wagging non-animals (some from very respectable universities from distant shores); presumably well-educated and quite respectable, epitome of dignified stateliness even as they kiss the posteriors, figuratively speaking, of certain members of the Dynast-o-cracy.
Sleep-o-cracy: This is a form whereby those who need to be outraged, are instead, often found asleep at the metaphorical wheel. They think that just because they outsourced the job of governance to others, any further active involvement is now redundant. Wheel or no wheel, asleep or merely dozing, this lack of engagement causes a permanent state of suspended locomotion all around.
Klept-o-cracy: This is the oldest form being practiced. Arguably, it first reared its ugly head sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s. It primarily involves stealing national resources and other such stuff from mother earth or father atmosphere. Lately it is being justified and rationalized by using terms like zero-loss, hypothetical, notional, presumptive and public policy.
Blame-o-cracy: This stretches from the parliament and legislative assemblies, right up to the TV studios (sub-classification: studi-o-cracy). Here, any meaningful discussions which attempt to render the non-essential naval fluff superfluous are often scuttled and reduced to games which can be broadly classified as under:
(a) Your loot was bigger than mine, and furthermore you started it, no you started it, no you, hell you, heck you.
(b) My teenie is bigger than your weenie. Right on national television too. Where is the censor board when one needs it?
Maun-o-cracy: Silence is golden. An aphorism that is gruesomely repugnant lately. And if coupled with a staggering inability to understand the meaning of the word accountability, this guarantees two terms as a prime-minister. The second term though, is nothing but an exercise in seat-warming for a prince who once was a frog (and then he said “game-changer” during an otherwise scintillating debate on anti-graft, or other such poppycock; and that my dear, was the proverbial smoochie-woochie).
Proxy-o-cracy: This is an art perfected by some people of Italian origin. Power vests in people and bodies (NAC for example) that are arguably extra-constitutional. Ah, spare me the technicalities and legal explanations – understand the essence of this form.
Secular-o-cracy (of late, often prefixed by pseudo): This is perhaps the most dangerous construct. In this form one is supposed to walk on egg-shells and refrain from stating certain uncomfortable facts. Matters resting sanctimoniously on certain books and beliefs often end up over-riding sense and sensibility. Majority loses its voice, minority gets amplifiers and then everyone gets angry. Sometimes, very angry. They even vandalize the Amar Jawan Jyoti. The penalty for not walking on egg-shells and other such delicate perambulations is that you run the risk of being labeled “communal”, “storm-trooper”, “fan boy” or “RSS-chaddi”.
Repress-o-cracy: When logic, rationale and decency fails, this is often the form resorted to in order to silence those who speak uncomfortable truths. Sometimes, tear-gas shells and water cannons are used to good effect. Occasionally, this particular avatar could involve mafia of various genres, and not necessarily from whatsitsnamepur; the aforementioned mafia, some say, is an extended arm of those who govern us. Whistle-blowers are the most common collateral damage in this form of governance.
Grab-o-cracy: Land amassment, flat allotment, plot de-notification etc are usually the tools used to implement this particular system. Sometimes members of the dynast-o-cracy end up forming alliances with some large, very large, real estate companies too. Of course, that is all hearsay. Everything is hearsay when it comes to these issues. All in all, this is the most profitable form of governance. For those who govern, that is.
Disclaimer: This is an attempt at some horatian satire; resemblance to any character dead, alive or even – how shall I say it – comatose, is purely unintentional. For more serious stuff, please see some of the earlier blogs on electoral reforms, criminality and corruption in politics, dynastic politics, whistle-blowers, voter awareness, anti-graft and other such useless burning issues.