I have not been able to understand the true meaning of ‘democracy,’ when I see the treatment currently meted out to the principle by our so-called democratic leaders, through their various undemocratic actions. Is democracy just the name of the casting of votes by an electorate on a general election day? I think it is much more than that. We have been independent for sixty seven years now and during all these years, there have been eight general elections whereby eight so-called democratic governments have been formed but none of the governments was truly democratic. Does any democratic set up allow success to the same faces and families, of wealth and power, in each succeeding general elections? Does it happen in any democratic society that a few family members within all the major political parties have virtual control of the parties where only their decisions are held high and accepted? Is tax-payer’s wealth plundered by rulers of democratically elected governments?
Does democracy allow trampling of merit within a country in matters of recruitment, transfers and postings and offering contracts of billions, by by-passing all the norms of rules and regulations? Do we see ruling parties being harsh and intolerant towards their opponents in any democratic political culture? Does it happen in any democratic society that the poor get poorer and the rich get richer? Does any ruling party impose sanctions against a private T.V channel or newspaper when it criticizes its misdeeds?
Does any democratic set-up allow mass scale corruption within all the public sector departments? Does it happen in any democracy that only persons of influence and wealth attain power and common men remain in degradation? It is time we seriously make an effort to become a democratic country. Only then will we be able to change the fate of both this country and its common and down-trodden people. We are not going to achieve much by merely casting our so-called precious vote, without really applying democratic norms in letter and spirit in all our political, economic, social, cultural and religious affairs.
ABDUL SAMAD SAMO,
Karachi, July 30.