The same floor, the same peel, and pretty much the same stumblers are to stage another civil farce for the next five-year stint.

The cliché that “democracy is the best revenge” must seek pardon now. We have had enough of its censored slogans. With the political predicament looming large and elections drawing closer, we are all set to paint our fate with the strokes of re-making. The only scuttling hurdle between the realization of objectives and their failure is that we are going to have the officeholder by direct vote which –if scrutinized in the context of domestic interest –has long been weakening the state skeleton. The preceding clause may find itself rather unpopular with young blood. It may sound queerly immature to the fully brains as well. So, before the sarcastic twitch of the lips or disapproving shake of the head, just put yourself at ease, gaze at the status quo, and ask yourself with an unbiased approach a couple of simple things: what are the prerequisites for the right kind of voting? Who are the people that we vote for or even against? And who are the voters? The reins in the wrong hands! We stand nowhere - lump it!

Primarily aimed at healing disparities in society, democracy is justifiably touted as one of the most workable pills for socio-economic malaise. It necessitates enfranchisement, enabling individuals, usually adults, to exercise their right to vote for their darling leader. The modern form of the term does have a lot of pluses to its name too as women, marginalized communities and the disabled can have their share of voice like any elite. But for all that the mechanism is unsuitable for us. It is ruining us secretly and has so far proven itself nothing but a pocket-stuffing means.

“A majority is more of a pretext than a yardstick.”

A democratic system survives on the pretext of the majority. Since everyone – the literate, the illiterate, and the corrupt scattered all over – can participate in elections, there is always a fair chance of forming a majority with either suckers or sages, or sometimes a confusing mix. Everyone is aware of the fact that who makes up the majority of the voting population. They are the ones who crave power not Pakistan. At the forefront are vigilantes, land grabbers, tax evaders, defectors, military proxies, sit-in gadflies, scare-mongering fanatics, and counterfeits with doubtful university credentials, not forgetting the screenwriters of corruption sagas. Do count misogynists and sex-starved lechers in. The rest are the aggrieved strategically robbed of education and other basic needs at a school-going age so that they grow up to get addicted to income support schemes patronized at provincial level and end up encashing their votes. And last yet important, to drive the decisive nail in democracy’s coffin, the army with the soppy excuse of the Indo-Pak tiff always floats around. The whole state of affairs seems like a self-seeking cricket team comprised of nine rugby players waving swords under a tennis coach in seaming conditions against the West Indian pace line-up of the 1980s. Weather forecast, no rain!

Both ethics and democracy go together. A nation devoid of the former spoils the latter. Those who make the premise that almost every country is fighting the similar sociopolitical ills should dissect the morality gulf between others and us. Nobody fosters fear as we do. And it is no fiction. Hardly does a country have thieves as dedicated and specialized as ours. In a state where free speech becomes sotto voce breath and impartial poetic and science discussions a profane, filthy attack, all optimistic songs of transparent elections turn self-nullifying.

So long as the majorities are influenced by demagogy and feudalism, the politicians will stuff their own bellies and leave scraps for their pets as a reward for soliciting votes across a particular area. The functionality of democracy can also be gauged through the reality that a nation bent on dodging electricity bills is assigned with a task of carving the future of the state.

“There is not a speck of difference between a person who is congenitally stupid and the one lacking discernment after the decades of fake stories”

We, as a nation, are victims of abnormal paradoxes. We rue and rejoice at our choices at the same time. As a matter of fact, we have refused to grow up. Growing is to decide rationally. It is to unlearn futile practices, abandon the company of pseudo-democrats, and choose a path that serves rice not bombs, reliable content not misleading knowledge, and solutions not lip service. The merit of a nation’s sense reflects through far-sightedness which stands on the shoulders of hindsight and the political incumbents that they decide on. But here having had the decades of a power blackout and lives down and out, the masses still persist in wallowing under Bhutto and some other hypnosis. Over and over again, they cherry-pick the same leaders, thinking that the materialization of promises is just a few yards away, whereas the fact is the other way around.

“True democrats don’t leave you halfway.”

The past and present archives bristle with the leaders who with the wand of democracy have helped their nations cruise up the peak of international repute. On the contrary, the ones that we [voters] pick delight only in harangues and humourless public appearances. Take Abraham Lincoln, for example – the man selflessly imbued with the spirit to found an egalitarian society. In spite of a career peppered with failures, he assumed power and held it justly until his assassination – by the way, a wise man would have made some offshore investments instead. He not only navigated America through the waters of the Civil War (1861-1865) but ended the scourge of slavery for good. However, when darlings get elected by dint of purchasable ballot and don the garb of honest, legalized trickery ranging from graft to military coups and martial law, democracy strips naked, exposing their skins and instincts for the public to see them. Ironically, to see one needs light intellectual or electrical. We are wanting in both, so to speak.

Once a cure, not always a cure! Someday, the thinking beings will have to bring themselves round. This vicious circle of backscratching in the name of democracy between pets and politicos will never stop in Pakistan. As a result, the national credibility and goals on the list will be left suffering from these contrived polls games. Hence, it would be more constructive to be disgraced with the truth backed by few than to be complacent with a lie which many enlighten us with. Pakistan was a hard-fought victory against pre-partition double-standards. Sadly, it is slipping back into the identical situation – in fact, the current being the messier one. Our predecessors, and rightly so, wanted the country to be democratically designed, but because of the unbearably incorrigible mindset –taken as a whole – it looks uncertain for democracy to recover from this chronic limp. Would it not be wise to switch over to a different tack? Or should we continue with this consensual stupidity and be vote fodder?

The whole state of affairs seems like a self-seeking cricket team comprised of nine rugby players 

waving swords under a tennis coach in seaming conditions against the West Indian pace line-up of the 1980s. Weather forecast, no rain!

The author is a blogger and a freelance writer. He can be reached at ravi.rk80@yahoo.com