The Need For Unity Amidst Crumbling Democracies
It is said, nothing so sharpens one’s appreciation for democracy as bearing witness to its demolition. Recent events across the world have triggered ‘the future of democracy’ as the primary topic for discussion, globally.
The past fifteen years have rendered most of us as mute spectators, witnessing democracies crumbling around the world, giving way to a more authoritarian form of governance. Or then, in countries like India – the largest democracy in the world, and in the USA – known as the ‘Champion of Democracy’ itself, we see the essence of democracy increasingly compromised. While both – India and the USA – did initially meet the basic conditions for political equality – a prerequisite in a democracy, when measured against the ongoing political events and agendas, it is clear to see that democracy, in its true sense, seems to be crumbling.
Issues corrosive to democracy – like political intolerance, domestic terrorism, human rights violations, increasing totalitarianism with the incapacitation of the Opposition which is meant to check and balance the ruling government, crippling polarization, assaults on and gagging of the free press, social-media abuse nurturing misinformation, pseudo nationalism, a corrupt administration, and the undermining of elections – have become rampant in India.
As one of the world’s smallest communities, we need to understand what the fallout of a crumbling democracy entails for the future of our community. The assured rights of a country’s citizens in a democracy get diluted against the backdrop of neither being its natives, nor having the numbers to flaunt a vote-bank. The need for unity in our community is at an all-time high, especially in the wake of recent events, where state machineries have been pushing their agendas, at the expense of our religious sentiments and heritage – like the relocation of the Parsi Gate or the Metro fiasco, to name just two of other such instances.
There is no doubt that a solid, united front could have posed a better, or maybe even a successful, opposition to such unfortunate eventualities. Airing the community’s dirty laundry in local and national dailies has got the attention of opportunists who will take advantage of the disunity in our community and the discord amidst its leaders. Were we perceived as an integrated lot, in unison as a whole, it would have them thinking twice before even approaching our community for such invasive leeways.
The infighting must end, at all levels. Personal egos need to take a backseat to protect our community’s interests, welfare and survival. It is time to grow up, cultivate a mature and inclusive mentality, and behave like responsible adults who can agree to disagree without disrespecting others. Wouldn’t it be marvellous to have our community visionaries and elected frontrunners set the precedent for the rest of us?
The strength of a community is directly proportional to its unity and it is this strength which will hold us in good stead against all threats – be it an epidemic or a democracy losing its hue. May 2021 usher in a renewed commitment towards the unity and solidarity of our community.
Have a good weekend!