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Indian democracy: A thing of beauty

According to highly placed sources in the Union government, India not only respects dissent but also protects media freedom and human rights, both of which, the sources said, enjoy the heaviest protection in an erstwhile State in the northern part of India. The sources also confirmed that India upholds the fundamental rights of every one of its citizens, including the right of victimised Indians to have FIRs registered against them for whatever crime is committed against them.

“Contrary to the international propaganda being disseminated by anti-India forces in collusion with their anti-national collaborators within our borders, the government of India is a staunch advocate of the right to dissent,” said a very senior official in the Ministry of Home Affairs, who did not wish to be identified or come on record or even share his phone number. He shared this information, which is classified as ‘top secret’ under the Official Secrets Act, through an intermediary from a parallel universe.

Another top source close to the PMO disclosed that India, regardless of what its citizens might think, is the world’s largest democracy and will remain so even if it becomes a one-party dictatorship. When asked about certain remarks made by the Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations on India’s recent track record in protecting democratic rights, the source said, “We don’t give a rodent’s posterior what the U.N. says or what a random niece of an American vice-president tweets.” The Indian government’s official stand, he reiterated, “is that the frequent jailing of those who criticise the government poses no threat to democracy. Rather, the biggest threat to Indian democracy is from highly educated people and Foreign Destructive Ideology.”

Fairer than fairness creams

The highly placed source’s brother (HPS-B), who works for India’s leading pro-farmer, pro-worker, pro-poor crony capitalist, said the biggest strength of India’s democracy is its free and fair elections, which are freer than pigeon droppings and fairer than fairness creams. Elaborating further, he said Indian elections have two special ingredients that make India one hundred times more democratic than a country that actually has the word ‘democratic’ in its name — the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The two special ingredients are electoral bonds and EVM-with-VVPAT. According to HPS-B, who recently became a Canadian citizen (because you never know how things are going to go down in India), it is electoral bonds that protect Indian democracy from being usurped by the voting public. By empowering good-hearted crony capitalists to provide anonymous performance incentives to political parties before elections, electoral bonds ensure that government policies post-elections are what they should be rather than what the voting public wants. “This governance innovation is India’s unique contribution to the global heritage of democracy. The Indian government deserves the Nobel Prize for coming up with such a brilliant mechanism that effectively guarantees a peaceful yet relentless transfer of power and wealth from the 99% to the 1% regardless of which political party is in power,” he said.

Reverse psychology

EVMs-with-VVPAT, he explained, make Indian elections so safe, so secure, and so immune to hacking and tampering that there is no need for an independent expert to verify these claims, nor is there any need for tallying EVM votes with VVPAT slips. The VVPAT, he pointed out, is like the Constitution of India. “Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we should allow citizens to actually benefit from it.”

On the issue of farmer protests, another highly placed source in the Agriculture Ministry, who has more than 20 years of experience as a highly placed source, said farmers were practising reverse psychology on the government.

“Reverse psychology?” I said. “How does that work?”

“These farmers at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border love the three farm laws so much that they are scared the government may never implement them. Have you ever felt that fear — when you think something is too good to be true?” he said. “That’s the sum total of the farmers’ fears about the farm laws. They think these laws are too good. So, it’s only to make sure we implement them that they are protesting AGAINST these farm laws. Do you see the reverse psychology at work here?”

“Not really,” I said.

“Look, now that the protests are out there, the government has no choice but to implement the farm laws. Not implementing them will make us look weak. It will look like the government changed its mind after listening to ordinary citizens. The last thing we want is for the masses to start imagining that they can have any say in how the people they chose to govern them, govern them.”

“And the protesting farmers know this?” I said.

“Absolutely,” he said.

“In other words,” I said, “What you’re saying is that the farmers are protesting to make sure that their demands are not met?”

“Exactly.”

“By this logic, any dissent against government policies would become pointless, wouldn’t it?”

“Of course!” the source smiled. “That is the beauty of Indian democracy.”

G. Sampath is Social Affairs Editor , The Hindu.

sampath.g@thehindu.co.in


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Printable version | Sep 15, 2022 2:28:41 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/satire-india-respects-dissent-according-to-highly-placed-sources/article34044382.ece