India is perhaps the only nation that attained freedom after World War II and has not fallen a prey so far to military rule or dictatorship. This is so because our founding fathers were imbued with a spirit of liberal western traditions and incorporated the best of such traditions and conventions in the constitution. The grant of universal suffrage to the millions of the countrymen reflected the faith they had in the electors as well as the elected. Over the years, except for aberrations here or there. Democratic India has stood the test of time. Today, ours is the largest functioning democracy in the world and people admire us as well as our leaders for upholding the best traditions of this form of government which is of the people, for the people and by the people.
Democracy often described as rule of the mob has brought in its wake certain characteristics which are unbecoming of our rulers. Mobs are aroused over trifles in the name of case, community, religion and riots engineered in various parts of the citizen has been given, under the constitution, right of expression and freedom to practise his religion. Caste and communal riots are black mark on our democracy. But somehow they have given birth to a new political culture in the country.
Demonstrations are organized, protests staged and riots engineered in the name of language, caste, religion to build up vote banks for the interested political parties and their leaders. Passions are set aflame over trivial matters and peace endangered frequently in various parts of the country, solely to build up and consolidate these vote banks.
Another manifestation of the new political culture in the country in India is interference in the affairs of the students, who are weaned away from studies and other constructive activities in the name of electioneering. Student leaders are created and foisted on the innocent community by politicians who have an axe to grind in such elections. All that these leaders to is to confront the authorities over imaginary or real grievances and indulge in anti-social acts – all in the name of looking after the welfare of students. Buses are burnt, public property is looted, and the common man is put to great hardship and inconveniences for the sake of so called student welfare. And, poor student leaders act as mere pawns in the hands of unscrupulous politicians and their cohorts. Instead of channelizing the dormant energies and talents of our students towards nation building activities, these leaders turn them into anti-social elements.
But now people have become wiser. They have learnt that they can’t be fooled all the time by the exponents of the new political culture in the country. They have realised their intrinsic worth and given a befitting reply to such opportunistic politicians time and again. This shift in the perception of the masses certainly raises the hope that, out of the ashes of the present political imbroglio a new political culture will arise phoenix like and the country will be proud of its traditions and conventions.