Democracy, a silver bullet?

I’m a big fan of Democratic government. Went to war, in cyber world, with my friends whenever they say Saudi Arabia/China style of government is better than D-government. I’m pro-democracy because I believe in free will of humans.

So far, every dictator has ruled the people, crushed the basic rights in the name of religion, communism, socialism et al. We are not animals to be herded by some dictator. On the other end of spectrum, we have democracy. Governments & leaders selected by the people, for the people. Theoretically, we will be having a better leader under Democracy.

Democracy & Autocracy :: India & China

There are lots of similarities between the 2 states. Long surviving civilization, been master of trade for many centuries, severely affected by colonial powers, resource rich. Declared Independent around same time — late 1940s, big population to feed, lots of internal problems, both expected to collapse few years after becoming free and after 7 decades, proving every proving every naysayers wrong, the countries are surviving. To be fair they’re competing with global powers, in range of fields. with varied intensity.

Where are they standing now?

According to Polity data series conducted in 2015, India scores 9 points under democracy and marked as democratic state. And China is Autocratic state with score of -7. By these numbers we should expect Indians should be happier with freedom and Chinese should be crying because of the oppression. At present Indians are grieving and Chinese, sorry I cannot comment based on some news articles. So, Let’s talk about India, with leaders selected by the people. Before going in detail about India, lets touch the financial status of the two. China’s GDP is over 5 times as that of India. China has bought up millions of people from poverty. India is performing but not up to the neighbor.

Reason for India to lag behind is that there are too many people have authority to raise against a governmental act. This is double-edged sword. A bad leader can be questioned by a commoner or you can impede the developmental schemes. Unfortunately in case of India, there were impediments for, well, almost all the schemes, good or bad. Add to the misery, more frequently below par leaders are selected by people.

Should India be ruled by a authoritarian, like China? A big no.

If we are put through a dictatorship, our country would have been broken into multiple pieces. A dictator can’t fulfill basic needs of diverse groups that’s part of the country. The leaders even though didn’t make ground breaking developments, they somehow keep the country together. Elections in general, are decided by human emotions. This lead to emotional selection process blinds the merit a candidate holds. Thus we end up having very bad leaders. We can’t expect a developmental schemes from such leaders.

X-factor for democracy is that it encourages change. No matter how good/bad you’re. After 5 year term, you should go under hammer. Try winning election or go home. We can’t expect a dictator to step down, unless he feels so.

But why India is not leaping like China?

Answer is the same, people’s power! For development of a nation, you need strict measures, which is easily carried over by one party, authoritarian regiment. You can’t raise against authority. If a dam needs to be built, Indian government should answer list of stake holders. Whereas, Chinese government will construct a dam, brushing down all the questions. But imagine a leader who has power with no one questioning his actions.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I feel this is okay. Its okay to compromise faster growth with more stable existence. May be Democracy might not be a silver bullet for all the woes, but it’s not a knife tied over your head ready to drop on you.