The prevailing fascination of a large section of Indian public for the Hazare-Ramdev duo smacks of a feudal mindset. Swiftly jumping on the bandwagon of a charismatic person seems to be the easy option for most. The curiosity element aroused when a new product is launched in the market is also on play here. The visual media too is eager to make a killing. Such circumstances focus on the danger of a directly elected presidential system. The convoluted parliamentary form of government that we now have appears much virtuous in comparison.
Obsession with the Shining India is one of the reasons for growth of cynicism towards politics. Lack of distinct ideological content is also responsible for the absence of emotional pull that politics once had. An assembly-line and service-delivery approach to administration has dehumanized it and robbed it of the participatory sentiments. Invariable privileging of expertise has further widened the disconnect between the rulers and the commoners. Outsourcing in every field is promoting mechanicity and indifference.
Well, these might seem straight from a Marxist’s critique of Capitalism, but there is something deeper here. Democracy confronts a crisis and no definite solution is in sight. The semblance of democracy that the Corporates follow with regard to their shareholders is also a sham. Hazare-Ramdev, too, are top-down phenomena who shun elections. A proportional representation system at the Centre on the basis of State level elections, therefore, will be a more secure and fair arrangement. [TNM]