No democracy no more!

It is said that when faced with a difficult situation, sometimes you need to step back a little and gaze into it from the outside. You need to reconfigure and replan to find a solution to overcome it. 

Once a land known for its vibrant democracy, is India slowly turning into an authoritarian country? We teach our children the importance of having an opinion and voicing out their thoughts at home, so as to strike a balance between the generations that live together. Peace and harmony can only be obtained if there is respect and freedom of thought. So why is it that we are losing our own freedom of thought when it comes to our country? 

The Swedish V-Dem Institute’s Democracy Report, spoke about the speedy decline in democracy globally, and clearly mentioned that India “is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy due to the severe shrinking of space for the media, civil society, and the opposition.” 

We sit back after dinner and watch The Trevor Noah show and often question his freedom to speak about the current political leaders in America, unabashedly. And when it comes down to us in India, sadly it remains but a conversation confined to a home. There is no point in speaking for if we don’t conform by the ideologies of the government, there will neither be peace nor any future. 

Ashok Lavasa (Former Election Commissioner) tried hard in voicing his dissatisfaction in 2019 but was firmly transferred and this intimidation was felt by his family as well. Amnesty International, A Nobel Peace Prize winner was forced to shut operations and quit India. Most recently, Infosys Foundation too felt its wrath and sadly, one of India’s most respected businessmen, Narayan Murthy had to backtrack on his earlier views. He had openly said that there was considerable fear in the minds of (the) minority in India. He spoke about India having “the poorest health, dirtiest rivers, highest pollution and (one of the) poorest primary education” systems in the world. And he wasn’t wrong at that. So vehemently, he had stated that the Indian government was filling “textbooks with ideological fantasies and entrusting its top institutions with right wing fellow-travellers.” But sadly, he had to retrack. And this was considered a very humiliating reversal! 

The global leaders are sensing this change and deliberating on investments with us. And rightly so, for looking at the backlash Twitter receives on “toeing the line,” what exactly do we have to offer any of the multinationals, if we cannot even grant our own people the very basic freedom of speech. 

With the high profile saga of diamantaire Mehul Choksi, does it not reveal the magnitude of secrets that are unfolding, which perhaps also entwine our very own high profile leaders? After all, for all the scams that happen in India, it is no discreet fact that someone out there, at the top of the ladder is well invested into it as well. 

From shielding secrets to silencing words, our democracy is on a sharp decline into the dictatorship arena and if we don’t take a stand now, perhaps there won’t be a chance for us to even read the truth. 



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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