Few might know that UN observes international day of democracy on 15 September which was started in 2007 by a resolution in general assembly. All the UN member states are expected to observe this day.
The 2017 theme of this day is ‘ Democracy and Conflict prevention’. It focusses on the critical need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability. A more integrated approach to foster resilient societies calls for effective democratic governance with respect to human rights and rule of law. On this day, many events highlighting democratic principles are held to promote public awareness are held round the whole world.
In the present situation, many nations are implementing autocracy in the garb of democracy. The elected leaders seldom follow democratic principles. People are subjected to repression and their voices are being choked. They are being used as voting machines at the time of elections. In USA, manipulative democracy exists. The Trump administration is implementing a series of anti- people policies relating to health care, immigrants, blacks, etc. In UK , the government is proposing subsidy cuts to education. The European countries are restricting refugees from West Asia. The democracy norm of ‘ by the people of the people and for the people ‘ is being sidelined .
Condition in India
This day assumes more importance in India as right wing fascism is rife and killing are becoming alarmingly common. Few days ago, Gauri Lankesh , a staunch supporter of peace, was brutally murdered. A journalist in Bihar was also murdered. Muslims and dalits are being lynched. Kashmir is under severe strain. The UN high commissioner for human rights has castigated India on the issue of dealing with rohingyas refugees ( seventy years on, india’ s democracy is in need of urgent repair …the wire.in). The rulers have issued rebuttals but reality cannot be hidden.
This day must serve as a reminder, once again, of democratic ideas. People all over the world must work for true democracy. The human rights activists should hold rallies and seminars to debate on importance of people’s rule and rejection of rule by oligarchs and corporates. This is the time for mass mobilisation against communal and fascist forces taking control in the world. As Swarna Rajagopalan said ” This democracy day, take ownership. Resolve to be informed. Resolve to be pro- active ..” Decay in democratic values is a cause of concern and corrective measures are urgently needed. People should protect the values enshrined in the constitution by protesting the rulers policies which are detrimental to democratic and socialist values.
Sheshu Babu is a writer from anywhere and everywhere