The above statement is an excerpt from Abdul Kalam’s interview about his planned Sril Lankan visit to promonote peace in the country battled with issues of the post eelam war and the IDP. The excerpt is an article from newspaper today-
It is a very mature statement to make to the media. I bet this one statement explains democracy and the beliefs it holds itself by. No other communist country would dare make such a statement. Democracy stems from the idea that every person is entitled to an opinion of his and there is an adequate set of rights for him to demand that his views be aired. This clearly and most evidenrtly is stated as a fundamental right in the name of freedom of speech and expression.
The statement makes me reminisce the last 60 years of democracy and appreciate how the country has grown amidst the many oppositions for every bill or a proposal that was made and how successful a democracy has been that no person feels threatened to express his views. We are aware of the situations in Libya, Syria, or any other middle eastern countries where even the right of demand for democracy is very much in its inception. How can we forge the most recent jasmine revolution which brought the democratic idea to news again and a pride as to how trusted a form of governance it is.
The above statement of Kalam indicates the tolerance we have as a nation for the policies proposed, the rights we have to make our beliefs heard, the thoughts felt and the ideas expressed. Of course there are pitfalls, there are times when we feel that there is no way around a sitaution where the opposition is so strong that the bill never gets passed- for example our lokpal bill which has faced up to 10 failures in a passing motion now!
Well that doesn’t mean we are an unsuccessful democracy in any way. For a country with a governance experiece of just about 60 years, we have done pretty damn well and shown suficiently strongly how seriously we ought to be considered. This was endorsed by the strength we displayed in the economic resilience when the entire world was grappling with the economic crisis. The replacement of the G20 as the decision making unit over the G8 is definitely a matter of pride and so is the exception made to our country by the NSG even though we are still a NON NPT nation. Well, bottom line is we are a proud democracy where the rights of every individual is met.
Of course when it comes to a large country like ours, it is hard to make a policy for every thought cos there always are two sides to a story. Either ways, I am really proud we have come this far and I am more proud of the statement which a very enlightened man makes. Criticism is a part of democracy cos each of the criticising faction provides a different view point. Criticisms always make us think in different dimensions before reaching the policy front or a decisional front. It is not perfect but it is a pretty damn good democracy and I am proud to every bit of mine to be a part of this 🙂