Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Discussion, Debate and Democracy

Debate, dialogue and democracy are considered cornerstones to establish people's will. Why then is the Congress candidate for Prime Minister's post shirking away from all three - He has refused to debate Advani, refused to take part in the Lok Sabha elections, and time and again refuses to address the public directly.

Mrs.Sonia Gandhi may well be within her rights to voice her opinion that "Disrespect of PM is disrespect of the nation", but let me correct her mistaken notion. It is not disrespect of the nation to criticise the person holding the post, it is a disrespect to the nation indeed when respect is not accorded to the post of Prime Minister. By his non-participation in debate, dialogue and democracy - Dr.Manmohan Singh and Congress have done precisely that.

Mr.Rajiv Dogra writes in The Pioneer:
Among the many splendours of his public discourse, Mr Amartya Sen’s The Argumentative Indian shines through. The image that it evokes is not that of a quarrelsome Indian, but of an enquiring, engaging and a questioning people. Mr Sen maintains that democracy flourishes amid a tradition of dispute, discussion and debate. And to cap his argument he quotes Ram Mohan Roy: “Just consider how terrible the day of your death will be, others will go on speaking, and you will not be able to argue back.” .... Mr Singh can still engage in debate with Mr LK Advani. People will then have the satisfaction of having judged them both, before casting their votes.
I agree wholeheartedly and find it amusing the same media which went into orgasmic frenzy over Mr.Modi's withdrawal from Devil's advocate is now refusing to press for a debate of the Prime Ministerial candidates. Just the TRPs such an event would generate should be enough to send all channels scurrying, unless there is a greater agenda.

While at the issue of criticism of Congress, let me add another point - Repeated reference to the shameful capitulation of Indian Government in the 1999 Kandahar hijack case. Is the media that amnesiac or simply devious? Even as a 14 year old, I remember following with distinct sense of unease, the public outrage orchestrated by the media in trying to get the Government to release the terrorists. Here's Kanchan Gupta on the crisis and its resolution:
“We want our relatives back. What difference does it make to us what you have to give the hijackers?” a man shouted. “We don’t care if you have to give away Kashmir,” a woman screamed and others took up the refrain, chanting: “Kashmir de do, kuchh bhi de do, hamare logon ko ghar wapas lao.” Another woman sobbed, “Mera beta… hai mera beta…” and made a great show of fainting of grief.
To his credit, Mr Jaswant Singh made bold to suggest that the Government had to keep the nation’s interest in mind, that we could not be seen to be giving in to the hijackers, or words to that effect, in chaste Hindi. That fetched him abuse and rebuke. “Bhaand me jaaye desh aur bhaand me jaaye desh ka hit. (To hell with the country and national interest),” many in the crowd shouted back. Stumped by the response, Mr Jaswant Singh could merely promise that the Government would do everything possible
(Read the entire article.)The only ones afraid to discuss an issue are the ones afraid of truth emerging from it. By skirting the issue and not engaging in direct debate, Congress is playing a dangerous game at undermining democracy and I believe it must pay the price.

PS: I hope this will be the only post taking up such a strong position against one particular party regarding the elections.


Puthali said...

Talk, talk, its only talk
Debates, discussions
These are words with a d this time
Dialogue, dualogue, diatribe,
Dissention, declamation
Double talk, double talk

saima said...

i agree on this one too :)

p.s. pls don't kill me for it!! can't help it!! :D

On a serious note- it would have been great if the PM would have agreed for the debate, but i guess he knows he is not as good an orator as Advani. Despite being extremely knowledgeable he still stands a lot to lose by having an open debate. They did this to save their own skin!
The debate would have been great to watch though!

shrek said...

I disagree - It is not about oratory, but rather about the position. Kapil Sibal and Arun Jaitley are two most prominent advocates in the country and both have my respect.
Inspite of being closely scrutinized, contrast the performance of Mr.Jaitley to that of Mr.Sibal. Sibal and consequently INC are in an indefensible position. (Remember that Cnn-ibn is heavily congress-leaning congress)

And I believe it is just a matter of self-delusion to think that Manmohan singh is a knowledgeable soft-spoken leader- he's been nothing more than a bumbling bureaucrat I would love to take apart most of his policies in the previous 5 years, but I don't want to be partisan on this blog

saima said...

Shrek, I re-read your post. And i must say, there are a number of things are disagree with, and don;t agree on this like i stated earlier.
Since highlighting them would need a lot of patience and time on my end, i shall certainly do so when possible.

Also, i think Dr. Manmohan Singh is one of THE most educated politicians our country has. And a developing nation like ours need men like him to steer us in the right direction.

But then, to each his own!!