3rd August 2012
Threats of suicide do not constitute “participatory democracy”
I'm making note of this conversation which occurred a few days ago on Facebook. I'm doing so primarily for my record, but to emphasise that fasting as POLICY BLACKMAIL is an inappropriate way to seek change in democratic society.
By all means protest, write, spread the message. Civil society has that role. But fasting – that's something no one should use lightly. In Gandhi's view, that was only a tool for self-purification, to bring down violence, to persuade others to stop violence, NOT as a tool to demand something.
I'm glad that no one has died from the many POLICY FASTS we have seen in the last two to three years. Ramdev survived, Anna survived. And now Kejriwal (in a few hours from now he will end his fast). Had any one of these died, that may have led to an outbreak of violence, nullifying the key Gandhian tenet.
This is how it started, with my tweet:
SC: Well….Taking over Parliament is the Last Option. And you are not wrong. But Is Joining Politics and Forming Political parties should be the only way of Seeking Justice? So how do 1 Billion people represent themselves in Parliament? All stand for elections? Should people who are elected not be made Responsible and Accountable? What does "PARTICIPATORY"democracy mean to us?
Very simple example…How was RTI brought into place? Was a political party brought into being? If we start making one political party for evry EVIL in this country, we will have N no of political parties….If thts the solution..be it!
There is something thats called "Pre-Legislative process" in other Democratic countries of the world like UK and a couple of others. Constitution is ever evolving and shud not be Static. Adaptabilty is Growth.
Sanjeev Sabhlok Begging rascals, or committing suicide while begging those who are not worthy to be spat upon, is not my idea of "participatory" democracy. Gandhi warned against the use of fasting by those who aren't seeking self-purification. Team Anna has brought fasting down to blackmail. That's inappropriate. There are honorable methods available to participate – Team Anna should choose such methods. Threatening suicide and blackmailing the country is a very bad idea.