A commenter asks me to read a news article today quoting neoliberal corporatist shill Barack Obama saying that India is a “thriving democracy.” I suppose compared to places like the Arab World, Iran, most of Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Indonesia, Brazil and Paraguay, it’s a relatively democratic place, considering the nightmarish conditions of your average Third World shithole country, an assemblage that India is a part of. First of all, I would like to commend the commenter for his interest in democracy, provided it is sincere. Is it? Do high caste Hindus really want a democracy in India? When in human history have upper class elites ever supported democracy? Leaving that aside, the notion that Indian democracy should safeguard what it has and build on it is a noble one. India’s handling of the language question was a superb showcase of democracy, especially compared to the utter failure of neighbors like Myanmar, Pakistan and Nepal on the language question. India’s handling of the language issue, after a false start, was a par exemplar for the Third World. Let us give credit where it is due! I acknowledge that India is a relatively democratic place. But let’s face it, at the rural level, India is not very democratic and never has been, possibly ever in its entire blighted history. Rural India is a horrid dictatorship of high caste thugs and their private armies. They have the state, cops and courts on their side, and peaceful protest is useless. This is after all why the Maoists took up guns in the first place, after decades of futile peaceful protest. Almost all of the Congressmen in India are known criminals – thieves who have stolen typically millions of dollars. My understanding is that peaceful demos are regularly attacked by police. Is this true or not? And there is some pretty nasty stuff going on Kashmir. Young men being abducted off the street, tortured and murdered, then dropped on the side of the road. Their crime? Throwing rocks I guess. Hindu nationalist gangs regularly run rampant through India’s cities and rural areas, threatening, beating and even murdering Christians and Muslims, burning down their property and even their villages. They have the full support of the local Hindu police and state in these actions. How is this democracy? Here in the US, rural America is not ruled by a dictatorship of upper class thugs. The vast majority of Congress are not obvious thieves and criminals. The bribery that goes on 100 million times a day in India is a crime in the US. In Indian state hospitals, you either bribe the doctors to take care of your sick relative, or they will leave them to die. What’s so “democratic” about that? What good is my marching off to vote once every few years if I have to bribe state doctors not to kill my relative? Good Lord. At Indian universities, Dalits have their own gangs of thugs. Professors are threatened to pass on Dalit students with good grades. If they do not comply, they are beaten or worse. Hence, India’s education system is largely a joke, its degrees watered down with threats, fake marks and mass bribery. In the wonderful Indian democracy, we have recently heard that most large Indian newspapers are charging politicians for favorable coverage. No bribes to journalists, and you get negative stories. Pay off the Fourth Estate and expect plenty of nice fat puff pieces.We have not even descended that far here in the US yet, and we’ve sunk pretty low. This is democratic? How is it democratic that “supporters” of the Maoists are regularly beaten, tortured, raped and murdered? Exactly what crime have they committed? Can you cite the crime that says it is illegal to be a “supporter” of the Maoists? What does it mean to be a “supporter?” Can you spell it out for me please? If it’s illegal to be a Maoist supporter, why can’t you just arrest them and put them on trial? If it’s a crime deserving of death to be a Maoist “supporter” (Define please), why should the Maoists not have a right to kill ever government “supporter,” whatever that means? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, no? My understanding is that journalists who merely report on Maoist rebels are now being accused of violating Emergency Laws. For instance, Arundhati Roy is being threatened with arrest by the high caste criminal gangsters who run Chattisargh. Please tell me exactly what crimes Mrs. Roy has committed in writing in her articles. Specify the precise laws she violated, how and why. Say I want to go to India as a journalist. Explain to me, if I plan to write about Maoists, how it is I can do so without violating the law. Explain what the laws are and how we journalists can somehow not run afoul of them. Thanks! Meantime, I will have to think over that “Indian democracy” bit just a little.
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