Friday, July 15, 2011

Pakistan - A demo-dictocracy

I am a staunch supporter of democracy as it is about giving role to everybody and making everyone responsible in a society. Democracy is not about going to electorate and making passionate speeches calling for insaaf or playing victim and making pledges which any sane mind would rubbish. It is about bringing everybody to a common ground and letting everyone play a role, share responsibility and be accountable for it. Briefly, its about involving the masses in decision making, and leading from the front by being sensitive to the needs of society.

Democracy and progress become inter-related when the system becomes efficient enough to give everyone the room to march forward, not just select few. When individuals are held accountable for their actions, culture of self-correction in the system reigns, only then do we call it a 'Positive Democracy'.

To define a not so positive democracy is far more easier. A democracy which is to consolidate power, to create obstacles for the sake of being populist. When actors, and the people who are to keep a check are no more responsible in delivering, that is called a not so positive democracy.

I believe it was important to explain my ideas so that the readers to be cognizant of my faith in jamhooriat.

As I've laid down my barometer for making a judgement about the system, lets test our own country's politics first.

  • Is the democracy practised in our country enabling the civil society to come forward and take ownership and be responsible for their actions? Is it about delegating or consolidating the powers?
  • Are the political actors in our country democratic themselves?
  • Do the political actors have any vision to educate, and make the masses aware of our problems?
  • Are the political actors not part of the government, but in parliament doing anything positive or contributing positively to make the system efficient other than delivering fiery speeches and make hue and cry over same old corruption, bad governance, mud-slinging etcetra ?
  • Is the media acting responsibly as it is now a pillar of the state? Is it educating people or it is busy earning revenue by sensationalism? Is it playing any role in integrating the country or disintegrating the country? Is it telling us the facts?

I leave it to your judgement to decide whether we're living in a positive democracy. Another way that I put not so positive democracy is demo-dictocracy. However, in the end I'd say that best dictatorship is worse than worst democracy.

We want democracy, not demo-dictocracy!


  1. The concept of democracy is a sham. There is diversity in life which it fails to recognize. A Phd in political science can't be negated with a single vote of a person who has no perception of international politics, relations and other realities. People will never be equal to have equal rights of voting. This diversity will persist. Democracy in third world countries is even more abominable and absurd concept.

  2. completely agree with you on all points and the answer to all the questions is a NO most of the time but i would never agree with the last statement you my opinion the best dictatorship is worse then the worst democracy. all in all a good write up. its just in Pakistan its the people first who don't allow the democracy, its the media discussing on the day of the oath of the president where the the president is going to be buried when he dies.Give democracy some space to let them be democratic. :)

  3. @Atta: true indeed, but also the interests can't be divided so that a PhD is given more rights than a common man.. that would make it a elitist democracy

  4. I do agree to most of your points but I think you missed the debate of president Zardari in which he talked about the Political Actors. The term political actor refers to those people who are not part of politics but they are acting like politician means for instance journalists.

    I do agree to your last comment, democracy is the correct path. Because if you increase share holders of a system then it will be more stable, for example; Car is more stable than unicycle. If a car is not in running condition it will not damage its passengers but in unicycle it needs to be very progressive, slight mistake can break somebody’s neck.

    Unfortunately our politics is not mature enough and people are also confuse between good politician and good speaker. Hopefully if democracy matures we will also matures with it..

  5. @Azer, the term 'Political Actors' refers to the people doing action on the political scene. Asif Zardari uses this term in some other context and to put it precisely he calls them syasi fankaar or syasi adakar. I hope the misunderstanding is cleared :-)