DEMOCRACY CALLING 911! – Guest Author Satish Bhatnagar, Ph.D.
I do not know if democracy, as a form of national government, ever had a golden era in history in the sense when one nation after the other was vying to adopt it constitutionally. However, at present, any signs of its popularity have started to fade. It really bothers me. Having taught in Malaysia (2.5 years) and in the Sultanate of Oman (5 months), both theocratic Islamic states, I fully appreciate the Abraham Lincoln’s famous words on democracy – it is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. At the age of 80, I have reached the point of the fullest appreciation of the democratic forms of government, and the individual benefits that emanate from living in a democratic society. At times, its decision process may be slow for immediate actions, but they do build layers of strong foundations.
This line of thinking has been triggered by the recent political events happening both in the US and India, which in my considered opinion have been marring democracy, particularly in India and the US – the homes of the largest and secular democracies in the world. Here are a few disturbing scenarios in the order in which they have gushed out of my mind.
Both President Trump and Prime Minister Modi (Modi elected twice) have come to their respective offices after winning strong mandates from their electorates. But the leaders of the opposition parties have been hell-bent upon removing them from their offices since Day #1. Each one of them has already faced a non-confidence motion or an impeachment resolution. There is no longer any respect for the rule of law and of the electoral verdict of the people – the cardinal principles of democracy. That is the first nail in the coffin of democracy.
No matter what is done by Trump and Modi for the good of the people, the leaders of the opposition parties immediately start railing and riling against them. In India, some protesters have been destroying both public and private properties.
In the US, for a week, the anti-Trump media hardly covered the arsonous attacks and destruction of the US Embassy in Baghdad. The Democratic Party leaders seemed to ‘pray’ for the 1979 type of Iranian takeover of the Embassy – a plan which is fueled by the Iranians by proxy. The silence of the US Democrats is no less than complicit treason.
After the murder of an American, and the US Embassy staff under siege and fire, President Trump had issued clear warnings to both Iraq and Iran. General Soleimani was filled with arrogance at the falling state of the US Embassy that he flew in to Baghdad to see it all. Well, the US military intelligence coupled with the most sophisticated weapons that the US has, Trump did not miss even a second in taking the Iranian General out of this equation. It does speak of Trump’s decisiveness and of his not letting the enemy have a second chance – a page from the ancient Chinese book, The Art of War and the Chanakya Doctrine of ancient India.
For years, both in India and in the US, the non – citizens have been illegally voting by their thousands in many states. In both countries, opposition parties are supporting and encouraging illegal entries in the US and India, and providing them with more benefits than their citizens themselves are entitled to. Its corollary is that the opposition parties in India and the US are protesting against their governments requiring proof of citizenship for voting and other federal benefits. Interestingly enough, in the US, for domestic travel and taking loans etc, picture IDs are required and produced routinely. The same people who have half a dozen security measures in their homes want anyone to walk through the open borders and freely vote in the elections. They conveniently forget that a nation is a true home of its people. This is another nail in the coffin of democracy.
A sidebar to #5 above is the farce played on the US public by Robert Muller investigating for nearly two years if Russia meddled into the US elections. It was a $50 million fraud and distraction. The only way a foreign country X can interfere in the US elections is through assassination of its leaders, the laundering money to the election campaigns of some candidates and in the supporting of the non-citizens to vote in elections.
I can enumerate a bunch more, but the most fundamental question is how public opinion in the US and India is becoming undemocratic. Here is my unique and compact explanation. Since the 1963 changes in the US Immigration Act, nearly 95 % of the legal and illegal entrants into the US have been from countries which have no respect for the rule of law and no awareness of democratic traditions. Besides, thousands of people are given ‘asylum’ visa into the US – essentially for being snitches in their countries.
Furthermore, during the Obama administration, nearly one million people were allowed residency in the US – mainly from the Middle East and African countries. Most of them openly harbor anti-US feelings for the destruction of thousands of lives and properties in their countries. After 2-3 generations, some of these people have become US lawmakers and operators of the sleeper cells in the US communities and government agencies. Demographic shift is another nail in the coffin of democracy. However, Trump has awakened some Americans out of guilt complexes that they had been living under for the last 50-60 years.
The story of India is very different and it is global in a way. The world has come to believe that the Hindus in India are born to be ruled by the Muslims and Christians by proxy. This situation has become so convoluted that the Hindus in India started believing in their being incapable of governing India, the only land of the Hindu majority. For the first time in 700 years, Modi, a nationalist Hindu has awakened a very small percentage of the Hindus and won the election against all odds. The world wants to nip any Hindu awakening in the bud.
The global media has been integral in the break-India forces – a scene played out a thousand times in the last 700 years. It breaks my heart as I personally feel so helpless. The Hindus in the national parties like Congress and Communist, and in several regional parties are against the Hindus who are behind Modi. What a travesty of historic proportion – it never happened before anywhere in the world!
India is a clear case in which every major country in the world has a stakeholder amongst Indian politicians. For centuries, India’s borders have been the most porous, and foreign intelligence exists in name only.
If the present demographic trends in the US continue for the next ten years, then I foresee ‘ageing’ democracy in the US imploding from within. However, the ‘baby’ democracy in India will explode with continuing massive foreign support to break – India cells, if the Hindus in India do not learn a lesson from their history and still do not unite behind Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party. Politically, both India and the US are at their respective cusps.
In the context of the survival of democracy in India since 1947, it is pertinent to ask a question as to how come out of some 65 erstwhile British colonies, India remains as the only non-theocratic and fully democratic nation – despite the fact, India has no democratic heritage!!
Finally, it is in the interest of the US democracy to see that the experiment of democracy in India does not fail. It is not out of place to add that all the US efforts in bringing democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq have not gotten anywhere. That is enough of food for thought for the moment.
Guest author Satish Bhatnagar is a professor of Mathematics at UNLV. Satish moved to Las Vegas in 1974 when he joined UNLV, after graduating with a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
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