We have learned that even though we have the hardware of democracy — institutions, elections — our software is not good. We are too attuned to status, too willing to submit to authority.
Been finding it interesting (more so intriguing) to note that after encountering efficient, non corrupt processes in countries like UK, the solutions for India from Indians here are still mostly on lines of:
- ‘Shoot all the leaders’,
- ‘Congress is corrupt, BJP will bring ram rajya’,
- ‘Anna Hazare is the saviour’,
- ‘we need a dictatorship’ (which, both the above options might easily deliver), my etc.
No one, not even the most intelligent, insightful IIT/IIM educated folk I’ve met or read, suggest what I find to be the obvious: ‘strong, independent government institutions’.
The strength of western democracies isn’t derived from non-corrupt leaders (they are corrupt here too, just not in such an open manner), or from being led by a god anointed party or leader (highly religious states in EU seem to have higher corruption), or from a great leader(!) who has lead them into a shining future.
The strength of western democracy, IMO, is derived from its strong institutions which deliver what they are responsible for, irrespective of – government of the day, mood of the populace and mood of the boss. More importantly, institutions which, while consistently delivering their responsibilities, rarely over reach.
About time that we stopped thinking in terms of individuals and personalities, and started thinking in terms of institutions, organisations, structures and processes. Yes, it’s boring, it doesn’t let you (or anyone) be a hero. But, it delivers. Time, after time.