Dictatorial Democracy: Continuing the Discussion

19 Jul

In my previous post on this topic, I had argued that the issue at stake was

…of freedom…without freedom of speech, there’s no freedom of thought…and without freedom of thought, a people can’t be free…as a result when governments usurp this freedom, they strip their people of the basic human right required for a functioning democracy.

Amit Verma makes a similar (but more cogent & well-written, of course) point in the Guardian Comment is Free:

Despite a few flaws and hiccups, India is a remarkably well-functioning democracy, given the many disparate regional and religious identities it contains. If there is one thing the terrorists would like to strike at, it is India’s tradition of being a (more or less) liberal democracy. Free speech is at the heart of this.

I had also made the point regarding the power-fuelled arrogance of all governments leading to dictatorial tendencies.

Falstaff responds to Amit’s post with an elaborate comment on similar lines:

So I don’t think it’s just about censorship, it’s also about accountability and transparency. I agree entirely that the ban is “stupid and ugly” but even if the government believes it is necessary it at least has the responsibility of informing us exactly what it’s banning and why so that we can publicly debate it. Why was the ban imposed through a confidential letter to ISPs? Why didn’t the government make a public statement to the effect that they were blocking certain sites? By hiding behind a veil of obfuscation and outright lies the government has systematically attempted to evade accountability for its actions.

Overall i think Amit’s piece is not just a good analysis of the issues at stake & the chronology of events, with good links. The piece & the discussion on it, is an excellent discussion about the very definition of democracy. Do read in full here.

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Posted by on July 19, 2006 in Life, Links, Media


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