Monday, November 23, 2015

When Does Democracy Become Demon-cracy?

Before I go to explain my views on the question in the title of this blog, I would like to tell you a small real life experience that I had some time ago.

It was the time when the city where I lived during those days was on the verge of beginning a real estate bloom for the first time. It was not a metro, but a booming tier-2 city with a population nearing about a million.

Since plenty of farm land was available around the urbanized areas, lateral development was not much of a problem. The city planners had been pretty liberal in approving land diversion from farm land to housing plots. Land for building independent bungalow type houses was not very expensive.

Things got changed as the lateral expansion of the city reached its limits due to mismatches in the infrastructural development with regard to roads and public transport. Then the real estate businessmen of the area came out with new housing offers in the form of apartments and flats.

Many people, who did not want to get in to the problems of roads, water, electricity, transport, safety, etc that plagued the independent houses offered by the colonizers in diverted farm lands, thought the multi storied buildings which contained the flat type houses would be better. I too was one among them.

The purchase and getting in to the hotel type living in the flat were not much of a problem. For us it was like living in the heart of the city in a large hotel by spending much less. Initially, the flat owners and residents hardly felt any problem as the apartment complex was kept managed by the builder. The resident owners of the flats were a happy lot because they hardly realized the hardships of administering the complex!

There were security guards who saluted us at the gate, cleaning staff who cleaned the vitrified tiles of the corridors and the parking areas better than we ever imagined, staff who collected the wastes from our doors and others who did pretty odd jobs for the owners without any hue and cry. The water supply in our taps inside our flats was a neat 24 x 7 and so was the electricity. The lifts worked smoothly to take us up and down from all the floors! And all these things happening in the heart of a busy city! It was marvelous and totally enjoyable!

Our joys did not go like that for ever. A couple of months later, the general manager of the real estate company invited us to their office for some important discussion. There we were informed that our honey moon days are over and we, the flat owners are now of our own. We were told to take over the day to day management of our apartment complex. The responsibility of the builders was over, we were told. We were reminded to read the fine prints in the sale deeds to which we were all signatories when we signed up for making those deeds registered in our names.

Nothing to worry, though. They re-assured us. All we have to do is to form a democratic association of the owners, register it, get it equipped with an elected management committee in accordance with the laws of the land. We have to form a registered society of owners with its own bye-laws and an elected committee of our own representatives who did the management of our apartment complex in accordance with the law of the land.

Many of our co-owners resisted the move. No-no! This is injustice. We do not have time to do all these things. We do not have the expertise for this. Had this been the case, we would not have purchased this flat. Is this the way it happens elsewhere? 

As the majority group opinion was against, we simply moved out without any action plan. We were typical citizens who liked to enjoy all facilities but not with those thorns of responsibilities!

But the builders went ahead as they had told. One fine morning the security guards and the staff were all withdrawn from the premises of our large apartment building.

All of a sudden there was great anarchy. There was no security, no cleaning, no water and the stench of the filth accumulating became nauseating!

I was too surprised to find the ignorance of the educated upper middle class house owners in these matters. All the rules of the game were given to us well in advance and we all had all documents to make us aware of the situation. But none of us bothered to know. The majority of us were neither willing to accept any responsibility nor had the enthusiasm to enhance our basic knowledge in these matters so that we could responsibly act for our own sake.

I also remember the pains I had taken to gather a few like minded flat owners, educate them with the consequences and the action plans to mitigate the problems that we suddenly got into. I remember the pains I had taken to draft the bye-laws of our society and the joint efforts some of us took to get it registered and take over the day to day management of our apartment complex from the builders. It was one of the first of that kind of acts in that city at that time! I was one of the founder members and one of the office bearers of our society. I had to spend much time and efforts to manage the day to day maintenance of the building complex by doing the honorary service as an office bearer.

Now being directly involved in the day to day management of our residential apartment building, I learnt certain things. 

For me personally, it was not a difficult task. But I experienced that this otherwise simple administrative task could  turn out  pretty bad and embarrassing  unless I honestly do my honorary service with sincerity ensuring cooperation with others in the management committee.

The service you do and the decisions you take on behalf of others are much more difficult than similar things you do for your own.     

It  is not so easy when you have to do your service or take decisions in a democratic atmosphere. You are bound to be criticized or opposed even for those things that you consider as the most appropriate and desirable! 

If there are ten people, there would be at least ten opinions and preferences. Your fellows will not agree with you for many things unless they too have the same understanding level as you. When your fellows all seem not liking your ideas or when you have to devote much time to convince your fellows for your wise decision to get implemented you are bound to become frustrated! More than thinking and adopting the best administration for every body's good, the requirement now demands some thing else. You have to manage your fellow beings 'cleverly' for a good administration to set in. 

Thus it would become important for you to adopt the game of politics for managing the day to day administration! 

The game of politics thus becomes an important necessity when democratic administration is implemented. Democracy is rule by the people. But when the people are a mix of individuals with varying degrees of mind development, they can be considered as good and bad all at the same time! 

You realize that you and your fellows are all with two opposing qualities built in one. All are essentially demonic with some divine qualities  incorporated within their minds.

The good and bad traits are not equally distributed, but are in varying degrees. In many groups now, the root mean value is obviously trending towards bad or demonic. So when demonic qualities predominate, democracy becomes essentially a tricky game of politics making it demon-cracy!

In other words, democracy is the best when the root mean quality of the concerned group of people is essentially good. Otherwise, democracy tends to become demon-cracy and the demonic game of politics becomes its integral part!

And in the game of politics, every thing is right or there is nothing termed as wrong.

But the game of politics in demon-cracy slowly does wonderful things for the people. Its gaming experiments enhance the experiential mind capacities and slowly make the people recognize the desirability of  adopting good over bad. In simple terms, this means the era when people naturally seek goodness or divine qualities rather than slipping in to the darkness of those bad and evil attributes of the demons!

Divine goodness is superior to demonic evil. All evil and bad things will vanish and good things only prevail  as things get forward in the evolutionary progress.

The only hitch is that it, the evolutionary progress, takes long time spanning several generations!