ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Democracy in Search of Decency

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Ideally, every election that is a necessary part of electoral democracy is expected to enhance decency in the practice of politics. Essentially, decency incorporates in its ethical thrust a moral value such as mutual respect for political opponents in particular and tolerance for democratic critique in general. However, in the most recent times, elections in India seem to have brought with them a diminishing sense of decency to politics, which looks less and less democratic in nature. Arguably, a depletion of decency as a commonly desirable good necessary for enriching the normative content of democracy, among other things, can be attributed to the fanatic use of the emotive language used by committed devotees for electoral mobilisation as well as defending the government in power.

This downslide can be witnessed in the emergence of the followers or devotees who practically, if not essentially, are quite fanatic in their support to the political leaders who are ruling the country. Arguably, these supporters are fanatics because they hold rather tightly within them an ill-informed and unmediated belief according to which the decisions taken and laws passed by the government are, by definition, good, and that such a government is right in enforcing such laws by coercion, manipulation and deception, and inflicting verbal violence upon the legitimate critique of the government’s policies and program­mes. It does not matter if the government does not parti­cipate in serious persuasion in order to engage with its critics. Such followers, taking their cue from the government’s spokespersons, are on a spree to denounce the dissenting voices. The question that one has to raise is this: Why is that the followers’ denigration of the critique is non-stop and unabated? Ironically, the destructive force of offensive language is undiminished because it does not hurt those who are the repository of such a vocabulary.

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Updated On : 27th Mar, 2021

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