Why democracy ?

We are used to thinking very highly of democracy — and by extension, of Ancient Athens, the civilization that gave rise to it. It’s therefore very striking to discover that one of Ancient Greece’s great achievements, Philosophy, was highly suspicious of its other achievement, Democracy.

This is an article to — “why?”

6thDecember 1992 The demolition of the Babri Masjid took place and then subsequently

12th March 1993 a series of 13 bomb blasts took place in Mumbai took place. 257 people dead. 1400 injured. During these events it was found that there was criminalization of politics and of the nexus among criminals, politicians and bureaucrats in India, and hence a committee was formed to make a report on this issue and was headed by N.N Vohra.

October 1993 The Vohra Committee Report when the vohra report was submitted it was over almost 100 pages and contained the detailed description on criminalization of politics and how the nexus among criminals, politicians and bureaucrats prevailed. But the whole report was not published why? Is it because the report exposed almost everyone in politics? Some of the information available from the few available pages of the vohra report suggests that nexus between the criminal gangs, police, bureaucracy and politicians has come out clearly in various parts of the country. The existing criminal justice system, which was essentially designed to deal with the individual offences/crimes, is unable to deal with the activities of the Mafia; the provisions of law in regard economic offences are weak. The various crime Syndicates /Mafia organisations have also developed significant muscle and money power and established linkages with governmental functionaries, political leaders and others to be able to operate with impunity. A suggestion was made of setting up a nodal point to which all existing intelligence and Enforcement agencies (irrespective of the Department under which they are located ) shall promptly pass on any information which they may come across, which relates to the activities of crime Syndicates. But fast forward to 2017

“ Report on criminal, politician nexus ‘lost’ . ” — Sunday Guardian Live.

“No annexure of Vohra committee on mafia-politician link in records: Home ministry” — Hindustan Times.

According to Sunday Guardian live article, The inputs given by the agency, at the time, had stated that there was a “definite” network between Dawood and a very big leader of Maharashtra since the late 1970s and as per their findings, this very prominent leader of the state got almost Rs 70 crore from Dawood till the 1993 blasts. The reports also mentioned how Rs 5 crore was given to another politician through hawala to help him in contesting the 1990 elections. The report also had the name of a “former CM”.

Another input that is a part of the annexures of the Vohra committee report, showed how two tranches of Rs 5 crore each was given by Dawood in 1992 to a relative of a Chief Minister who later himself became a politician. The annexures, as the officials recall, have prominently mentioned the name of a very powerful leader from the Congress, who at that time was a mid-level operative, but is now among the top ten. A former top IB officer said: “Gujarat-based leaders were prominently mentioned in the annexures. If the Home Minister decides to summon these annexures, if he has not seen them till now, he will find very familiar names in them. Every leader comes and makes statements on Dawood and Mirchi. The real test of intent is whether they have the guts to take action on the basis of what they already have — the findings of the Vohra committee that are encompassed in the annexures.”

But where are these annexures?

Hindustan times Nov 12, 2017 According to former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, an RTI application filed by him seeking information on this has kept changing hands in various departments of the union home ministry for the last two years with every department telling him that data is not held by them. Gandhi has sought a copy of the committee report along with all the annexures and note sheets. The Central Information Commission had directed the internal security wing of the ministry to gather information from the department where the application has been held and provide it to Gandhi. But even after the direction, the department, where it has been transferred to, has responded that it only has the report but no annexures or note sheets are available. The committee constituted in the aftermath of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts was chaired by then home secretary NN Vohra, who is currently governor of Jammu and Kashmir. With members from the RAW, the Intelligence Bureau and the CBI, it was tasked with taking stock of all available information about the activities of the crime syndicates/mafia organization’s which had developed links with, and were being protected by government functionaries and political personalities.

Coming to 2020

Gangster Killed In Fake Encounter.

Mysterious Death of a Judge .

Fake encounter Case.

How do we know cases are just like the Vohra Committee report? How do we know?

Perhaps from a 23 year old revolutionist Bhagat Singh who wrote in his diary the following.

“The aim of life is no more to control the mind, but to develop it harmoniously; not to achieve salvation here after, but to make the best use of it here below; and not to realize truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life; social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment of democracy; universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity — of opportunity in the social, political and individual life. — from Bhagat Singh’s prison diary, p. 124”

― Bhagat Singh.

Socrates’s point is that voting in an election is a skill, not a random intuition. And like any skill, it needs to be taught systematically to people. Letting the citizenry vote without an education is as irresponsible as putting them in charge of a trireme(Boat) sailing to Samos in a storm. Thus this is why world famous Greek philosopher Socrates hated democracy and went on to have a catastrophe experience when he was put on trial on trumped up charges of corrupting the youth of Athens. A jury of 500 Athenians was invited to weigh up the case and decided by a narrow margin that the philosopher was guilty. He was put to death by hemlock in a process which is, for thinking people, every bit as tragic as Jesus’s condemnation has been for Christians.

Perhaps we need a Democracy 2.0 much more transparent and which truly makes a welfare State.

The 20th Century India had Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and many more in no particular order. Who are the revolutionary leaders of the 21st Century that will not just make India a bit better but every neighborhood and the World and what would be the changes needed to make our Democracy even better?


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