Saturday, November 03, 2007

Democracy tastes good. Try it!

Pakistan's declaration of state of emergency has prompted me to blog about democracy. What is it worth? I am not only passionate about the subject but equally confused as well. I always wanted to ask people who sleep on streets and barely have food and shelter of their opinion on democracy. I wonder what would they say? I would rather prefer to live in a country run by a kind hearted King who would take care of me, my security, my job, my house and all that. Why to live under democracy when this system is only about majority instead of equality?
I am a programmer by profession. I test my software under two scenarios - The best case when things are just perfect. Unlimited memory, 100% uptime, lots of CPU power etc. The second, when the application is susceptible to failures, what we call the worst case scenario. We can get more insight on applying the same philosophy to the political systems of today. What if the King or the General is not so good? What if there are human rights violations? What if the Army is used to suppress people and their freedom instead of protecting them? We can not win a war with an army can we? What options are we left with then? Not only Pakistan, we have seen this in many other parts of the world too. Even though the best-case was far better than any other system we know about, suddenly the worst-case scenario looks far more terrible. Recovery for them seems impossible and doomed.
So what is Democracy worth? For one, It never leaves you option-less. Helpless may be, may be painful at times but never option-less. You may not end up getting equal opportunities to succeed but you always have an option to gather people around your beliefs and push for a change. Opportunities may not come your way but you have an option to scream about not having them. A great fighter is the one who recovers from his fall, again, again and again. Democracy lets you recover. It smells sometime but it tastes good.

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