If the progressives are criticizing the state (lets say for “operational excesses”), the conservatives are not going to be quite. They are not going to defend the state either, they will also criticize. For doing enough. It is like a fine balance, if progressive put some weight, the conservatives must jump on to add some too, to their side. The state, however, is far away from balanced.
So, it is not surprising that, at the same time Arundhati Roy- “the most hated writer of the middle-class” as the news-stars put it- refuted Indian democracy as “oligracy” (and a fake democracy), somone from the other end of the spectrum had to come and do the same. For opposite reason. This time, it was Pratap Bhanu Mehta denouncing Indian democracy as “quotacracy. (Thanks yayavar for the article).
Because of lack of time (and excess of energy), I will just counter only his first and defining argument ( of the deference between quotacracy and democracy). He says,
“A democracy values choice. Voters are free to elect whoever they wish. In a quotocracy, voters by turn are obliged to vote for someone with particular ascriptive characteristics.”
This argument sees democracy as a market place where voters may go and pick their choicest items (representatives). He hides the fact that, most people in india are ”lacking choice“, (apparent from their hatred towards politics/politicians), with or without quota. We dont hear a voter from unreserved constituency saying ”omg, our MLA candidates are so good, I can’t decide“. What quota does is beyond PBM’s thinking box. It generates the choice, the diversity from his PBM wants to pick. Like a WAG in a mall, he complains, but fails to see democracy as a dynamic continuum of the society, and society as a a heterogenous mass, where available choice incorporate the ascriptive characteristics of ell members.
Whose choice is he speaking of anyway!