Oxford University press India has refused to publish an upcoming book To Kill a Democracy by Debasish Roy Chowdhury and John Keane possibly because of fear of the Narendra Modi government. This book is highly critical of the policies of the Modi government. Asia Times reports:
In an apparent attempt to avoid offending the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Oxford University Press has declined to print the Indian release of To Kill a Democracy, a book whose international edition was reviewed favorably by Asia Times in June.
Is Narendra Modi really killing Indian democracy? Let’s see.
What is democracy?
Democracy is defined as a system of government of elected representatives of people. In India a political party needs 2/3 majority to be in power. This is the majoritarian rule for which democracies around the world are famous.
Judging by this main criteria of majority rule, Narendra Modi is very much a democratically elected prime minister of India. His party BJP and allies won more than 2/3 seats in the last parliamentary election. Modi’s ascension to power is very much democracy.
So what Modi is doing to India is Democracy. He is not killing it. Modi is a properly elected democratic PM of India like what Hitler was. This is democracy. It actually is the peak of democracy. Modi represents the heart of a majority of Indian voters. I talk with them daily in my classes and outside them. They want a Hindu Rashtra even at the cost of their livelihood.
This whole episode reminds me of what H L Mencken said about democracy:
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
Narendra Modi represents this inner soul of the majority of the Indian voters. And this is why all the criticism of Narendra Modi should be the criticism of democracy. Narendra Modi isn’t a problem. The system of democracy is the problem which allows majority of people to dictate the terms. Narendra Modi is just an agent elected by the majority of voting public to do what their heart is desiring. Without their support, he is a nobody. This is the tyranny of many. Despotism of the crowd. To understand why democracy is the worst form of political system my readers are advised to read Frank Karsten’s Beyond Democracy.
People need to stop worshipping the failed God of democracy. It is time to go beyond democracy and look for better alternative political systems for the world.