written by Chowdhary Rabiya Shafiq

The election process is everlasting practice of our society under the ambit of democracy. We usually get trapped right in the middle of electoral process, hapless victims of loud talking parties and feebly performing politicians. But when elections are over, we are forgotten till the next elections.

In this peace I will shed light on the sorry state of affairs of our democracy and the role of people in it. When people elect their representatives, they put their trust and expect them to work for them and sort out their problems in coming time. But the unfortunate state of affairs is that the same elected “leaders” forget the people who have elected them and never visit them to listen to their issues and problems.

Media is considered as the 4th estate of any democracy and people expect it to highlight their issues to the corridors of power. But these politicians mostly refuse to give interview to the media.

They are so scared from the tough questions and prefer to speak with media in press conferences only and that too rarely. In these press conferences, there are many journalists with their own agendas and questions and are mostly easy on these politicians. Only an individual interview can grill these politicians and make them accountable to the public. If we compare our politicians with foreign politicians, especially western and European countries, we see them much accountable and people friendly. In these countries, media is considered a bridge between political leadership and the common people. Politicians never decline to be interviewed by media and respond them happily. They understand the power of people and keep themselves attached to them.

It is the duty of political leadership to remain connected with the people, because ultimately these same people send them to the corridors of power to serve them and the country at large. In my view, in a democratic country, media has every right to grill and question the politicians and they are bound to respond and reply to them.

Democracy is not only about the ritual of election, it is more than that. The constitution is the real backbone of a democracy. The success of any democracy depends of the functioning of constitution and the responsibility of that lies on all the citizens equally. Citizen needs to use their right on government and the authorities, because they are untimely assigned to serve the citizen. But the reality in our country is that these leaders and authorities consider them superior and rarely care about their duty.

Democracy needs a body of public opinion. This means that citizens can participate in the governing process better if they take interest in politics, read newspaper, listen to radio, judge government policies and react to the misdeeds of politicians and the empty promises they make at the time of election.  The representative is supposed to work according to the wishes of the voters. At the time of election, every political party and leader presents manifestos to the people to vote for them. Tall promises are made in these manifestos, but after the election, these promises are never fulfilled. In such a situation, it is the duty of the aware citizen to teach these politicians lesson in next elections.

There is need for all of us to sit and think in this regard as this is the question of our lives and the future of our nation.

In democratic government, the opposition has very significant functions to play. In some ways the works of opposition is no less important than government. The government of course gets into office by popular vote. Till next election, if nothing unusual happens, there is no way of calling the government to account. The electorate has a major role in a democracy. But of necessity the role that can be played occasionally. In a normal working democracy, every policy or every decision of the government cannot be brought to the electorate for judgment. That would make the process of government impossible. But keeping the government under control during its tenure is another matter.

Day by day work of the government cannot be cruised by the electorate of the whole society, so opposition is a must. In a democratic set up, everyone has its role to play from citizen, opposition parties, media and the ruling party. Therefore, it is time for all the section to think and perform its duty in right way.

h Writer is the first Female Journalist and Social Activist from Peer Panjal region who is working for various news organisations and has done tremendous job.


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