I feel truly humbled by the knowledge that the country I was born and brought up in, elects its government through a democratic process. While it is easy to speak about equality, in our day-to-day existence, social hierarchies are normal. And it is easy to mistake social hierarchies for inequality, and infer from these inequalities, that some people have a greater entitlement in the world. One may argue, that this behaviour is a relic of our evolutionary instincts of survival.
Yet we speak about equality. We speak about it as a paradigm we want to strive towards, because we understand the complexity of human culture in determining social hierarchy. In my view, a democratic election, is the truest form of expression we have today, to demonstrate one’s willingness to move towards a higher paradigm of equality. The recently concluded Indian election had a voter turnout of 66%, and over 500 million people voted to elect their representatives. People voted for a change in the government, and the politicians abode by the vote. Most of these 500 million people do not earn too much, and have very little social leverage. In India though, their vote counts.
The Indian media sensationalizes the elections, and makes it seem like a soap opera. Reputed international newspapers talk about the series of local and international challenges the new government faces. But I feel that it is important to pause. And realize that in the rat race that our lives have become, or not become, we continue to believe and practice democracy – the notion that every individual, man or woman, rich or poor, young or old, deserves one and only one vote on the ballot.