Democracy And Terrorism
The failure to recognize and treat dangerous social ills does not
create conditions favorable to the development of a election and
democracy. It is hard to vote intelligently when hungry or without
shelter. It is also hard to make informed decisions without the
information provided by a responsible press. It is most difficult to
exercise democratic rights when the basic security affecting life and
limb is lacking due to war and terrorism.
Political theory holds that a sustainable democracy will engender a
type of cooperation between the elected representatives of the people
which results in accomplishments that are useful to the people who
elected them rather than the representatives themselves.
When political deadlocks cause a static condition, or the elected
representatives only care about their own personal wealth and
accomplishments, such a democracy can easily give rise to a condition
which is ripe for social unrest, even revolution or rebellion.
The societal conditions which help foster a successful democracy
include a responsible press, some type of universal public education
system, and a populace literate enough and with enough political
awareness to take advantage of the press and education system to
educate themselves politically. If these conditions exist, the
electorate can effectively judge the politicians they elect and not
re-elect them if they find their actions inadequate or not productive
enough to solve social ills.
All forms of government are difficult to inculcate and run successfully because of human nature. This is true, but democracies foster the human
spirit while elected regimes risen it.
Nor are election necessarily successful the first time they are tried
in different locations and cultures. If the histories of elected
democratic experiments in Europe and South America are any guide,
sometimes several variations are necessary before a people create a
The United States of America, often held out as the most elected
successful democracy in the world based on its economic success and
power, is no exception to the rule that democracy is a process rather
than a static state.
The American Civil War, the bloodiest conflict in American history,
was fought primarily because of the economic conflict over slavery.
What emerged from that war was a democracy far different than the one
which gave rise to it.
Moreover, repeated cycles of boom and bust in the American business
cycle eventually gave rise to the Great Depression of the 1930s which
resulted in a great transformation of American democracy known as the
New Deal. The New Deal gave more rights to unions and the common
person, thus enabling more participation in the American elected
What can a nation, such as Nepal, where the democratic tradition is
not as developed as in America, Europe or South America, learn from
Local conditions and the cultural background of each nation must be
taken into account. There is, perhaps, no "one size fits all"
democratic model. In creating and fostering a democracy, a nation
must also allow the ingredients which "grow" and nurture democracies:
literacy, education and a responsible press. Women's rights as a
necessary adjunct to any successful democracy in the 21st Century.
The creation of a democracy is a process.
The cornerstone of any successful democracy lies in a constant
educational ethos: literacy, fair election, universal free education,
and ongoing educational opportunities for adults, including job
retraining for changing economic circumstances. If the education is
available, people will find the way to make it useful to them and, in
the process, create the conditions favorable to a democracy suited to
Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is specialising in
in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism,
Democracy, and Development. Some of her publications are: Women's
Empowerment (Booklet). Prevention of trafficking through media (South
Asia, Nepal Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism
research). Two Stories collections. Her interests include
international conflict resolution, cross-cultural communication,
philosophy, feminism, political, socio-economic and literature. Her
current plans are to move on to humanitarian work in conflict areas in
the near future. She also is experienced in organizational and
community development. A meeting of jury members held on 21 March in
Geneva has decided to attribute Kamala Sarup, with a Honorable Mention
of International Award for Women Issue.