On Democracy, Liberalism & Pluralism
Donald Trump, Zuzana Čaputová, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky… There are so many non-political persons, who have become the Heads of the Government in this contemporary world! Although the majority of them have been elected due to the wave of anti-immigrant, intolerant, ultra-national sentiment that has been prevalent in their countries, the recent election of Čaputová as Slovakian President and Zelensky as Ukrainian President form parts of an exception. They have gained the confidence of the people with their Liberal and Pluralist(ic) Ideology…
The global media have described these trend-setters as non-political persons, who have successfully encouraged people to counter ultra-nationalism with the ideology of liberal pluralism. The global media have also reported that people, who want party-less democracy, voted in favour of leaders, like Čaputová and Zelensky…
Since the birth of Democracy in Athens in 6th Century BC, an ongoing debate was on to ascertain whether the system should be party-less, or not! The Ancient Greek (or Athenian) Democracy enjoyed a long journey through the eras of Pericles, Eucledis and Herodotus (440 BC) before reaching Alexander’s Monarchy (336 BC)!
In India, Mahatma Gandhi and his protégé Jayaprakash Narayan, too, had dreamt about a party-less democracy… However, their experiments failed and Narayan formed the Janata Party on January 23, 1977 to protect the Democracy in the South Asian country…
Slovakia’s President-elect Čaputová started her career by taking part in a movement aimed at establishing local autonomy. Čaputová, a successful lawyer by profession, also worked hard to ensure social justice for children, apart from declaring a war against Environmental Pollution! She joined the Progressive Slovakia Party in December 2017 and became its Assistant Secretary in January 2018. However, the 45-year-old advocate resigned from the Party ahead of the Presidential Election. After winning the First Round of election on March 16 (2019), she registered victory in the Second Round on March 30 to become the first female President of her country. It is to be noted that Čaputová had received 58% of votes in the second round, as just 41% of the total population (of 5,450,780) cast their votes… According to the Political Analysts, the growing popularity of Progressive Slovakia Party helped Čaputová win the Presidential Poll. So, it might not be entirely correct to address her as a non-political person!
Interestingly, Čaputová became the first woman President of Slovakia just 22 days after the International Women’s Day (celebrated on March 8 every year). Nearly 213 women became the Heads of the Government or Heads of the State in last 100 years and most of them were citizens of erstwhile Soviet Union or East Germany (officially the German Democratic Republic)! Even some developed, developing, under-developed or Islamic nations across the globe got women rulers in the past. Currently, 22 nations have women Heads of the State and all of them are members of major political parties.
The concept of party-less non-political power is nice to hear. However, it does not exist in the real world… Of course, a ‘non-political’ or ‘apolitical’ movement can trigger the fall of State Power or a Ruler, but can’t effectively grab and utilise the power. At the same time, it’s unfortunate that Liberal Pluralism, till date, has never been able to defeat Ultra-Nationalism…
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