Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Democracy Requires Persistence

As a member of a state that claims to have a democratic system, every individual must strive to be as much active and vigilant as possible. It is the demand of democracy that everyone must participate in the affairs of the state and must ensure that he has a part in it. It is not only the duty of the political institutions to work for the development and success of democracy, all the other institutions within the society, along with the individuals from all walks of life must feel their responsibility towards a democratic development. 

The nourishment of democracy would require us to be really careful. Along with the political efforts, we would require amending our conscience and our inner selves, as well. The departure or distance from democracy would only spoil us to a further extend. Now that we have decided to welcome it with open arms we require changing ourselves. It is basically the only way towards peace and tranquility.

As an individual, first of all, we need to change our behavior. A democratic behavior is largely based on the art of proper speaking and the patience to listen carefully. Democracy supports the freedom of expression and allows everyone to say what he wants to say. In democracy we basically accept the sort of environment wherein we can be opposed openly. Those people who support democracy fundamentally want that the issues should be solved through dialogue and reasoning not through violence. They want that the opposite reasons should be listened to sufficiently and the claims should always be reconsidered.

Within democracy, as an essential element, we need to develop the preparedness to accept that the truth may not be with us and it may be with others. Democracy is never suitable for those who believe that their views are absolute and final and they do not have the patience to listen others. That is the basic reason that Taliban do not favor democracy. They believe that only their ideas and thoughts are correct, while all others have ‘false’ and ‘non-Islamic’ ideas and thoughts.

It is really vital to understand this basic truth that the absolute truth has never been known by the people. Yes, certain aspects of a complete truth have been known and people have to compromise with the same. These aspects are present within different circles. Within the circle of politics the aspect of truth lies within a system which considers the welfare of the people as its basic pillar. And, democracy strives to establish the sort of circumstances that are suitable to guarantee welfare of the people.

Though we have had considerable strides towards democracy, yet there are many behavioral issues that we need to deal with. We have dishonesty in our intentions and extremism in our actions. The difference in opinion and thoughts are dealt through intolerance and even violence. Mahatma Gandhi had said that intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. Our statements have taken the shape of threats. Some people have even started the attitude of calling others with different opinions as non-Muslims and infidels. The true spirit of democracy can only be found in the theories and promises; therefore, the people do not see the true practice of it and are ambiguous about it. This is really unfortunate that at this instance of hope and great expectations we are suffering from these problems; yet, we do not have to be disheartened. Acquiring a true and stable democracy is a difficult task and it requires a lengthy process of evolution. The great democracies in the world have been able to achieve their distinct positions only after many decades of political evolution. We, therefore, require giving it time and never give up struggling for it.

If we really like democracy and democratic values, we would require making its prerequisites possible. We would need to feel our responsibility in order to lead our country towards true democracy; otherwise, the dream of democracy may shatter and we will not be able to recreate it. Though the roles of government and the people play a very important role in it, most of the responsibilities go to those leaders and religious scholars who have great influence in forming the opinion and the attitude of the people. They need to understand that instead of sowing the seeds of hatred and intolerance in the minds and hearts of the people, they can spread love and tolerance and they can really participate in forming an environment that is suitable for democracy. As Barack Obama had said in one of his press conferences, “The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose.”