Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 22nd, 2019

Pursuing True Democracy

one of the basic issues in Afghanistan is that there has not been any transition of the society, at the grass root level, towards a true democracy. Though we claim our country to be democratic, we lack all the qualities that are required to nourish a democratic country in true sense. In fact, it is not just the rulers who form democracy; rather a democratic system is always developed by the society as whole.
Democracy is not like monarchy, where a single person took all the decisions of the nation. The subjects were bound to follow what the kings used to order them. Though in certain cases some of the individuals or groups could question the orders of the kings, on most of the occasions they would be accepted unchallenged. And, the system used to largely depend on the wills of the kings. If the king used to be somewhat merciful, the system would be lenient comparatively and people would have some sort of blessings, otherwise, mostly the kings were authoritarian, despotic and tyrant.
A democratic system on the other hand, largely depends on the nature of the people as a whole. As the system is people centered, the role of the people as a whole stands paramount in a democratic system. There are certain qualities that should be possessed by the people within a democratic country; otherwise, the experience of democracy would never produce the desired results.
Our struggle with the democratic system is largely nullified by the attitude of our people. As the experience of the system is new for most of the people, they are not sure of their roles and responsibilities. They still believe that the rulers have all the duty and they must change the circumstances. In this way they can also put most of the blames of the drawbacks in the system on the rulers and, themselves, avoid responsibilities.
However, it is really imperative to comprehend that such an attitude would never help us in bringing any change within our system. Though, 13 years can be considered very little as far as the experience of democracy is concerned, we have not been able to learn as much as we should have learnt by now or as much as we could have learnt, considering the opportunities and assistance that were available for us. For us it is not necessary to go through a lengthy evolutionary process of democracy like the other nations of the world; as we have the examples of others before us and we can easily learn from them. Today’s great democracies in the world had to go through the lengthy processes because they did not have the examples of others before them.
For the nourishment of democracy it is vital that all the members of the society must play their roles; there is no other option. 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. 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.
We have dishonesty in our intentions and extremism in our actions. The difference in opinion and thoughts are dealt through intolerance and even violence. Our statements have taken the shape of threats. 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.
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 individuals are paramount, some 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.