Why you should’nt need to swear
[Here’s] the one that probably disturbs me most: the failure of the right to offer a credible alternative to the voter who goes to the polls. Not just in West Bengal, but all over this country.
As a believer in the promise of democracy first and above all, I long for the checks and balances of competing ideologies. Even if I disagree with some of them. For democracy means just this much – that all voices are heard and considered. Not necessarily that all ideas are followed, but that they are heard. That’s the vision, after all, of the great marketplace of ideas, all competing for public attention.
Yet for too long in this country, we heard only, or largely, the voice of the left. That’s why the ‘socialism’ that we enshrined in our Constitution. That’s why the peculiar tyranny that political parties in this country must swear by socialism if they want to be recognised. That much sworn, of course parties interpret that word as they wish. But where does that leave a rightist party that repudiates socialism, that even finds it repugnant, and wants to be true to itself – as we would want any party to be? What is such a party to do? [India Together/via Death Ends Fun]