America’s shutdown reveals the weak points of democracy as a form of government. How can people be held to ransom by politicians who fail to resolve their differences? These politicians forget that they are “elected” by the people for a defined term to act under the mother law called the constitution and not because of any “divine” right. Did the people elect them for shutting down the government? Will the warring politicians or their parties go again to the people for a mandate for shutdown? If not, why not end this most unwarranted act of shutting down the government. It has neither logic nor ethics on its side. America has always considered itself the “leader” of the world, charged with all kinds of responsibilities like changing regimes, punishing dictators, establishing peace, rebuilding carpet bombed countries and world economic order among other things. What a contrast: it can’t do any of these at home, excepting shutting down governance!
Healthcare is costly the world over not because of anything other than huge profits. While nobody grudges the profits drug companies make, there is every reason to question them on “profiteering”. Why should they be allowed to sell pharma preparations at such huge prices? Are they justified in making commercial gains from human misery? Drug companies spend a huge chunk on advertisements and bribing medical practitioners for pushing their drugs to the patients, whether needed or not. There are unnecessary costly tests prescribed. They discourage use of alternative remedies of proven efficacy in use for centuries. They create such a frightening vicious opinion about these alternative methods that the highly educated but medically gullible people fall easy victims to their collective cheating. Let me give a real life example. I was invited for lunch by a Sri Lankan gentleman who was on UNIDO assignment in Rwanda some years ago. While visiting them I smelt some uneasiness on the faces of the couple, though they were trying their best to look normal. After some time I heard the cry of a baby. It took me no time to understand the reason. So I asked them directly if the baby was alright. I learnt that the baby was crying for some time and there was no good doctor available; so they were flying the baby to Kenya for healthcare. Since the couple were from my neighboring country, I suggested they try applying one of the ingredients available in their kitchen. The family were using this ingredient regularly in their food preparations, but had perhaps not heard of its use. They used it as advised and the baby had a comfortable day. We had our delicious lunch and the Kenya trip was cancelled. There are cheap, easy to get and within reach of every person medicines in almost all societies, traditionally in practice and which are being sought to be dislodged by the modern medicines. This unscientific war by the giant pharma manufacturers is devoid of all ethics and cause of failure of governance like the American shutdown. It needs to be condemned and corrected.
What is this shutdown in reality? Unemployment of the lowest paid employees! Does it affect the pay checks of the highest paid bureaucrats or law makers? On the contrary they get all benefits, perks and privileges. If America ends one military intervention, it can save enough to run the administration effectively. The single most unfortunate attribute of democracy is that its government is neither ashamed nor hesitant to tell lies to its own people. It believes in excellent “diplomatic relations” with its own people: promise everything, announce unique schemes, display generosity of a novel kind (healthcare in America & free food grains in India), declare special schemes for children/poor/minorities etc.- wars abroad and diplomacy at home! Snatch from the contributors to “soft power” to pay to the practitioners of “hard power”. Rob Peter, the poor fellow and pay all the Pauls, who are the privileged guys. Why not cut the pay of the top 10% of bureaucrats, ministers, legislators etc by 50 or 75% till the economy improves? No, they will never do that. Rather they don’t even entertain any such ideas, at least in India, but frown at whosoever dares to suggest that kind of solutions. What is democracy without crisis at home or crisis generated at home and/or abroad? It is meaningless, because it deprives the politician of proving the unique qualities of “Leadership” he or she alone possesses! But the lowest 30 to 40% want shutdowns to be shutdown for ever and governments becoming functional. We are not interested in differences among the politicians. We choose representatives to form a genuinely working government, and if they can’t do that let them resign en-block- we can elect another set of people. But they are not entitled to paralyze governance. If they do that, exemplary fines should be imposed on them.