May 12, 2014

Paradigm shift to servant takes time

Now that our big neighbour is right now in the throes of selecting a new five-year hopeful, its good for us to reflect on the process. 

In a democracy the general agreement is that our leaders are really our servants. We select them, give them a salary, and keep or dismiss them four or five years later at the polls. However, the irony of democracy in our nations, particularly so in our East, is that we still continue to treat those we elect to look after our house for five years or so as bosses rather than servants. The reason is not hard to fathom, for the collective thinking doesn't just go away with the stroke of a pen ushering in democracy. Our minds are unfortunately mired in the past in the nurturing we have been brought up in. And given the totalitarian context we have been immersed in for centuries -- from kingdoms to "democratic" fiefdoms, -- we the public have always been the governed - the servant.

With modern democracy, the concept of governance has been turned on its head so to say, and a people's government must have our servants to manage our "house". And, if that is the case, we ourselves must be actively looking out for our housekeepers without passively being influenced by the potential applicants or those that turn up at our doorstep to plead for a job every five years. I know of no one who would not have a set of standards by which he would measure their acceptability to be taking stewardship of their house -measured certainly on a moral scale than on an immoral one. Thus, we need such yardsticks too for our potential national house-keepers for us to be assured of a good night’s sleep when they take charge of our house.

Yes, it would take time for this kind of thinking to sink into the minds of our ingenuous polity - perhaps generations?! All during this intervening time, as we learn, we are perhaps doomed to have our house looted time and time again leaving the repair bills for our unborn children. The only chance is at the polls.  


Anonymous said...

Very enlightening article for the current ongoing situation, perhaps in relevance to, who is in charge of the household nation wide. We are not only immersed in for centuries but rather "simmering in the soup"! totally ignorant of the situation just a meter from the individual.

Abdul Sattar Yoosuf said...

Thank you for posting a comment; it remains that we the polity must learn more about this thing called Democracy, if we want it to work for what it is worth. The paradigm shift inherent in democracy is enticing to behold but yet so demanding to implement. How can we fast forward the learning process?