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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 46 New Delhi November 3, 2018

Strong Democracy at Work

Saturday 3 November 2018, by Badri Raina

A strong democratic state
Must learn from the sultanate;
It better know who does what
At any hour of day and night.

So, first, the various agencies
Must spy on recalcitrant citizen;
Then they must do so to each other,—
The IB on the CBI, and both on other policemen.

And midnight is the auspicious hour
For making surgical strikes
On individuals and establishments
Who threaten with their dislikes.

Too many cooks spoil the broth,
Too many leaders democracy;
Strong democracy is best practised
Between a strong you and a stronger me.

When institutions run amock,
Working their own legitimate way,
It is best to have conscientious moles
Termiting their rogue display.

After all, in democracy
It is security not liberty
That must be guarded at any cost,
To preserve a strong democracy.

And inevitably such burden rests
Only on the strongest democrat
Whose muscles bunch and smiles menace
Under an all-condoning religious hat.

Badri Raina

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