Inner party democracy, anyone?

Hi all,

We always pride ourselves with the fact that we are the world's largest democracy. Every five years when we go out to vote, we leave the rest of the world in awe. We make them wonder how such a staggering exercise is being conducted without major hiccups. The statistics alone is sufficient to rattle any planner and put him/her out of sleep for days.

For all the chest beating that we indulge in, there is a darker side to our democracy that we usually don't visit that often and would certainly like to keep it under the wraps from prying outsiders' eyes. Probably you would have guessed what I am talking about right now.

Inner party democracy has not been on the agenda of many political parties for a long time. They, conveniently, forget the fact that charity starts at home and that being propagators of democracy also means that they themselves have to practice it both in letter and in spirit first. Most of the political parties today somehow give inner democracy a miss. Dynastic politics seems to be the order of the day. If not that then it is a single strong man whose whims and fancies decide who and how the party is run.

Is this what democracy is all about? We all know it wasn't meant to be this way. Why are our political parties behaving in a manner that can be best described as being devoid of democracy? And whose responsibility is it to put the house under order? Where do we draw the line between democracy and indiscipline? Should academic exercises like writing a book come under the purview of a party's ideology?

p.s. I didn't want to get into the gory details of dynastic politics and strong men who control their parties with an iron grip...we all know it too well don't we...:)
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