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Thursday, May 23, 2024

And the caste system lives on

Despite official governing structures in place, alternative forms of governance are still in place. These methods are adopted to evade government accountability and are in reality reminiscent of the caste system where the superior party rules over everyone.

Despite near universal adoption of constitutional democracy as the norm, there are still some isolated and shady corners of the world where interested parties continue to craft spurious arguments to subvert and undermine that universal norm.

These interested parties in such isolated corners continue to support and sponsor alternative norms of governance by ruling castes which are based on the same old premise that the ruling caste knows best what is good for the rest of the common people.

Ruling castes: what do they preach?

The modern day premise of all ruling castes is that they are technically sound and competent to understand the complexities of governance. They claim that they have a long-term view of circumstances, and have a direct line of communication with terrestrial higher powers; therefore, it is best to leave the governance to them.

Read more: Changing tunes of politicians in the land of the pious and the pure

Unfortunately, our own dear land of the pious and the pure is one such corner of the world where optimistic outlook of governance by ‘well-meaning’ ruling castes is still being marketed. The ruling caste in the land of the pious and the pure devises support and executes such alternative norms and schemes of power-grab in its quest for long decades of governance unrestrained by triple-shackles that accompany all systems of representative government.

Keeping the dream alive

These alternative norms come in various shades of gray: doctrine of necessity, majlis-e-shoora, basic democracies, unity of command, or one-page system. All these alternatives are actually meant to design keys to by-pass the triple-shackled system of representative government. They want to create an alternative norm and system under which decisions of the ruling caste ‘shall be the Parliament’ of the land (the never-fading dream of all czars, kings, and charlatans!).

We know from past times when humanity was ‘lost in a haunted wood’ that there is not an iota of evidence to support such alternative norms of governance by ruling caste, which are founded on fallacious and misleading optimism of the behavior of the governors.

Evidence is against alternative norms of governance

Throughout history common people found no optimistic evidence to trust governors who operated without the system of triple-locks (of, by, and for the people). Hence, such alternative norms of governance (that come in various shades of gray in our land of the pious and the pure) are actually a reversion to ancient regime where secret ruling caste used to govern without being held accountable.

Read more: Op-ed: Fake news, economic disappointment drive people towards ‘saviors’

The common people of our dear land do not need to look at historical evidence of other countries to understand whether these optimistic claims of better governance by ruling castes are actually valid or spurious. They have ample local evidence to be as pessimistic about their own ruling caste as the common people in other countries were throughout the ages when unchecked clerical, imperial, and praetorian castes ruled those lands.

Asim Imdad Ali is currently a partner in an Islamabad-based law firm. He earlier served in Central Superior Services, at positions of increasing responsibility, in its prestigious DMG group (1992-2006), and later served as Head of legal and regulatory affairs in a major multinational company. He is LLB (gold) from Punjab University, LLM from Kings College London, and did Masters in Public Administration at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University where he was an Edward S Mason Fellow. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.