Democracy as an Apple Keeps the Doctor Away

IRSHAD SALIM: I had a mini conversation recently with a Pakistani youth on democracy. As I conversed with Fazal, back in my mind was Socrates, who hated democracy –and around the world, people of all ages are finding reason to be wary of democratic government.

Given his exuberance for upward mobility, I did not tell him that one of Ancient Greece’s great achievements, Philosophy, was highly suspicious of its other achievement, Democracy.

A consensual voter can be led to believe that painting the bike yellow (solution) would make things (problems) look good (go away) –even if he/she gets them on his T-shirt and Jeans –inhaling toxic fumes is “no issue”.

I remain an optimist though –as the global village embarks on a new world order –I explained Fazal of my take by comparing democracy with the forbidden an apple:

The Islamabad-based young gentleman, an attorney by profession who practices law at the Lahore High Court, says he is preparing hard for the upcoming civil services exam.

Fazal wants to join the bureaucracy…”to serve my country,” he says.

Why did he want to know my take on democracy?

He said it’s part of his preparation for the exam and that getting to know out-of-the-box views on democracy is and will matter to him once he becomes a bureaucrat. So I did.

All the best young man.