As a person who came here from India to stay a few months in connection with some personal matters, I was fascinated to watch the July 4 celebrations in Salt Lake City. The popular enthusiasm, still very much alive, seemed to me very remarkable. The parades, music, fireworks, etc. were very commendable.
The coverage of the celebrations in the media also was very enthusiastic. I was very eager to go through the editorial opinion on the Independence Day celebrations in the Deseret News. You have asked the people at large to commit to be a player and not merely an observer. You have raised a pertinent question as to how many who delight in today's national holiday bothered to take a few minutes to vote last week, let alone participate more vigorously in the political process.This question touched my heart as a person coming from another great democracy in the world, India.
When one notes the popular apathy to key issues of national importance in the great democracies of the world, he will be tempted to wonder how democracy lasted here all this long. The old Indian saying goes like this: "As the king is, so will be the people." But in a democracy, we get the government we deserve. Enlightened participation by the citizens is the only check for the misuse of democracy.
But a kind of cynicism and irresponsibility is developing in different world democracies.
If there should be a freedom for democracy from this vicious circle, selfless, service-minded intellectuals should form public forums everywhere and create proper healthy public awareness and opinion, not controlled by political or communal sectional interests. At present, this may seem to be a utopian dream, but dreams have to come true if veritable hell is to be bypassed.
Raghunathan V. Kadangode
Salt Lake City