Making democracy work with ‘active citizenship’

‘Dance of democracy’ and ‘festival of democracy’ are some of the catchphrases used for elections in India which are characterised by noisy sloganeering and a festive atmosphere. However, this enthusiasm seems to be restricted to the Parliamentary elections and to a lesser extent to the state Assembly elections. In the last few weeks, Hyderabad saw a high decibel campaign leading up to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. The campaign was punctuated with mammoth rallies (amidst a pandemic) by several celebrity campaigners, making, among other promises, bizarre statements of ‘rooting out Nizam culture’ and changing the name of Hyderabad to ‘Bhagyanagar’.