Dealing with scale: Learning from physics for Indian democracy

As Karnataka is all set to get its new CM from a party with barely 17 percent seats, Indian democracy throws up a new problem for political thinkers.

It is important to note that, though it was a state election, with 6.4 crore population, Karnataka is as large as France or UK. So, appointment of a CM with such a marginal acceptance from people is a matter of grave concern for a democracy.

It has happened because India is struggling to find a systemic solution of reconciling existence of “local” regional parties and “global” national parties.

As I look for another system facing the issue of local vs. global to learn from, one interesting example that strikes me if that of our universe.

Our universe is showing signs for being law-bound, but with extreme scale-sensitivity. It appears a bit irrational and jarring to have different laws for different scales, so physicists have been struggling hard to unify laws governing behaviour of the universe at all levels; but, till date, universe has not yelled.

Our universe has one set of rules for small scale and other for large, with no interconnected-ness. It is as if the great designer saw a need to keeping both local and global separate from each other.

If we transport this natural wisdom to our democratic system, there is a possible insight. The fact that gravity and quantum forces are separated by scale is inconvenient for scientific understanding, but it is more important for the universe to exist with stability than be conveniently comprehended!

In all probability, this separation reflects sagacity of nature in organising large systems.

This means that all massive systems have to find ways of separating the global from the local. Interconnectedness between the two leads to functional problems.

Indian democracy may need to consider finding ways of separating local politics from the national politics, as when they get mixed up, they will end up causing imbalance at both levels, as we can see now.

If we look at presidential system used by few other nations, it does show qualities that allow separation of global from local. If India needs a reform, it must be aimed at solving this issue.

At this point, the intermixing is leading to a chaos with potential to destabilise the nation.

I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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