Both Putin and Xi Jinping are very trusting. They have trust in the wickedness of mankind because all people seem to crave for democracy. Surely, democracy has given us foods and drinks that we all crave for; burgers and footlongs, fries dripping with fat and frappes oozing with sugar, coke with its history of mysteries (about what goes in it that makes it so high in the craving-index). It gave us the huge idiot box that people were glued to all day and all night till the time came to throw it out and get glued to theĀ  much smaller idiot bar called smart phone. It gave us the hugely addictive “social media” that changed the definition of being social. After all, the noisy get-togethers were so noise-polluting and anti-social while the new bunch of humans have their digital get-together without as much as a whisper disturbing the sleeping baby or the pet. In fact, when the baby or the pet does wake up and wants your attention, the idiot bar wins. After making a few futile attempts the little ones go back to sleep. It shows how much the democracies and the cravings induced by it contribute to world peace; what else is heaven but peacefully sleeping babies and pets!

“Peaceful world” are two words that are always at risk from entities other than babies and pets also. Trump disturbed the “world peace” with hisĀ  Facebook and Twitter posts till he was deplatformed. Trump is not alone; it is a necessary requirement for someone to be a leader of a democracy that he should be able to disturb peace with vocal output, particularly during a periodic exercise called elections. Wise leaders like Xi and Putin value world peace and even while making loud claims that they are democratic, they ensure that elections in their countries are very quiet and peaceful. This proves that democracy and noise are not inseparable and the construct “noisy democracy” is a conspiracy of the West to disturb world peace. Xi’s and Putin’s noiseless democracies show us that even the peaceful graveyards can be democratic if a few qualifying words are added. Xi’s democracy is one with “Chinese characteristics” while Putin’s is obviously with “Russian characteristics”.

When the West claims that Russia and China are not democracies, their characteristics notwithstanding, they fail to appreciate that democracy is like a mango; it has no meaning unless you specify which variety it is. Indian democracy is like the Desi mango, with just a spoonful of pulp but of unforgettable, indescribably divine taste. It has a thick solid seed at its core and its natural propagation by that seed ensures evolutionary diversity in each generation as compared to varieties that are propagated by the unnatural, painful method of grafting. As the mangoes, so are democracies, with Russia and China, known for the yachts, crafts and grafts,Ā  being democratic varieties propagated with the grafting of ideological twig on the thick stem of an ancient society. Thus it is that Russia and China are like Noorjahan (the largest, weighing up to 3.5 kilos) and Totapuri (the odd one) respectively. One person alone cannot eat a Noorjahan (the mango, not the queen; she was too poisonous to be considered delectable), nor can one nation alone think of gobbling up Russia that spans 11 time zones. Hitler tried it and choked on it and while he struggled, half of Germany was gobbled up by Russia till it was regurgitated 44 years later. Even the remaining half required a lot of sanitisation at Nuremberg before it could become presentable as a democracy. As for China, the Totapuri, the world is still struggling to give it a name and entry in the Book of Ideological Botany. It is communist, capitalist, totalitarian, dictatorship, oligarchy, member of WTO but with state-controlled economy, racist, hegemonic, dialectical, wolf-warrior and everything else that falls from the tongues of political-economists. During Mao’s and Xi’s times, it has been noisy and chaotic too, strengthening its claim of being democratic.

The West differs and claims that there is only one kind of democracy; it has to be not only noisy and chaotic but also the noise and chaos must come from “free and fair” multi-party elections every few years that make the nation frequently swing between left and right extremes. Instead of such a long definition, we could just call it “pendulum democracy”. Pendulums are useful because these helped measure the change in time for a long time, like the change of eras from Bush to Obama or Trump to Biden. Yet, political pendulums, like the time-telling ones, are unreliable as their length keeps changing with the change in political seasons. The same four years can look unending when leaders start disturbing the world peace with hours-long speeches. That usually happens when a fellow becomes a leader before he is ripe to become one. Trump surely was unripe because of his lack of experience. Yet, an overripe leader can freeze time too, as surely Biden has done. What is more ripe than overripe. Some say it is “rotten”; will overripe Biden be that when, as he plans to do, he seeks and succeeds in getting a second term? Rotten stinks and will it be a stinking US during his next term?

For all their characteristics that distinguish them from India, the Desi mango, Russia and China are mangoes at heart. A mango is never shared, unless you are an alphonso, with each one costing as much as five kilos of any other variety. Also, mangoes demand precedence over everything else; it is not a dessert at the end of the line. When one eats mangoes, one eats only mangoes. That is where the West and its democracies fail to understand Putin and Xi. They cannot be one of many; Biden is just one of the 46 Presidents in the history of the US and hence he is so boring. Mangoes are never boring; they change with time and season. The sleepy Americans have had the same Constitution and the same elections since 1776, yes, you read it right, for 246 years! In Just 105 years, Russia has had Romanov, Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Yeltsin and Putin – these are not persons; these are epochs with their own laws and rules. China had Puyi (the Last Emperor), Chiang Kai-shek (the first dictator), Mao Zedong (who was earlier Tse-tung),Ā  Deng the Capitalist, Jiang (of the Falun Gong organ harvesting fame), Hu (who else, the Hu who was removed from the last Party Congress by two bouncers) and now we have Xi (not she, the he with his Zero-Covid), each with his thoughts that make up the successive Chinese Constitutions. Go to any China Town in any Western City and stand at its entry point and use your idiot bar for selfies on the two sides – the Chinese side is so colourful, the democratic side is so boring. What upsets Xi and Putin is why their people crave for the boring and not for the colourful. Maybe their people need some more re-education.

Grafting is resorted to for making the ancient trunk fruitless and to prevent change with each generation; ideological grafts end up fossilizing the society. Siberia and the Gobi desert have lot of fossils and that may be the reason Russia and China resorted to ideological grafting. One day Xi, Putin and their ideologies shall become fossils and the dormant seeds of their ancient societies shall startĀ  propagating again. Millennia down the line, archaeologists shall marvel at these fossils. Wow, they were so huge but they perished in a storm called democracy!

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