Set piece: A somber room, in twilight glow, save for the center, which is brightly lit with a battery of powerful lights focusing directly beneath them. And there, you lie, anesthetized by the sleep-inducing chemicals entering your blood stream. Blissfully unaware of the millions of nerve endings screaming to those parts of your brain that can decipher the well-being of the body it resides in, that all’s not well. The individuals grouped around you have to make the decision as to whether the mass of sinew, bone and blood vessels that form your left arm (A) should be salvaged or (B) has to be amputated. The last thing you did before going under was to pick the team that huddles around you…
Team #1: A handpicked team comprising of a couple of orthopaedic specialists, vascular surgeon, a neurosurgeon, a seasoned anesthetist, with the requisite support staff
Team #2 : A team put together by making random sweeps of different areas of the city, taking care to represent all sections of society, professions, races, religions and so on and so forth
Now, what if you didn’t have that choice? That the decision was based on the following reasoning:
- You are a successful white-collar professional who makes several multiples of your country’s per capita, hell, maybe even more than that of the most developed countries in the world
- Yours is not a physical profession (e.g construction labor) plus you’re right-handed, so its not your dominant arm anyway
- (A) (refer above) means you recover in 10 weeks and go back to your life, possibly rejuvenated and be more successful than ever
- (B) would mean you would require a prosthetic which means a chance for the company that manufactures those to stay afloat, also for the farmers who supply the raw materials to avoid penury
Fiction, all of it, macabre albeit.
But then how is it, that when it comes to making decisions that sculpt laws, policies that govern intakes into institutions of learning, zoning regulations that determine setting up of commercial hubs, financial policy that oversees utilization of gargantuan amounts of money are based on the overarching principle of “Majority Wins!”? that saffron-painted thugs can go burning vehicles and demolishing property in the name of the ‘common good’? Is the democratic way really about doing what’s best or is it the blunt instrument of the teeming worthless hordes? Maybe its time for a rethink?