Bureaucrats have social status and power. They also possess personal knowledge of the rules. So, as a reasonably educated Indian citizen knows, it is pointless to argue with a bureaucrat: one can only plead with him or her. The case of politicians is different. They seem to be one of “us”, as they derive their power from their popularity among ordinary men and women. Also, we learn at school that democratic politics is all about discussion and debate. So, when we grow up and attain adult citizenship, we live in the hope that our views will be heard by those who represent us.
This hope — and the belief that keeps it alive — received a body blow during the
>21 months of Emergency rule
>, in effect from June 25, 1975 until its withdrawal on March 21, 1977. Ordinary citizens realised with shock that they had no rights whatsoever