[Assam] Is the idea of India a failed one?

Dilip/Dil Deka dilipdeka at yahoo.com
Wed May 9 09:22:41 PDT 2007

>From below - "Guha has recently published a brilliant narrative on post-Independence India — India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy. "
  Has anyone read the book? Is it just a narrative or does it have some analysis also?
  The editorial below states the facts as they are - there are flaws but India survives and makes progress as a nation.
  As I said yesterday, the plant must be learning to coexist with the pests. How much better the plant would fare if the pests were eradicated!
  Dilip Deka
  From the Sentinel
            EDITORIAL » »
    Last updated : WEDNESDAY 9 MAY 2007          The Idea of India
Is the idea of India a failed one — after about 60 years of Independence? It is difficult to answer that. However, what is crystal clear is that India has survived the crises of varied hues, and in the wake of each crisis we have had extraordinary lessons on the cardinality of democracy and better ways to deal with the aberrations therein. It is another matter that the Indian political class, barring a few exceptions, has failed the electorate in so many ways; and yet, there has been a select class — indeed very small — of heroes rescuing the same set of people in the form of honest and upright politicians and bureaucrats, learned judges, pro-people activists and selfless workers. India is deeply indebted to all of them. Therefore, when eminent historian Ramachandra Guha says that the ‘‘defining feature’’ of Indian democracy is that it ‘‘has gone from crisis to crisis and somehow we have been able to contain these crises’’, the very rationale is based on the peculiarly
 Indian chapter of democratic sustenance. Guha has recently published a brilliant narrative on post-Independence India — India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy. He talks of India as an ‘‘unlikely democracy’’ when it started out as an independent democratic nation because never before had a democratic framework been ‘‘grafted on a society that is so large, poor, illiterate’’. The fact that this ‘‘unlikely democracy’’ has survived all along its tortuous trajectory and is now a key global player, is illustrative of the wonders that democracy can work out, despite all aberrations, as also the fact that there is no alternative to democracy if the cause is that of a welfare state. 
However, ours is not really a welfare state in the true sense of the term. And in the glitter of the near-double-digit growth rate, many of us tend to overlook the dismal human development index of the country. Many of us are oblivious of the fact that the face of rural India — which is indeed Real India even now — is still so pale, and then there are attempts to disfigure that very face. The success story of Indian democracy will be authenticated only when Real India is addressed to, and elevated, so that it shines along with its happening urban counterpart. And for all this to happen, one has to ensure that the class of unscrupulous politicians and bureaucrats is prevented from committing fraud on the innocent people all the time. An alert and active society can surely ensure this. This apart, India is plagued by two more serious problems. One is the ongoing conflict between the Judiciary and the Legislature or the Executive, with a panicky and guilty political class
 giving it all a new name — judicial activism. The people of the country must categorically assert that whenever the elected representatives have failed them, it is the Judiciary that has come to their rescue, and exemplarily at that. And two, most of our lawmakers have also excelled as classic lawbreakers, thanks to criminalization of politics, nay politicization of crime. It is now up to the Election Commission of India to act as an effective deterrent to the unholy trend of criminals having to adorn Parliament and State legislatures. At this stage the idea of India needs a sustained flourish.

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