[Assam] Guha's Book

Chan Mahanta cmahanta at charter.net
Thu May 10 07:31:35 PDT 2007

>Both Guha, Nilekani are others are correct in saying that though the 
>Indian Democracy has >problems, it has sustained itself, and will do 
>so in the future and in the end succeed.

*** Should hasve added: "And those who are left holding the bag ought 
to have patience'. After all "bhukute' koltw nopoke' nohoy".

>The NE states are still fighting double-digit unemployment,

*** But it is their own damn fault, isn't it?

At 11:07 AM -0600 5/9/07, Ram Sarangapani wrote:
>I haven't read the book. However, over the last few years, there 
>have been writeups to books that have essentially captured what both 
>Nilekani & Guha suggest. Tom Friedman got a lot his ideas from 
>Nilekani for the"World is Flat'.
>Both Guha, Nilekani are others are correct in saying that though the 
>Indian Democracy has problems, it has sustained itself, and will do 
>so in the future and in the end succeed.
>Yesterday's Sentinel also had another editorial - ie. about 
>Pakistan, and why, having started at the same time has failed in 
>These are my feelings though:
>As far as Assam/NE are concerned, the need to benefit or percolate 
>from any successes of democracy in B'lore or Pune, major roles have 
>to played by both the Center and the NE states.
>It often seems that some success or the other happens in B'lore or 
>Mumbai - it almost seems 'foreign' and so far removed.
>While IT has affected many states, the NE states have by and large 
>have not been able to capitalize on it and that gravy train is fast 
>pulling away.
>The insurgency has had a profound affect on the pyche of the people 
>in the NE - and I mean negative. There are those who feel that they 
>have a better shot (alone) than India in this experiment, and there 
>are others who feel the insurgency has bogged them down.
>The people who feel they can develop Assam/NE independently don't 
>take ever take ground realities.
>The NE states are still fighting double-digit unemployment, poor 
>infrastructure, power shortage etc etc. Corruption and mismanagement 
>of funds are yarns by themself. Today's AT reports that the DONER 
>ministry coughed-up Rs 275 Crs or something. Assam was expected to 
>put up its share of 25%. When that didn't happen, it was lowered to 
>15% - even that did not happen.
>It is very difficult to imagine, that the state cannot even garner 
>its share - why? because its tax-base is weak, and most of what is 
>collected is stolen with impunity.
>In the end - India should be able to boast of a true democracy, when 
>even remote NE areas can also claim, that they too have benefitted. 
>For that to happen - the leaders and thinkers in the NE must involve 
>the states in all facets of the greater Indian successes as opposed 
>to finding weak areas to whittle away at the behemoth. That does NOT 
>help the NE, its people and nor does it help India as it moves 
>On 5/9/07, Dilip/Dil Deka 
><<mailto:dilipdeka at yahoo.com>dilipdeka at yahoo.com> wrote:
>A little more on Guha and Guha's book from the TOI. Apparently the 
>book is brand new.
>Guha hails Indian democracy
>[9 May, 2007 l 0333 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
>BANGALORE: Two people from entirely different quarters of life 
>upheld and appreciated India's liberal democratic credentials 
>despite the numerous divisions that characterise it. Ramachandra 
>Guha, and Nandan Nilekani, who launched Guha's book, India After 
>Gandhi on Tuesday, said if there was anything to admire about India, 
>it was its rumbling and robust democracy.
>Nandan said India's democracy was the foundational basis for its 
>current progress. He said India's strength lay in an institutional 
>framework of democracy, in its adoption of English as a global 
>language, in its capacity to adopt technological change and in its 
>gradual movement from a limited access system to an open access 
>Nandan, describing Guha's book as lucid, detailed and highly 
>readable, saluted the pioneering efforts of Ambedkar, Gandhiji, 
>Nehru and Sardar Patel. He said the book exhibited extraordinary 
>scholarship on India's political foundations and was a 
>non-ideological, non-partisan must read.
>Guha recalled the history of India's democracy from the 50s to the 
>current times and described the nation as an "unnatural nation and 
>an unlikely democracy". He hailed India's success in managing myriad 
>castes, religions, classes and communities and of course its 
>capacity to hold and organise regular elections.
>Guha also recalled the efforts of one of India's finest civil 
>servants, C S Venkatachar, who, he said, played a major role in the 
>conceptualisation of the book, a result of eight years of research. 
>He narrated how he compiled the book beginning from a "mythical 
>history book".
>Guha described the pioneering efforts of Gandhiji, Nehru and Sardar 
>Patel. He said it was necessary to write biographies of some of the 
>greatest personalities of Indian democracy.
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