India’s Experience with Democracy thus far

February 26, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

In The Prospect Ramachandra Guha writes that “the Republic of India is home to the most uplifting as well as the most depressing aspects” of democracy. In an article that looks at India’s experience with democracy so far he notes that:

  • India’s size and diversity make it an unlikely candidate for democracy. Guha quotes Churchill predicting that India would “fall back quite rapidly through the centuries into the barbarism and privations of the Middle Ages”. Up until the late 60s analysts were predicting that India’s democracy would not survive.
  • Yet today India is thought by individuals around the world to be an upcoming superpower.
  • Whereas before international scholars were too pessimistic about India, today they might be too optimistic. Within India there is a growing sense that the country is in trouble.
  • Guha outlines six challenges that the country faces:
    • Populations within India that want independence from the Republic.
    • A Maoist insurgency.
    • Religious fundamentalism.
    • Corrosion of public institutions.
    • Environmental Degradation
    • Economic inequality.
  • Other countries have had to deal with a lot of the same issues, but had the opportunity to deal with them a few at a time. India is facing them all at once.

To read more about each of the challenges that India faces, why democracy can be thought of as a three legged stool, and what Guha ultimately concludes about the future of India’s democracy, click here.

Source: The Prospect

Via: Newmark’s Door