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India A democracy in shambles?

Todays world has its own notions, beliefs and perceptions. There are many ways of arriving at the truth, The Ancient Greeks considered contemplation to be the supreme mechanism. They believed in ideal theories and nothing less. The worlds view of a Democracy, in the present day, is nothing short of analogous to this Greek obsession of a perfect circle-An ideal theory that should deliver an ideal world. But has it; is the question of prime concern today and if not, then why? The answer can be found by following the scientific approach which revolves around forming a hypothesis and then testing it. For nearly a century now, we have had the hypothesis that democracy is the ideal political model for all countries. This thesis has been tested amply in varying circumstances. We need to take stock and asses the results, which my in the Indian scenario might not present a very rosy picture. Large, populous and poor, the diverse India was one of the few nations where democracy was expected to be successful but it has remained relatively stable since independence. But that does not mean that the nation has ever since been on a progressive path or that good governance has been in place throughout. With 26% of the worlds poor, a dismal 66% literacy rate and 72% of the population being rural, these socio-economic growth indicators have not seen drastic improvements in the country. Yes India has been steady under continuous civilian rule, but corruption and violence at the grassroots, divisive politics and rising crime are just an endemic here as in any other developing country. Post political opening up, India has seen a large number of separatist movements and under democratic rule, the divide along region, caste, language and religion has sharpened. Democracy politics opens up a form of opportunism for petty power mongers and even criminals are bound to develop vote blocs to instigate hatred and deepen such divides. Same is true for national leaders and parties but as the regional forces are becoming dominant in electoral trends, we can surely foresee the threat to Indian progress and stability. If one strategy of maintaining the democracy is divide and rule the other can be distributing free gifts to garner more votes , which is a burden on the public exchequer, thus digressing the public funds from infrastructure and education to such self-centred causes. A comparison with the neighbouring China is inevitable as despite being a more integrated nation with a larger English speaking population, India lags behind China in all development parameters, be it poverty, infrastructure, education and even law and order. If unitary state was not the ideal model for a nation then why this anomaly in the India China comparison? It clearly is not just a coincidence; it is a wakeup call for India. Democracy has succeeded in India but it is failing the nation. Has it delivered good governance? No. India as a country needs to arrest its downward regression, socially and politically and to do that it must no longer be in denial of its reality.