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Gangadhar Lahane

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Is Indian democracy failing ?

India is largest democratic nation in the world. In last month indian have celebrated there "Republican Day". But as a Indian i have question and i'm seeking answers.
(we don't want to lose our democracy ,we want to stop the corruption, we want to be developed nation). what can be solutions.

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    Gail . 50+

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    Feb 3 2013: Wikipedia says this about Indian government: "India is a nation that is characterized as a "sovereign socialist secular democratic republic". Like the United States, India has had a federal form of government since it adopted its constitution. However, the central government in India has greater power in relation to its states, and its central government is patterned after the British parliamentary system. The national government has the power to dismiss state governments under specific constitutional clauses or in case no majority party or coalition is able to form a government. The central government can also impose direct federal rule known as president's rule (or central rule)."

    It's hard for Indian democracy to fail when India is not a democracy. This being said, an absolute democracy is a most unstable form of government. It will inevitably separate into factions that war with one another, and government itself becomes embroiled in gridlock with the people becoming enemies of one another (as is now happening in the USA).

    The USA isn't a democracy either. Though established as a "republic", it has become an plultarchy (the combination of a plutocracy (rule by wealthy) and an oligarchy (rule by Supreme Court). It no longer represents the people it was meant to "serve". I think that governments should stop lying to their citizens - causing them to believe that they are holders and protectors of a sacred trust - that doesn't even exist.
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    Feb 5 2013: In a democracy people get a Government they deserve. If people want a corruption free Government, they should be corruption free. Unfortunately, that is not the attitude of the huge majority, which will bribe its way, for avoiding delays and circumventing the cancerous bureaucracy. Indians do not care much for democracy per se, which had always been the prerogative of the intelligentsia. Mushrooming of dynastic rule among several federal states reflects that attitude. We do not look for goodness, democratic credentials, policies, among politicians and assume that right to rule is genetic. We are comfortable with familiarity. Democracy has not yielded desired results because it has not been sowed in good soil (people). Maybe, in future, when aspirations of people, undergo a radical change, due to education and globalization, democracy will start working, which means using it for achieving a quantum leap in overall growth, cultural, financial, medical etc. For becoming a developed nation, again it lies in the hands of people. Reduction in the levels of population is a must. Believing and depending in the judicial system is absolutely essential. We are losing ground in these areas rather rapidly.
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    Feb 4 2013: I thought we were discussing about the Republic of India, which came into existence on 26 January 1950. The other India, in the sense of meaning of a land east of the Sindh river in Pakistan or a culture predominant in the peninsular subcontinent which now comprises of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Republic of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lankan Island and mentioned since Herodotus in 5th century BC and the collection of vast ranges of worshiping practices under the umbrella term 'Hinduism' (actually coined by mostly colonial British scholars) is something which, I am afraid, the question in the OP is not referring.
  • Feb 4 2013: when we look back the history, the people were under the control of religious heads, later it shifted to the hands of kings. many invasions took place, the efforts to ruin the Indian culture and heritage was defeated..as on today the ruling came to political heads, slowly it is transforming to business orientation. all these changes did not bring any change in above said cultural wealth since every every hindu is a seeker and know er. there is no EGO. the surface changes are not the real change. the base is well reinforced for ever. i am poor in articulation and inculcating literal architecture. view it leniently. educate me in this subject.
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      Feb 4 2013: surface changes might not be real. but they can happen nevertheless. poverty, misery or even war are quite possible, even if they are not real, in the sense that these are just parts of samsara. you have to admit that many people want their samsara to be more bearable. an acceptable request, in my opinion.
  • Feb 4 2013: POLITICAL failure can not damage the image of Indian democracy. the basic component is a collective society irrespective of caste, creed and religion. we are nurtured with strong abiding force called eternal dharma which is known as Hinduism. this is the only incredible nation which treats all religion with same perspective and celebrated all festivals with same amplitude. our culture and heritage stands behind as motive force to remain united. advancement in technology is only on materialistic basis. we must be proud to say that we are able to manage the nation with human mind not with machines. we go on humanitarian parameters not on laboratorian results. corruption will dig its own ditch when the wrath of higher intelligent feels hostility to moral and ethical dimensions. change is not in the hands of human power. the tolerance is at its peak. the curse of victimized nature will come into effect. we have to wait and see.
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    Feb 4 2013: Thank you Salim. I do not believe that there is anything such as 'Indian' democracy; possibly Gangadhar used it to mean democracy in Indian context. As pointed out by few posters above, democracy as a poltical self determination process is not fail safe but I accept that it is by far the best possible solution compared to other experiments in historical times.
    Democracy can only ensure the right to take decisions by people, the dispensation of that right is entirely dependent on the state of informed-ness, sensitivity and awareness of the people. So at the end of the day, if it fails or succeeds, the onus is on the people. I think this is true for India, US, UK or any country that follows the path of democracy. Putting everything on politicians and living in an 'we-and-they' division is something Indian youth should unlearn.
    Democracy, mass and mob all have people-centricity at their cores; it's only education and degree of sensitivity that set these apart.
  • Feb 3 2013: When I look at the democracies (representative governments) around the world, it seems like many are failing. I guess we would first have to set some criteria for success and failure. To me, a representative government is a success if the government reflects the will of the people, understanding that the people are various and the results are necessarily imperfect compromises. From your description of India, it seems to be failing. Which is not to say that this situation is necessarily permanent.

    If there is a solution, it is to stop the corruption. One step that might help enforcement would be to outlaw cash. Build an electronic infrastructure so that all monetary transactions must be paid electronically and every transaction is recorded in a database. It would still be possible to bribe people with gold and diamonds, but at some point the corrupt official will need money to buy stuff.
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    Feb 3 2013: Compared to China yes, to North Korea no and here is why:

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    Feb 3 2013: you should tell us.

    here is my general views on the subject: sooner or later every democracy fails. the bigger the state, the sooner it falls. democracy might be a good way against tyranny, but it is a horrible way of managing things. the fewer the things it has to manage, the better. as far as i know, the indian government is very much willing to be an all-controlling, ever-watching supermanager. just it lacks the resources. this is a bad situation, because as the economy grows, so grows the power of the government, and that is the collision course.
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    Feb 3 2013: How you define "Indian" democracy ?
    • Feb 3 2013: The answer is "It is one of the biggest democracy in the world." our representatives are directly selected by the people of India (only mature people). But there is something going on at ground level. these political people are buying the votes. And after getting elected they don't pay attention towards the development of nation. this is the current situation. so my question is is there any way that "we youth of India can stop this, without losing our democracy". sry for my grammer
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        Feb 3 2013: I am a little confused. The question in the OP is whether Indian democracy is failing whereas you are asking about runaway politicians, corruption and developmental space. I think democracy and polity are not entirely synonymous and failed politicians do not essentially mean failed democracy. Corruption is related to social values (or lack of it) and in my opinion not entirely a determinant of democratic health of a republic.
        Education or lack of it, however, plays a determining role in democracy. If you look at it, India did not produce well educated statesmen in good measure. Pre-independent India saw professionals, lawyers, civil servants joining Indian polity and policy making. It will be interesting to know, if as an young Indian, you will be interested to sacrifice a world class educational career to know your country and work for your people.
        There is much lacking towards the top because it's only the mediocre that reside there.
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          Feb 3 2013: As usual well said Pabitra....
          I was a bit perplexed as well with the term "Indian" democracy......as if democracy has got different face in India !
          How many US / UK voters take an well informed / well thought decisions while voting ?