Thursday, May 13, 2004
Any kind of predictability and anything that can be predetermined is inherently in conflict with Indian democracy. This probably is due to things I most like about our country and what makes it really unique: its diversity, its resilience and its complete belief in democracy. I get almost nationalistically proud when I say that any other country with similar economic and social circumstances would not have done better. This is not because we as Indians have any magical power. It is because we are not afraid of anarchy. It is because we really are democratic. We do not pull undemocratic coups for the sake of stability in the stock markets, or for foreign arms or foreign money: dammit we don�t even pull coups to get rid of corruption. As violent and revolutionary our political films are, we aren�t, as a people. (I can�t stop talking about Indian films)
Everybody calls us a young democracy, and while we can lament about our masses living with a feudal mindset expecting both goodies and curses to be bestowed and doled out to us from the powers that be, we are remarkable (simply because of our diversity), to collectively come out as very democratic. A young democracy never tries to experiment too much. But the past few years we have experimented for the first time with coalitions, right-wingers and now, with the left. Our vibrancy and unpredictability makes us special.
Does this mean that the laptop is to be banished from Indian politics? Does it mean we start communes and co-operatives instead of entrepreneurship and disinvestment? What the free-market champions might call regressive would be looked up as being very progressive by the left, and vice versa. All over the world, both these types of people come under the �liberal� tag don�t they? I don�t think India would ever become a protectionist, insular, or exclusive economy or nation. (In fact there is always a fear of the right-wingers doing such things)
And one final note on the elections: if we now know that Indian isn�t shining, what about trying to really make it shine? That�s up to our new government. The Congress has been doing all the shouting, now it is for them to do all the work and for the BJP to do all the shouting. All you know, the BJP could kick out all talk of progressive economics and start taking regressive stuff all over again. But again, even Joshi and Modi have not done too well.
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