Home » Current affairs » The world’s biggest exercise in democracy

The world’s biggest exercise in democracy

I got this in my email today morning. I’m not sure of its source. They say it was from some NY Times reader.

We may crib, cry, rant, abuse, criticize India but this little piece made me proud.

“It is truly the greatest show on Earth, an ode to a diverse and democratic ethos, where 700 million+ of humanity vote, providing their small part in directing their ancient civilization into the future. It is no less impressive when done in a neighborhood which includes de-stabilizing and violent Pakistan, China, and Burma.

Its challenges are immense, more so probably than anywhere else, particularly in development and fending off terrorism — but considering these challenges and its neighbors, it is even more astounding that the most diverse nation on Earth, with hundreds of languages, all religions and cultures, is not only surviving, but thriving.

The nation where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism were born, which is the second largest Muslim nation on Earth; where Christianity has existed for 2000 years; where the oldest Jewish synagogues and Jewish communities have resided since the Romans burnt their 2nd temple; where the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile reside; where the Zoroastrians from Persia have thrived since being thrown out of their ancient homeland; where Armenians and Syrians and many others have to come live; where the Paris-based OECD said was the largest economy on Earth 1,500 of the last 2,000 years, including the 2nd largest only 200 years ago; where 3 Muslim Presidents have been elected, where a Sikh is Prime Minister and the head of the ruling party a Catholic Italian woman, where the President is also a woman, succeeding a Muslim President who as a rocket scientist was a hero in the nation; where a booming economy is lifting 40 million out of poverty each year and is expected to have the majority of its population in the middle class, already equal to the entire US population, by 2025; where its optimism and vibrancy is manifested in its movies, arts, economic growth, and voting, despite all the incredible challenges and hardships; where all the great powers are vying for influence, as it itself finds its place in the world.

Where all of this is happening, is India, and as greater than 1/10 of humanity gets ready to vote, it is an inspiration to the entire World.”

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27 thoughts on “The world’s biggest exercise in democracy

  1. Where all of this is happening, is India, and as greater than 1/10 of humanity gets ready to vote, it is an inspiration to the entire World.” – It sure is!! And I am proud to belong here!

    No matter how flawed our democracy might be, no matter how many criminals we have, no matter how much we berate our politicians – the best part is that we have held on to our democracy.. Yes, we do have a long way to go – but surely, we have to take pride in the fact that a lot of nations which were born along with us have slid into dictatorships and worse…

    Yes, we have problems, a lot of us don’t even vote – but the thing is – we have the freedom – to vote or no, we have freedom of press, we have the freedom to choose the best candidate.. And I am so proud of our democracy! Thanks so much for sharing this, Masood..

    • True. Over the last so many months, all we discuss about is how flawed our system is. We are so engrossed on what’s bad (which is quite a lot) that we have stopped noticing what is good.

      In the end, we all live to see another day. Everyone is surviving. As an engine, our entire nation is running, day after day, year after year. And you are correct, we have problems but we are trying to overcome them.

      Every once in while, we should try and see the bright side of our country.

  2. Feeling proud to be part of world’s largest democratic nation…

    And as Smitha said above – we have lot of freedom here in india..

    which we cant expect in any other part of world……

  3. I m too cynical of late… and although this is a great nation.. there is a LOT of work to do…

    and if the % of voting is anything to go by… we are doing this exercise badly…

    sorry for not having any kind words… !

    • This is the first time I’ve seen a serious comment from you, Dhiren. Are you OK?

      I agree. We have a lot of work to do. But we should feel good about it also, no?

  4. Every nation has there own draw backs,our main draw back is the population .Our india will be ahead of all these nations if we crub our population growth.

    I voted only once when i was 18years,my mom told me vote to a particular person,but now i don’t want to vote until i get a good candidate :)

    Nice post :)

    • Yes, our population is our biggest problem.

      I haven’t voted coz I never got a voter ID. Residing abroad, we were never able to get it done.

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  6. i have been very critical of thee way things work here.
    but i also admire immensely that we can make things work despite all the differences.
    Jai Hind!

    • Yes, and so have I, but we also have the power to change and make it work. This positivity and optimism is necessary. We don’t have to give up.

  7. I like this positive post Masood! I have also maintained that we are doing pretty well, better than we have ever done before – true we have problems but we also have the power to solve those problems, and for all our complaining, at least we are free to criticise AND make a difference.

    Seeing our history and our neighbours- (constant struggle against divides and coups and conspiracy and betrayals) – it’s a relief that we are still one nation, and still a Democracy. I always thank our Constitution for empowering us to be in a position to feel and say all this!

  8. Masood, Thanks for this article.

    We have our flaws but any country with such vast cultural differences still staying united is a mystery in itself and for that we have to give some credit to ourselves.

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