India's Democracy is highly over-rated in the absence of an industrialized, well-educated and civil society that respects rights of others, particularly the right to speak and disagree. India's democracy has failed to serve the vast majority of its people.
It's a tale of two Indias, but not the old vs new India. It's a tale of a shining, thriving India and a barely surviving India. Indian and the Western press often focus on the former and ignore the latter. By all objective measures, the barely surviving India is much larger and behind sub-Saharan Africa.
About one-third of the world's poor live in India. More than 450 million Indians exist on less than $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank. It also has a higher proportion of its population living on less than $2 per day than even sub-Saharan Africa. India has about 42% of the population living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 per day. The number of Indian poor also constitute 33% of the global poor, which is pegged at 1.4 billion people, according to a Times of India news report. More than 6 million of those desperately poor Indians live in Mumbai alone, representing about half the residents of the nation's financial capital. They live in super-sized slums and improvised housing juxtaposed with the shining new skyscrapers that symbolize India's resurgence. According to the World Bank and the UN Development Program (UNDP), 22% of Pakistan's population is classified as poor.