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.

Rating:
  • Currently 0/5 stars.

Views: 637

Location: New Delhi (Show Map)

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 12, 2011 at 8:54am

Here's Sashi Tharoor in Tehelka.com on failure of parliamentary democracy in India:

THE RECENT political shenanigans in New Delhi, notably the repeated paralysis of Parliament by slogan-shouting members violating (with impunity) every canon of legislative propriety, have confirmed once again what some of us have been arguing for years: that the parliamentary system we borrowed from the British has, in Indian conditions, outlived its utility. Has the time not come to raise anew the case — long consigned to the back burner — for a presidential system in India?

The basic outlines of the argument have been clear for some time: our parliamentary system has created a unique breed of legislator, largely unqualified to legislate, who has sought election only in order to wield (or influence) executive power. It has produced governments obliged to focus more on politics than on policy or performance. It has distorted the voting preferences of an electorate that knows which individuals it wants but not necessarily which policies. It has spawned parties that are shifting alliances of individual interests rather than vehicles of coherent sets of ideas. It has forced governments to concentrate less on governing than on staying in office, and obliged them to cater to the lowest common denominator of their coalitions. It is time for a change.
-------------
The parliamentary system devised in Britain — a small island nation with electorates initially of a few thousand voters per MP, and even today less than a lakh per constituency — assumes a number of conditions that simply do not exist in India. It requires the existence of clearly- defined political parties, each with a coherent set of policies and preferences that distinguish it from the next, whereas in India, a party is all too often a label of convenience a politician adopts and discards as frequently as a film star changes costumes. The principal parties, whether “national” or otherwise, are fuzzily vague about their beliefs: every party’s “ideology” is one variant or another of centrist populism, derived to a greater or lesser degree from the Nehruvian socialism of the Congress. We have 44 registered political parties recognised by the Election Commission, and a staggering 903 registered but unrecognised, from the Adarsh Lok Dal to the Womanist Party of India. But with the sole exceptions of the BJP and the communists, the existence of the serious political parties, as entities separate from the “big tent” of the Congress, is a result of electoral arithmetic or regional identities, not political conviction. (And even there, what on earth is the continuing case, after the demise of the Soviet Union and the reinvention of China, for two separate recognised communist parties and a dozen unrecognised ones?)

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main51.asp?filename=Ne171211Coverstory...

Comment

You need to be a member of PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network to add comments!

Join PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

Pre-Paid Legal


Twitter Feed

    follow me on Twitter

    Sponsored Links

    South Asia Investor Review
    Investor Information Blog

    Haq's Musings
    Riaz Haq's Current Affairs Blog

    Please Bookmark This Page!




    Blog Posts

    Pakistan-Origin Muslim Actor Riz Ahmad Leads Campaign to Make Hollywood More Inclusive

    “With all my privilege and profile, I often wonder if this is going to be the year they round us up, if this is the year they’re going to put Trump’s Muslim registry into action, if this is going to be the year they ship us all off,” Riz Ahmad said back in 2019 at Creative Artists Agency's Amplify Conference. “The representation of Muslims on screen — that feeds the policies that get enacted, the people that get killed, the countries that get invaded.”…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on June 12, 2021 at 10:00am

    Did Pakistan Help China Access American Stealth Helicopter Technology?

    American Defense publication "The Drive" claims that Pakistan has helped China get access to American stealth aircraft technology. Specifically, the American website alleges that the Pakistanis gave Chinese access to the wreckage of the US stealth helicopter destroyed during the American raid to kill Usama Bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011. Chinese experts have called the accusation "groundless", according to Global Times. …

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on June 8, 2021 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

    © 2021   Created by Riaz Haq.   Powered by

    Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service