Let us live in hope
Two forms of democracy exist in India: constitutional and populist. There are deficiencies in both, since netas don’t honour their duties and activists lack civility.
‘Constitutional democracy’ acts through a prescribed division of functions between legislature, executive and judiciary. Populist democracy regards such division of functions as cumbersome and arbitrary impediments that act overtly or covertly against the will of the people.
Several years before the current wave of anti-corruption protests, the wise sociologist observed that ‘it will be hard to deny that agitations, demonstrations and rallies undertaken in the name of civil disobedience have increasingly become coercive not only in their consequences but even in their intentions.’ By showing contempt for elected leaders, populism called into question all forms of public authority.
The populists speak in the name of Gandhi, but, as Beteille notes, they often depart from the Mahatma’s methods.
Indians of an earlier age behaved with decency, civility and traits so conspicuously absent in the rulers and protesters of our own time.
But we must live in hope. To honour their Constitutional obligations more seriously. Civil society activists with more sobriety and less self-righteousness.
Superpower? 230m Indians go hungry
Often, the hype over economic growth, we forget the harsh reality of India-extreme poverty, hunger, disease, lack of education, and regressive social practices. We Indians should be ashamed about them. These simmering injustices cannot be allowed to fester because they will heighten social tensions that will ultimately risk our growth story;
Malnourished population 213-230m
Underweight kids (under 5) 44%
Under-5 mortality 6.6%
Anaemic married women 52%
Indian students rank 2nd last in global test
At 72 Among 73 Countries In Math, Reading
THE WRITE WAY What is PISA
The Programme for International Student Assessment evaluated education systems around the world by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students
READING: China (Shanghai), South Korea, Finland, Hong Kong, Singapore
MATH: China (Shanghai), Singapore Hong Kong, Korea, Chinese Taipei
SCIENCE: China (Shanghai) Finland Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan