Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is India a flawed democracy ?

The Economist Intelligence Unit's 2008 Democracy Index ranks India 35th among the 'flawed democracies' of the world. As citizens, should we reject these findings, as most of our politicians have done promptly. The agency has used some 60 indicators to assess. Let us make our own assessment, using some of the major indicators.

Civil Liberties: We enjoy full civil liberty. However, thousands of innocent people languish in jails without any trial for years.

Political Culture: The politics in the country is polarised on caste, region and religious lines. The parliament sessions are marked by chaos. The members often do not sit in the House. What can you expect, when criminals become legislators!

Public Participation: The most dangerous feature of our democracy is the public apathy. The 50% of the population, i.e. women, do not have adequate representation in the governance. The people do not vote; as a result the legislators are mostly elected on the minority vote.

Government: The Indian government machinery is known for its corruption and inefficiency, world over.

Under these conditions, if someone calls India a flawed democracy, it is not too much off the mark

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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.