Hope floats


Rural and new urban voters will ultimately save India from the venal governing class, avers Gautam Sen.

Structural and sociological factors are major reasons for the far-reaching socio-economic debacle India has ended within its sixty-fifth year of independence. I have argued earlier that the adoption of a parliamentary system of government was a huge error of judgement. A more insulated, presidential form, would have allowed balancing of diverse sectarian demands under the overarching umbrella of a national vote, constraining accentuation of deeply-rooted faultlines in Indian society. The parliamentary system has given full play to every socio-political division and real or imagined grievance instead of allowing them to be addressed with a combination of measured policy assuagement by rulers and accommodation by the ruled.

The attempt to resolve every perceived injustice completely, which must inevitably eventually result in endless bloodshed, is in grave danger of being achieved in India. Its long-suffering, meek people have now developed a taste for wilful truculence and its self-seeking educated has filed for moral and intellectual bankruptcy, forgetting self-restraint and sacrifices are imperative for nationhood. India's ruling national elites themselves are well on the way to abandoning all pretence of governing their fissiparous country and are engaged in shameless personal enrichment. In this hapless melee a deeper dynamic is nevertheless in play and understanding it might provide a better grasp of the likely fate of India.

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