The Real India
The nation-state of India has quite a few things to flaunt and be proud of –its rich legacy of democracy being one of them. India has been regarded as the largest functioning democracy in the world and has made itself felt strongly in the global economic arena as well. David Cameroon, the British P.M during his recent visit to India regarded India to be the beacon of democracy to the world. The well-developed and fully evolved form of democracy that we witness today has matured over a long span of time. It has seen both ups and downs, has waxed and waned but has somehow managed to survive. Despite the various dilemmas it has faced, India has been able to carve out a truly democratic future for it. The future draws upon both the traditions inherited from the past and challenges encountered in the present contemporary India.
Our founding fathers borrowed the fundamental principles of democracy from the Western ideology of the colonial masters but one of the daunting tasks before them was its implementation in the hitherto traditional and backward society that had for the first time seen the light of liberation and freedom. This however did not give them the luxury of pooh-poohing the traditions and culture of our society to pave way for an Indian culture. It was all about reconciling the two and our national leaders were able to do that quite well at least the theoretical aspect of it as is enshrined in our constitution.
However, it is not capitalism, communism, or fascism that India follows. Most successes in India have been through collectivism. India has developed by always being a beautiful amalgam of languages, religions, cultures, value systems and trends and has always absorbed invaders as well as asylum seekers. No matter where in the world an Indian stays or a person of Indian origin stays, at heart that person remains Indian.
But, we as a nation lack a soul, the central idea of being an Indian. This may sound blasphemous to many in a spiritually inclined country, but considering the fact that over 60 per cent of India’s population lives on less than Rs. 33 per day ( people below poverty line), worsened by rampant corruption and crime against women, everything becomes uncomfortably self- explanatory. Every successful country has a soul, a core value system on which entire socio- economic structures are built. The problem with India is that the country currently has bo peculiar value system on which to base a standard socio- economic structure. This confused state of flux has given India multiple parallel systems leading to nothing but a resultant chaos that is dragging the country down.
Considering all these factors author Karan Mehrishi, in his book The India Collective: What India is really all about analyses why India as a country is a Collective and must incorporate an operating system that is in line with this very logic. Divided into three epochs—past, present and future—the book attempts to see the bigger picture and understands India as a country, as a value system and as an economy from within.
By Nilabh Krishna