Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Deepening of Democracy in India - by Ankit Awasthi LLM, Hidayatullah National Law University

Deepening of Democracy in India - Mahaveer Singh Dewal and Ankit Awasthi Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur

India … has embarked on an experiment in democratic planning which is perhaps larger and more complex than any in the modern world. Some have called it a fateful experiment … what is on trial … is, in the last analysis, whether democracy can solve the problems of mass poverty. It is a trial perhaps never before made in such an atmosphere of urgency1. —Government of India, 1958 India has witnessed great social, political and cultural change. As the world’s largest democracy, its most diverse nation and one of its fastest growing economies, India is now, sixty years after Independence, universally regarded as an emerging superpower.

India started its life as an independent nation with a democracy that many people saw as shaky and thin on the ground – in Ambedkar’s words, democracy was ―topsoil‖ beneath which, India remained dominated by loyalties to caste, religion and region. India survived this early uncertainty, and has evolved into an increasingly mature democracy. The new maturity has come with a large-scale mobilization of people and a surging awareness of economic and political rights at the grassroots. Since the 1980s, this deepening has been accompanied with the rise of a new, powerful civil society, which is influencing and shaping our public debates

2. Achievement of Indian Democratic Government - Achievements are the measure of one's performance. India is largest democratic country in the world. After independence India continued with democracy system without any obstacle. If the Government of India, 1958 Sharma Shalendra’s Book democracy and development present Government's performance is to be measured then one has to look into their achievements. If this Government is seeking a return mandate, then in all fairness, they should be explaining us or detail us the achievements they have done in these five years. With nothing to boast, they went on adding the achievements of winning Gold in Olympics, Winning Oscar, Mission Chandrayaan as the achievements of their Government. This makes it obvious that they lack facts. If Pokhran was declared as achievement by the NDA Govt, it is because it involved the decisions of the Govt that required guts in the international arena. How Chandryaan could be the achievement of the government is known only to those media managers. Similarly if the UPA is taking credit for an Oscar for Slumdog, in all fairness, they deserve to get it because they are the reasons for the numerous slums in India and the people in BPL. Here goes my another list of achievements to help them

3. In few countries of the developing world has the impact of the state on agricultural modernization been as pervasive as in India. Since independence, India's democratic state has intervened extensively in the country- side with a plethora of policy packages aimed at promoting rural development, advancing social justice, and improving the living standards of the vast majority of the its inhabitants—known in official parlance as the ―weaker sections of society

4. We have made decent progress in several areas during the last 60 years. We have produced world-class scientists, engineers, journalists, soldiers, bureaucrats, politicians and doctors. We have built complex bridges and dams. We have sent satellites and rockets into space. We have increased the number of doctors tenfold. We have increased life expectancy from 32 years to 65 years. We have built about 1.25 million miles of new roads; we have multiplied our steel production by over 50 times and cement production by almost 20 times. We have increased our exports from a few million dollars at the time of independence to more than $125 billion now, with about $150 billion of imports

5. B.B. Misra: The bureaucracy in India: A historical Analysis of Development upto 1947 4 C.P. Bhambhri: Bureaucracy and Politics in India (Delhi: Vikas, 1971) 5

Green Revolution Perhaps, no other Indian initiative has enhanced the national confidence as the Green Revolution initiated by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan. This revolution, which started in 1965, not only transformed India into a food-surplus economy from a food-deficit economy but also triggered the expansion of the rural, non-farm economy. The lives of at least 400 million to 500 million Indians have been uplifted due to this initiative. From being a perennial importer of grains, India became a net exporter of food grains 10 years ago.

White Revolution - Coming from a generation that experienced an acute shortage of milk, it is unimaginable that, today, we have become the largest producer of milk in the world. The credit goes to the extraordinary vision of one person, Dr. Verghese Kurien. In a nation where children are malnourished, such abundance of milk has offered us the opportunity to fight malnutrition with the means produced in India

6. The economic reforms of 1991--initiated by the late Narasimha Rao, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Shri P. Chidambaram and Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia--opened up the minds of Indian corporate leaders to the power of global markets, helped them accept competition at home and abroad, and raised the confidence of consumers. Our hard currency reserves have gone up from a mere $1.5 billion in 1991 to over $220 billion today. The reforms encouraged entrepreneurship and gave confidence to businessmen and entrepreneurs to dream big, create jobs, enhance exports, acquire companies abroad and follow the finest principles of corporate governance

7. Economic scenario: Inflation is an index that is given on the basis of average calculations of the present situation vis-à-vis preceding weeks. The inflation has shot so high that the average is now showing almost zero inflation. They boast of near-zero inflation as an achievement whereas all of us are aware how far the prices of essential commodities soared high. The way they played around the petroleum prices as the elections approached near showed their ability or the lack of it to control the prices

8. S.R. Maheshwari : ―Bureaucracy and political development in India‖ in Indian journal of political science, vol. 39 7 Carl J. Friedrich: Constitutional Government and Democracy (Calcutta: Oxford and IBH, 1966). 8. J.W. Garner: Political Science and Government (Calcutta: World Press, 1952), II Edn.7

As per my opinion, because of glorious achievement of Democratic form of Government in India, which gained in last sixty year, India still persist with Democratic form of governance.