More on Defending India…. Part 1

Indian democracy is something to be proud of
OK, there’s not much new happening in my world. Haven’t been blogging with much frequency lately, but then this voice is giving that blasted GMAT exam so as to get into ISB and push my own standard of living up…but that is neither here nor there. Since there’s not much new stuff happening, I’ll harp on some old stuff.

Ok first off, you know your country has moved up in the world when it stops appearing in the political section of the Economist, and moves into its Economics section. Being an avid subscriber to the Economist, I’ve been noticing this gradual change occur over the past 4/5 years. But with greater publicity comes greater criticism. Especially when one makes the statement China is way ahead of India, in terms of development.

MYTH – Democracy is what is holding India back. As Arun Shourie, the ex-disinvestment minister put it (as a reason for why nothing gets done) – “In India, everybody has a Veto”. I would just like to state for the record that this is bullshit. There is a strong voice within and without India, that respects the “order” and “discipline” with which China functions. I’d like to tell all of those people that if it wasn’t for Indian democracy, they wouldn’t even be able to freely make that criticism. China has a nice way of dealing with dissent – it’s called Jail (and some extreme cases, Death). Yes our population is out of control. But as Indians, we believe in reproductive rights – this means that a woman will NOT have a her ovaries removed by hospital staff after her first child-birth in India. Even though Human-rights violations MAY occur on an almost daily basis in India, they are not mandated as a part of the foundation of our Country. They are unconstitutinal, illegal, and the perpetrators CAN BE brought to justice – the framework for all of this exists, and works more often than the media and Cynical Indians would have you believe.

Here’s a another critical point – Women. Yes, there are still a gazillion atrocities committed against women. Yes, it’s still unsafe for women to walk the streets alone at night (Although I would like to state it wasn’t much safer for the women who were attacked in the Wharton School bathrooms by a rapist – TWO YEARS IN A ROW). Anyway back to my point – the biggest proof that democracy works in India is the number of women in power. Are these women repectable, the epitome of Morality, or even woman that I like? Nope. Still, here’s the list:

Vasundhara Raje – Chief Minister of Rajasthan

Uma Bharti – Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

Jayalalitha – Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

Sheila Dikshit – Chief Minister of Delhi

Mayawati – Ex-Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Low-Caste (and also stupid enough to try and secretly construct a Shopping Mall next to the Taj Mahal – reason she was kicked out of power).

Mamta Bannerjee – Head of Opposition in West Bengal

Sushma Swaraj – ex-Health Minister

Honorary Mention – Indira Gandhi – ex-Prime Minister (deceased)

Sonia Gandhi – Congress Party President
Behind every great man there is a woman….She’s not the leader of India – but she damn well could have been. First time I’ve EVER heard of anybody renounce Prime Ministership! Yes she got where she did only because she married a former leader…but before you point your finger repeat after me: SON OF A FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE USA.

All of these women were in positions of power. Influential positions. As much people would like to believe that these women probably got here through their connections or whatever, the fact is that they got voted into power. I voted for Sheila Dikshit myself and am a fan of hers…And after they got voted, they were (and are) accepted by most of the public. For a country as “backwards” as India, this is a big step. I could draw a parallel with a 200-and-something year old democracy which is YET to ELECT a woman into a position of significant power (Currently 8 of the 50 states have a woman governor)…but I won’t…

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