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India: The Biggest Democratic Failure

May 16, 2014 Leave a comment

India: The Biggest Democratic Failure

Friday, 18 April 2014 09:44 Kasim Javed

From the 7th April to May the 12th the world’s largest democracy will be having the world’s largest elections – arguably the largest democratic event in history. Over 800 million people inImage India will go to the polling stations to elect the next parliament of India. The sheer size of the population (the average constituency size is 1.3 million people) and the convolutions of such a big electoral process has created euphoria around the world. ‘people Power,’ ‘transparent governance,’ ‘accountability’ etc have become the mantra of newspaper headlines, however, beyond the surface of this event, democracy is in fact the virus that has infected India and turned it into another basket case of democratic failure.

Since India’s opening era in 1991, which was predicated with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 India has been analysed by economists, geopolitical experts and futurologists as an emerging power. It was recognized as one of the BRIC nations and a state that is today success story of global capitalism with a $1.7 trillion economy. Whilst the Chinese economy has been characterized as “The World’s Workshop” due its large manufacturing sector, India is known as “The World’s Back Office” due to the large IT services sector that generates 54% of the nation’s wealth. But like all capitalist countries, the wealth of India is concentrated in a handful of individuals with the 100 richest Indians worth $259 billion. The wealth that the country has generated has not trickled down to the rest of the population with 32.7% of the country living in extreme poverty of less than $1.25 per day, and although not considered as poverty, 96.3% live on less than $5 per day highlighting the sheer wealth disparity that exist and the failure of capitalism to distribute wealth. Today India is home to a third of the world’s poor. Read more…

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