Wednesday, August 15, 2007

India’s most important achievement

I believe India’s single most important achievement is its Democracy. It is almost a wonder that India has retained and preserved the institutions of its democracy even after sixty years of Independence. Even our forefathers might have had some doubts whether we would ever survive sixty years as a democratic nation. Just take a look at so many other nations which got independence during the same time we got ours. Many of them had problems dealing with democracy, and as we speak, many of them are not even democratic. India, however, has consistently kept its promises on this one single institution (with a minor exception).

Now, I would like to choose one single hero who made this happen.

Hero #1: Jawaharlal Nehru

I give credit to Mr Nehru for instilling, promoting, preserving and perpetuating democracy in India. He had all the chances to veer India in any direction he wanted. He could have become the dictator and Indians would have gleefully handed that baton to him. In spite of the slowness of the democracy, which usually irks most newly formed nation in their zeal to get reforms done quite quickly, Nehru stuck to democracy and made sure we all Indians appreciated it. Even a illiterate villager in some remote part of India felt that he had a say in the destiny of this country- and that is an important achievement for this country. Sometimes it meant he had to take the brunt of criticism and ridicule which he did gladly. I believe he is the most important reason why we still have democracy in this country.

The other heroes

Indian Media

I give the next credit to Indian Media who have consistently championed and stood by adhering to the principles of democracy. They have championed it as if it is the greatest asset we have- and which is indeed the case. They have not succumbed to the pressures of political parties and instead stood their ground. Though they have been targeted, lampooned, lynched, and sometimes even killed, the folks of Indian Media did not waver from their staunch support of India's democratic institutions. They have continually reminded the Indian leaders and its peoples that we are a democracy.

Indian Judiciary

Indian judiciary has time and again came in to rescue Indians whenever there was an attempt to subvert Indian democracy.

Indian People

Of course, the true champions and beneficiaries of Indian democracy are its people. They have elected leaders into power and booted them out whenever they didn’t like them, making this a vibrant democracy.

Villain: Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi was one person who came close to almost killing Indian Democracy. She imposed Emergency during 1975-77, took away all our freedoms, imprisoned her political opponents, and made our constitutions, legislation and judiciary defunct. That was the saddest period of our Indian Democracy.

Special Thanks to Jindal

My special thanks to Naveen Jindal who gave ‘independence’ to our National Flag. We can now fly our flag whenever we want, wherever we want. Now, you see Indian flag in the hands of kids, in front of the cars, and almost anywhere. Truly, our flag has become free. Of course, there is a downside to such freedoms. We will see them floating down the gutters and strewn on the roads. But no matter what, we will keep our flag ‘free’ – in spite of such gross ‘misuses’.


  1. I would add one more thing to this list of achievements - An affordable router for rural India - Thanks Sujai :-)

  2. No doubt it takes long to do thingsin india and things to happen but that is the price of democracy.sometimes corruption helps (poverty and greed)
    We Indians (AFTER nearly 1000, years of slavery we have lost prideand a fair bit of pride of our country and sense of discipline we do not respect and appreciate, the sacrifice of ordinary volunteer personel of the security forces,
    we rather spend their energy and money and prayers for highly paid under worked crickters AND PEOPLE IN ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS.
    Perhaps I judge them too harshly, but then I have "never been to India 4th generatinon NRI." as they say MORE INDIAN THAN INDIANS.

  3. Too bad Nehru promoted an anti-Hindu idea of "secularism" which really hurt Hindus in many inestimable ways. Also, he should have promoted Sanskrit, but due to his inferiority complex, chose English as a national language. Had Sanskrit been promoted from day one, India would have been a far more powerful country today. Overall, he was a pretty weak leader.

    Check out the works of scholar Rajiv Malhotra at

    His books "Breaking India", "Being Different", and "Indra's Net" are must reads for any serious thinker who is considered about geopolitical issues and India's role in the world.


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