Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Some day we will look back at the 2010s as being the time when it became fashionable to talk about India’s failed democracy. Such conversation is not new, but has taken center stage in no small measure because of the rhetoric of the Anna Hazares, Arvind Kejriwals and Baba Ramdevs of today’s India. The media for its part, in the pursuit of ratings has propagated this populist viewpoint, often failing to ensure that we have a well-informed electorate.

But every so often, it’s good to take pause and remember that the privilege that we enjoy today of being able to dissent is a result of 65 years of a functioning democracy. For it is this democracy that has given us access to a subsidized education, the right to free speech and the right to a free press.

We are not a perfect democracy, but we are far from being a failed one. For I would not trade in the rights afforded to me by our constitution for any other form of government. As Sir Winston Churchill once put it, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”

So on this 65th anniversary of our democracy, I wish you a very Happy Independence Day.