Monday, June 6, 2011

It's the army, stupid.

My latest Yahoo! column explores why India remained democratic when so many developing countries were taken over by dictators. Read it here.

I've been off the blog for a while, but promise to post more often in weeks to come.


jaimit said...

the yahoo column has more ramdev comments than i can take. hence my comment here.
to my understadning also we give nehru far less credit for building a robust democracy than he deserves. and people also do not completely understand the trade offs in building and sustaining a democracy. i loved the article and to my mind, this line is what i loved :-
"This creates inefficiency and a lack of coordination, but it's a price well worth paying"
it workes even in companies. we must understand trade offs required before we try and implement /advocate 'change'.

Girish Shahane said...

Thanks Jaimit! Yes, the comments on the column page itself make me wonder if anybody bothered to read the (admittedly long) piece.

Anonymous said...

I loved the comments almost as much a last night's episode of Family Guy. Lois, who's running for mayoral elections, realises that unless she gives short answers she's not going to connect with the undecided voters. So her response to any and every question is: 9/11. She wins :)

Oh and I really liked the column!

Girish Shahane said...


@mature said...

Very Well said...
However I'll add more to it. Because you forgot most important thing here. Howz that inspite of not turning a dictatorial state, the power remains with a family - Nehru Family.
Nehru used the British Policy of "Divide and Rule" to make Democracy Survive. Making Three different Chiefs of equal status for Army, Air Force and Navy was one of them. Creating not so powerful Paramilitary Forces, so that they don't need to use Army in domestic affairs every now and then was another. sBut biggest of all was the game of not creating a purely hindu state .May be that is what going wrong for Nepal.That can be reason why most of Islamic Nation have fallen to Dictators. Here in India may be Hindu's will not accept a Muslim dictator and Muslims won't accept a Hindu Dictator. Bengali's won't accept a South Indian leadership and South Indians will not accept a Punjabi as there leader. So, by default democracy is the best option to keep the state intact. And that's why able Defence Leaders never tried to take over because that would have only led to the disintegration of so called INDIA into smaller independent states with independent dictators. Even Indira Gandhi realised that and restored Democracy after 18 months of Emergency. Making Civil Servants sit on top of Military leaders and creating multiple agencies not only created confusion and lack of coordination but also opened gates for corruption. So by not giving the Indian defence forces the credit for not being as greedy as Pakistani counterparts and sparing all of us from living in disintegrated India, we are not doing any good. Because you never know it happens now... Murphy's Law is applicable anywhere and everywhere. As it is Indian Democracy is hardly Democracy. Its more of a Pseudo Democracy, where the power keeps coming back to the same family every now and then, in spite of all the wrongs done by them to common man. Isn't this Dictatorship or why Rajiv Gandhi with no political knowledge needed to be brought back after Indira Gandhi's assassination. Reasons ??? That's Divide and Rule.