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Magical India, The Largest Home of Democracy for Evermore

July 25, 2019

We have devoted a lot of time to the erosion of any form of free speech and basic freedoms in China and their intent to extend their sovereignty all over the world. Moreover, true democracy has waned in many parts of the world to populism and just basic unscrupulous dictatorships in otherwise former democracies. In terms of scale, China is the most populous country with approximately 1.42 billion people in 2018. India is the second largest country in the world by population with approximately 1.35 billion inhabitants in 2018 which is roughly split between men and women. Together these two countries comprise over one-third of the world’s population with one representing a dictatorship and the other a democracy.

In a relatively short period of time, India will surpass China as the most populous country in the world due to the misguided historical Mao doctrine of “one family/one child” which together with the Chinese preference for male children caused families to throw away the females who actually bear future children. Perhaps starvation prevention was foremost in population control in what ultimately created an aging population with an unwillingness to accept immigrants, coupled with a natural distaste of others to go live there and forego all personal freedoms. In short, India will become the largest home of a political system and most notably the best - democracy.  

The author’s India experience began some 25 years ago in an oil development project in a remote area on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and continues to this day though the current involvement no longer requires hard hats.

The Indian adventure began by landing in the Rajahmundry airport on the banks of the sacred Godavari River in the southeast Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to conduct a due diligence survey of the assets operated by the Indian state oil company. By the way, the current population of Rajahmundry is some 350,000 who are undoubtedly served by a newer airport than that shown below.

The democratic process of India was demonstrated by the 2019 general election which was held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19 with the result declared on May 23. Some 900 million people were eligible to vote and the turnout was over 67 percent which was the highest ever and also represented the highest participation by women voters. In fact, the women voted equal to their proportion of the population representation and perhaps, even greater, having found a means to influence their lives in a free democracy.

Narenda Modi was re-elected to a second term as prime minister following a campaign focused on Hindu nationalism and national security. Once confirmed, Modi stated his priority was to fix the weakening economy while recognizing the need to improve the lives of all Indians. His economic failures during the previous term were overshadowed by a show of military strength shortly before the election following an incident with neighboring Pakistan. Nothing like a good mini-war to rally the folks. In the process, he destroyed the party of Nehru and Indira Gandhi to the extent that Rahul Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi, relinquished his leadership of the long- standing Congress party.

Nonetheless, Modi is well-liked by the populace covering a broad spectrum and set out a series of sound policies including a focus on the ever-present corruption which has hindered the growth of the economy and distribution of wealth. Further, with respect to influence, the historical Indian caste system has a significant impact which we will address in a separate commentary.  Even though one may be in the lowest caste, they still get one vote just like the folks at the upper end. Therefore, democracy is the greatest equalizer to the lack of choice that resides within Xi Jinping who believes in one vote but only for one person which is him.

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