Monday, June 09, 2008

Inner Resilience

Nice article in the Financial Times on (at least) seven kinds of young Indians. The author concludes :

Indians are rightly proud that their country is one of the world’s only continuously democratic developing nations. In the six decades since independence, predictions that a country with India’s combination of extreme poverty and religious and ethnic diversity would fail to consolidate a nascent democratic culture have been as regular as the monsoon. They have been proved repeatedly wrong. Now, however, as India stands on the verge of the “bold advance” that Nehru predicted, it also faces its greatest test. There is no prospect of any generalised popular uprising against the state, but unless more of liberalisation’s children are invited to the party, the music to which the elites are so deliriously dancing will surely stop.

Quite improbably India thrives (after a fashion) despite the overwhelming odds. Some countries have infrastructural resilience that can take a lot of beating and still bounce back. That is not true about India - the country's resilience comes from within its people. They expect very little from the system, are capable of finding highly innovative ways around it and finally in the face of crushing odds, they are able to accept their lot with stoicism and a tinge of resignation.


That may the only reason why the naysayers have been proven wrong in their predictions on the fate of our unlikely democracy. The day we lose our collective inner strength and our ability to be somewhat fatalistic about our circumstances, the odds will most likely defeat us.

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