Why is India a success story?

The answer to the success of India as a democratic country lies in three reasons.

The first is simply – Mohandas Karamchand ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi.

His policy of using ahimsa as the tool to achieve independence gave us too many benefits. Let me list them out.

a. No powerful military leader

b. No guerillas lurking in the mountains

c. Very little destruction of public property

This meant that Nehru didn’t have to fight the army at every step. If we are to look at other nations that won independence the violent way, military coups have been the norm. To make things worse for them, the military is usually more susceptible to the interference from outside forces. The military has always been the way in for the CIA and the KGB into countries. In India the constitution and the hierarchy developed by Nehru, Ambedkar and the rest ensured that no military leader would become powerful enough to challenge the authority of the executive.

This brings us to the next advantage that India had over others, a set of educated leaders. Nehru, Patel, Ambedkar, and others were all educated and learned. This ensured that the constitution was drafted after having studied other similar documents. They adapted the good parts and learnt from the mistakes made by others.

It would be unfair at this point if we do not mention the role of industry. Business houses like the Tatas and Birlas contributed to generating employment and this meant that the people weren’t left twiddling their thumbs after independence.

If we were to look at the other countries that got independence from colonial powers, they would lack at least one of the above mentioned characters.

List of countries that have got their independence from Great Britain:

Egypt, 1922, ruled by a king, no industry, major revenue tourism

India, 1947

Rhodesia, 1965, independence won through guerilla warfare, blacks not treated as equals

Botswana, 1966, first PM was a colonel

Lesotho, 1966, through military action

Gambia, 1966, democratic government

Aden, 1967, through violent means

Democracy in India was fated to succeed, just as it was fated to fail in other places. So much so that even despite Nehru’s flirtation with socialism, and the Laloo Prasad Yadav’s this country has remained a democracy.

Personally I feel that the major contributing factor was Gandhi and the lessons he taught us. The other two reasons just happened to fall into place.


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