A comment online about an article on India allowing several forms of identification when voting
“Funny how a nation of 1.3 billion people does democracy better than the U.S.
Meanwhile, idiots comment stuff like “But muh Murica is 9000x the size of Norway! So it will never work here”
This made me think of the several conscious choices the leadership made at independence in ’47:
“Even though we’re a civilisation five or six thousand years old, we’re a super-young modern nation-state, having achieved independence from Britain in 1947.
From what I’ve read – and for that matter heard from people two generations older, who were adults around then – India’s equivalents of your founding fathers adopted several bold, forward-thinking policies that were at odds with both history and the state of the population then: a parliamentary democracy. A federal structure. A republic. Separation of church (and temple and mosque and gurudwara and…) and state. A mutually independent triumvirate of legislature, executive and judiciary. Non-political armed forces. A written constitution. Universal adult franchise. Non-alignment with both the US and the Soviet spheres of influence. Retaining English as a national-level official language.
These were all massive experiments at breathtaking scale for a nation of some 400 million people living in abject poverty resulting from sustained plunder over 200 years of British rule. All of these experiments have succeeded and endured.
And all of these are recent enough for most Indians – urban or rural, man or woman, English-speaking or not, religious or not – to look at successful models, political or economic, abroad, shrug and say “yeah sure, why not?””