Modern India: The Origins of An Asian Democracy

By Judith M. Brown | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER VII
Epilogue: India's Democratic Experience

India's ability to sustain democratic forms of government and politics through the second half of this century is in sharp contrast to the experience of her Asian neighbours, and of most former colonies in Africa. There have been no military bids for power, and even Mrs Gandhi's months of 'Emergency Rule' (which many thought perilously close to dictatorship) were ended by the electors' verdict in 1977. Despite phases of acute domestic strain and violence, the assassination of two Prime Ministers, and a number of armed conflicts with neighbours, she has also remained a stable, independent regional power. It is no wonder that India's democratic experience has fascinated historians and political scientists, not to speak of those western visitors who find in India so much that is familiar yet is obviously different in her political life. This book set out to examine the making of this rare political phenomenon, an Asian democracy. It has investigated its roots in the growth of institutions and new patterns of political behaviour, in the development of Indian ideas, particularly about power, authority and group identity, and in the nature of the society into which democratic forms have been welcomed, despite their alien social and cultural origins. But our study would be incomplete without some consideration of India's continuing experience of democracy since independence, some attempt to understand both its durability and its frailties, and also whether it has accomplished the tasks set for it by the end of colonial rule and the expectation of its peoples. This epilogue is only an introduction to the complexities of modern India's democratic experience. Excellent literature is available on the political system, society, and economy, and the varied experience of different states with the Indian Union: some are suggested at the end of this volume. What follows is a discussion of some important themes as signposts for readers who wish to explore more deeply the lives of a people we have followed for two centuries, from being subjects of a Muslim empire in the process of erosion by long-term change, to becoming citizens of a democratic, secular state caught up in the political and economic turbulence of the late twentieth-century world.

-363-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Modern India: The Origins of An Asian Democracy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 464

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?