The official Chinese new agency Xinhua said in a commentary, published to coincide with the ongoing session of the Chinese Parliament, “… a bipartisan political system would have led to endless political bickering and political dysfunction in the country…”
It said that had China adopted a western style democracy, as India has done “… (it also) would be caught in a self perpetuating cycle of limitless debates…” “..At best, China would have been another India, the world’s biggest democracy by Western standards, where around 20 percent of the worlds poorest live and whose democracy focuses on how power is divided.”
Though these comments are bound to generate anger in India, there is truth in what the news report says.
The sheer magnitude, as well as the complexity of problems being faced by India, is a challenge so enormous, that Indians must sit up and ask themselves a question- “Is our political system capable of meeting the challenges being faced by our society, polity and economy?”
The answer is a loud, clear and an unambiguous “NO”.
This is on account of the following reasons:
Firstly, a seamless integration of the society with its polity is a prerequisite for the success of a modern, western style, liberal democracy.
A highly fragmented and deeply divided society, which rises out of a rigid caste system, arranged in a strict and immovable social hierarchy, where the right to worship and performance of rituals is limited to a group of persons whose membership can be obtained only by birth and where there are very wide economic and educational inequality, ensures that such differences are translated and transposed onto the political system.
It would be utterly naive to assume that this can be avoided.
Secondly, the sheer scale of the Indian population implies that the problems are multiplied manifold, rather in an exponential sequence.
Thirdly, in case of India, we have still not let go of the British legacy. Our political system is based entirely on the left-overs of the British Raj. It carries the tenor and flavour of a nation far off, alien to the people, thereby makes it difficult for the the common folk, even today, to own up the system and its laws.
Consider the fact that the vernacular common masses find it difficult, even today, to interact with the highly anglicised elite, comprising of western educated bureaucrats, media persons, advocates & judges, and even business leaders, who govern the country.
In such a scenario, a seamless integration of the society, with its polity, is difficult to materialise.
This has rendered the working of the political system in India as being utterly inefficient and sub-optimal. The result is that a great deal of energy of the nation is wasted on account of the friction being generated, as the society tries to work along-side the polity.
The precious and vital energy and resources of the nation are being wasted and frittered away, as we fail to achieve an optimal utilisation of these very scarce commodities.
Countries like China have been able to overcome these issues successfully.
In the final analysis, the Chinese utilize their resources better, hence are more efficient, and have achieved faster progress, thereby benefiting the people more.