What keeps the miracle train rolling smoothly is the fuel of a timeless philosophy, the subcontinent’s single greatest asset. A complex ratcheting of the ideas of karma, dharma, maya, satya, moksha. The purity of action, the principle of right conduct, the web of illusion, the permanence of truth, the liberation from desire. Cause and effect; the cyclical nature of life. All of them assimilated through osmosis, not instruction.
Indians and democracy were made for each other. Both are constructed to absorb a million mutinies, a billion arguments. It can be safely said that Indian democracy is the template of the world’s future — as borders of nations, races, and classes rapidly disappear; as communication and travel take everyone everywhere. Unlike China, India respects the first principle of the human condition: liberty for all. Unlike most countries of the world it already speaks in a myriad tongues yet understands itself. It knows deep deprivation, it knows deep pain, it knows deep suffering, and it knows how to handle them all without becoming a raging beast. It has the supreme rationalities of science sit easily along with the supreme irrationalities of spirituality. It honours both, and learns from both. It is built on the plinth of noble ideas, and stands on the shoulders of noble men.
As global lines melt and liberty goes everywhere, this is the miracle train — of Indian democracy — that the rest of the world will have to study — and copy — if it is to chug into the infinite future without too many an accident or derailment."
Tarun J Tejpal, on Indian democracy
image by Nagesh Kamath