India seems to have implemented “Western-style democracy”, but the quality of democracy is not optimistic.
Since independence in 1947, India is eager to play an important role on the world stage. It has always had a “great power dream”, and generations of Indian political elites have continuously sought the road to power. Since the 21st century, India’s efforts to seek the status of a great power have become more apparent. However, as a big country in the developing world, India has not only solved many problems brought out of the “mother womb” for more than 70 years since its independence, but it has further entered a difficult situation-under the democratic system that looks like a Western style, it is full of localities. The caste system is deeply entrenched, and sectarian conflicts continue…
India’s ambitious ambition for the status of a great power is in sharp contrast to its unsatisfactory political, social and economic situation. This realistic dilemma has always hindered India’s national modernization development.
Western-style “democracy” has many political problems
Compared with the great unified central dynasty in ancient China, there has never been a central dynasty in ancient India that can stably rule most of the territory of modern India. Due to the lack of powerful centralized rule in history, India has formed a structure of separatist separation like a thousand-layer cake. According to the division of ethnicity, caste, religion, and class, Indian society is divided into small communities that are autonomous and independent.
The founding political elite of India represented by the National Congress Party has regarded fighting for national independence and maintaining national unity as its supreme two historical tasks from the beginning. Under the guidance of inclusive Indian nationalism, the elite of the National Congress Party has designed a complete set of political systems featuring compromises and compromises based on the Western-style democratic system, allowing different nationalities, different religions, different castes, and different strata Indians have gained equal political status-Indian citizens. Many Indian scholars have said that if India does not have such a democratic system, national unity cannot be maintained. Objectively speaking, in this sense, India’s system of government has achieved a success.
However, India’s social integration lacks the historical heritage and cultural identity on which it is based. Although the design of the political system has theoretically bridged the diversity and heterogeneity of Indian society, India’s political life actually revolves around the “subnational” identity and identity politics of religion, caste, ethnicity, and class, without real Form a sense of national identity and social cohesion. Not only that, the compromised and eclectic system design of Indian nationalism has also allowed various groups to stick to and consolidate their spheres of influence. Instead, it has made it more difficult to promote social integration at the national level, and the result has become endless party disputes and various internal strifes. Melee. This made it impossible for successive Indian governments to unify their forces in the advancement of the country, but scattered at various social levels, forming a unique “chaos” unique to India, making it difficult to promote economic transformation and reform.
Since the 1980s, Indian politics has been highly diversified, and various political parties have sprung up. Local nationalist parties representing local autonomy tendencies, caste political parties that safeguard the interests of specific castes, religious political parties that highlight beliefs and appeals, and class political parties that emphasize social fairness have all stepped onto the political stage, on the nerves of nations, castes, religions, and classes. Constantly tearing Indian society. From 1989 to 2014, there were no more than half of the political parties in India’s general elections, and “floating parliament” became the norm in Indian politics.
If the caste problem in India is not resolved in a day, the resulting violence will endlessly.
Statistics show that in 1954, India’s per capita income was higher than that of China, and indicators such as life expectancy and literacy rate were relatively close to China. But the development results of the two countries are very different. In China today, the grain output is twice that of India, the total trade volume is 5.2 times that of India, the overall economic scale is 4.78 times that of India, the average life expectancy is about 10 years higher than that of India, and infrastructure construction is even more inconsistent. Zhang Weiwei, dean of the China Academy of Fudan University, believes that there are many problems in the Indian political system and the quality of democracy is quite low. Without addressing these challenges, the gap with China will only increase.
The first is that the Indian caste system cannot be truly solved. Although India has legally abolished the caste system, the caste system itself is part of the teachings of Hinduism. It is deeply entrenched and ubiquitous in India, which severely restricts the process of modernization of Indian society. India has been independent for more than 70 years, but in many primary schools in rural India, high-caste children can sit on small wooden benches while low-caste children can only sit on the ground.
Secondly, although Gandhi advocated equality between men and women, India never really carried out a substantial women’s liberation movement. Indian society is basically a patriarchal society. Women’s status is far lower than men’s, illiteracy is far higher than men’s, and the employment rate is far lower than men’s. Although there are heavy female figures such as Indira Gandhi and Sonya Gandhi in the Indian political arena, it only shows that ordinary Indians still have some kind of blind worship of celebrities’ spouses and descendants. India’s democratic system is very big The degree is still family politics.
Another point is that India is unable to promote real land reform. The founding Prime Minister of India, Nehru himself, hoped to promote the land reform. In fact, a large proportion of Indian parliamentarians are representatives of landlords, which makes it difficult for any real land reform plan to be passed in parliament. India’s field management level and water conservancy construction level are far lower than China, and it is not surprising that grain output is only half of China’s.
In addition, although India adopts Western-style democratic politics, the corruption problem is very serious. It is common for politicians to use money to directly or indirectly vote. British Indian novelist and columnist Rana Dasgupta commented on corruption in India: “There is little doubt that this corruption will persist for a long time. In fact, the language itself can no longer describe the upper class of Indian businessmen and bureaucrats. The high complexity of the inter-relationship network. It has become an important engine for the rapid input of capital into the political system, and no other method can achieve its speed.”
Sect conflict has become a social cancer
When it comes to religion, India can “hang” the world. India is a country with many ethnic groups, complex religions, and ideological diversity. Among them, the indigenous religious Hindu population accounts for about 82%, Muslims who believe in Islam account for about 12%, and Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and other religious believers account for 6%. This feature is not only the biggest challenge facing India’s social and economic development, but also one of the main reasons for the conflict and division of India’s society since independence.
Indian nationalism actually originated from the national independence movement. It was India’s nationalism that prompted people of different religious denominations to form the basic identity of the nation and eventually ended British rule. However, the sectarian conflicts and political divisions that accompanied the national independence also led to the division of India and Pakistan.
In 1950, the Indian Constitutional Conference established the principle of “separation of state and religion” through the Constitution; in 1976, “secularism” was officially written into the Indian Constitution. This measure prevented the spread of Hinduism to a certain extent, and prevented the continued expansion of Hinduism. However, this political legacy did not last long. Indian nationalism is often labeled as “Hindu nationalism”. While causing domestic chaos, sectarian and religious conflicts have also become a fuse for social differentiation and a major cancer that affects domestic stability and even international relations.
On October 31, 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, which also led to the religious massacre of Sikhs by Hindus who shocked the world a month later. After the 1990s, a series of conflicts broke out between Hindus and Muslims, which further shaken the foundations of secular principles.
Whether it is a large-scale conflict between Hindus and Sikhs or a bloody incident between Hindus and Muslims, Hindu nationalism has become almost synonymous with Indian nationalism in politics. When nationalism is entangled with issues such as poverty, race, religion, and borders, and is used by a handful of extreme, radical, and xenophobic nationalists, it may evolve into inter-ethnic conflicts that may eventually lead to ethnic divisions.
The rape of the 5-year-old girl led to a mass demonstration in India.
There is a constant conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India.
It is worrying that Modi, the leader of the People’s Party of India, won the election in May 2014 with an “overwhelming” advantage, which should be said to be inseparable from the support of Hindu nationalism. Not only does the Indian People’s Party and Government frequently participate in various religious activities, but it also publicly criticizes the secularism principle set by the National Congress during the period as “pseudo-secularism” and vigorously promotes the controversial “Hinduism supremacy”, which is a typical example. This is the implementation of the “Bulling Ban”. In addition, a series of cultural promotion activities related to Hinduism have been publicly implemented, including yoga as a compulsory course for grades 6 to 10 of the central government public school.
In December last year, the Indian Parliament passed an amendment to the Citizenship Law, which became a formal law. Indian Prime Minister Modi believes: “This amendment will alleviate the suffering of people who have been persecuted for many years” “in line with the assimilation spirit and humanitarian values of India for hundreds of years.” The problem is that this bill for the first time regards religion as an Indian citizen The nationality standard in the law violates the spirit of Indian secularism and excludes Muslims, and it is suspected of serious discrimination against Muslims.
This is actually the third highly controversial policy that has easily led to religious conflict since Prime Minister Modi led the People’s Party of India to win the second election and succeed in re-election. Unsurprisingly, the amendments to the Citizenship Act led to months of unrest in the Indian capital Delhi, and the largest ethnic conflict in India has erupted between Hindus and Muslims in decades.
At present, for Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party of India, promoting the capacity building of the Indian central government and national ethnic integration is one of its core tasks. Modi hopes to unite different members of society with the spirit of Hinduism, and consolidate the ruling power of the Indian People’s Party through the ideological trend of “Hindu identity”. However, the rising nationalist sentiment of Hinduism has brought about lethal power to India’s national unity, and it is likely to become a resistance to India’s domestic reform and the realization of the goal of a big country.
Economic momentum is insufficient
From 2000 to 2009, the average growth rate of India’s GDP reached 7.42%. At that time, the Indian media said that India may surpass Japan to become the third largest economy in the world in 2011. However, things were counterproductive. After that, the Indian economy did not develop as expected, the economic growth momentum weakened, and even signs of stagnation appeared.
After being elected as Prime Minister of India in 2014, Modi implemented a series of major reforms in India, including creating a friendly environment to attract investment, developing manufacturing to create jobs, promoting reform and opening up of the domestic market, attaching importance to infrastructure construction, May pay more attention to the poor and increase poverty alleviation, etc., launched “Made in India”, “Digital India”, “Smart City”, “Clean India”, “Monsoon Plan”, “Ring of India Industrial Corridor”, “Bill of Money Order”, unified commodity services Taxes and other economic and social development measures.
“Modi Economics” also seems to have submitted a sufficiently good economic data report. From 2014 to 2018, India’s GDP growth rate was 7.4%, 8%, 7.1%, 6.7% and 7.4%, respectively. The average growth rate reached 7.3%, making it the fastest-growing country in the world’s major economies.
India has a huge population market, and developing manufacturing is a good way out. The Indian government has proposed the slogan “Made in India” since 2014, the purpose of which is to improve the economic structure by expanding manufacturing. Thanks to the “Made in India” plan and a series of supporting measures to improve the business environment, India’s manufacturing industry has significantly accelerated over the past five years. From 2014 to 2018, industrial added value increased by 8.6%, 10.2%, 8.9%, 9.1% and 6.9%. Xiaomi, Wistron, Foxconn, BYD, Apple and other companies have set up factories in India.
“Made in India” seems promising, but in fact the country’s infrastructure such as roads, railway lines and ports are all inadequate, improvement actions are slow to progress, and land acquisition is difficult. The business environment is not very good. The available data shows that this economic structure of India not only did not change in the direction envisaged by the Indian government, but further deteriorated on the original basis. In the fiscal year 2019-2020, India’s manufacturing sector accounted for 11.4% of GDP. In the last fiscal year, this figure was still 12.2%.
“Everything is expensive except for labor costs.” This has become the best portrayal of the status quo in India’s manufacturing industry. India has a demographic dividend, but it can’t even maintain the manufacturing industry based on cheap labor.
The figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics of India on May 29 show that India’s economic growth rate for the fiscal year 2019-20 is 4.2%, and the economic growth rate for January-March this year was 3.1%. It is an obvious fact that India’s economic growth is affected by the epidemic, but in fact, before the impact of the epidemic, India’s economic growth momentum has been very weak.
Liang Haiming, Dean of the “Belt and Road” Academy of Hainan University and Dean of the Silk Road Zhigu Research Institute, also said: “The reform of Indian Prime Minister Modi will continue to be doubtful. Structural reform, poor infrastructure construction, low literacy rate and social culture Such transformations are difficult to complete overnight. What’s more serious is that the tumultuous political democracy in India’s multi-party system will limit the growth space of the Indian economy for a long time.”