In april 2012, elections were held in India. Something normal in a country that is proud to consider itself as the largest democracy in the world. Even if such a claim is a pure fallacy, a ( electronic) polling booth had been installed in the jungles of Gujarat ( a western Indian state) to permit to an hermit to vote, a man who lives alone since ten years in a forest where live the last Asiatic lions.
Installing a booth for only one man is a privilege in a country where there are more than 700 millions voters. May be it’s because in India ( in hinduism) an individual is more important than the masses ! Another reason could be the man is an hindu monk ( a “sadhu”) who is living in a state ruled by hindu fundamentalists. ( A state where 10 years earlier were held the biggest hindu-muslim violences in contemporary India.) So it helped to convince the electoral commission ( whose members are hindus who consider any hindu vote is welcome ) to bring such an equipment in such a remote place !
Indeed, the indian political life is a travesty of democracy. The collusion between politics, business and criminality generate a state of insecurity that undermine the institutions. Thousands of rascals (“Goonda”) intimidate the local administrations, the media, even the police. Moreover, corruption is pervasive, from the usual “baksheesh”( tip, bribe) to the maladministration and abuses of power. Something not new in India !
In the beginning of the XIX° century, a french priest, the abbot Dubois, has written that while the Europeans were exploiting the country methodically, they were following some rules the indian tradition ignored. At Pondicherry ( a former french colony in the southern state of Tamil Nadu), the french administration had to tolerate corrupted practices because it was impossible to change the local culture of “baksheesh”. Since the Independence ( in 1947), New Delhi has failed to eradicate the corruption. One example among many others : Bollywood stars declare lower fees to the tax authorities than what they really earn. Then, subtracted sums are invested illegaly, in particular in properties. A black economy developed and is even thriving, a power that is spining out of control…but that is creating jobs !