Businessweek Archives

Democracy In India Is Alive And Well (Int'l Edition)


International -- Readers Report

DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS ALIVE AND WELL (int'l edition)

In "India shouldn't Balkanize" (Editorials, June 3), you suggest that conditions in India are reminiscent of the Balkans. Anyone who doesn't know better is likely to believe what you have written is a good evaluation of contemporary India. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The editorial suggests only two alternatives: economic growth or "anarchy, hatred, and bloodshed." It goes on to "hope that the military, one of India's most integrated and national institutions, ensures stability." I am sure you did not mean to suggest a military takeover in India. This is appalling, coming from a respected weekly magazine published in the U.S.

We have witnessed the smooth process by which a dignified Indian President, Shankar Dayal Sharma, invited the Bharatiya Janata Party, whose leader, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then chose to exit in an equally dignified manner after assessing that he would not have a majority in Parliament. H.D. Deve Gowda of the United Front has just as smoothly been appointed Prime Minister. It must be noted there was no "anarchy, hatred, and bloodshed" visible in this process in India.

The military also witnessed two Defense Ministers in the last week changing places: Pramod Mahajan was replaced by Mulayam Singh Yadav with no rancor. These events speak volumes for our democratic system.

Yes, the jury is out, equally to judge India--and your editorial--with the passage of time.

Sunand Sharma

Chairman

Quantum Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

New DelhiReturn to top

CLEANING UP MEXICO MEANS OUSTING THE PRI (int'l edition)

I had just finished reading Andres Oppenheimer's book on Mexico's turbulent society and politics, Bordering on Chaos, when I read your review of it ("What's rotten in the state of Mexico," Books, May 13). For anyone even remotely familiar with the corrupt nature of the Mexican political system, it is evident that if the country is ever to have a chance at becoming a prosperous nation, it must, at a minimum, rid itself of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). As Oppenheimer amply documents, this will require nothing less than a monumental moral renewal movement--unprecedented in a society perilously accustomed to the PRI's corruption as a way of life.

This must be a Mexican grassroots movement, but all of us living in democratic societies must do all we can to promote and support peaceful but prompt change in Mexico. Publicly calling its Stone Age political system corrupt, undemocratic, and plainly unacceptable would be a nice first step on the part of its NAFTA partners. And even on the part of some of BUSINESS WEEK's own columnists, who have lately come out in support of Mexico's morally and economically indefensible political class.

Raul E. Jimenez

Panama CityReturn to top


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