Thursday, December 08, 2005
Democracy and Laloo Prasad Yadav
Hussain Haqqani writes in the Indian Express:
Had Bihar been a part of Pakistan, [Laloo Prasad] Yadav would have been toppled in a military coup supported by civil servants, western educated bankers and MNC employees. But Indians accepted Yadav’s excesses and corruption to uphold their democratic constitution. In the end, the democratic process brought Yadav’s misrule in Bihar to an end. There is a lesson for those who cite corruption or administrative incompetence of elected leaders as justification for doing away with democracy. As long as strong constitutional structures are allowed to exist and political parties compete for power on a level field, democracy itself sorts out corrupt populist leaders.Well, democracy's hardly perfect -- consider how long Yadav ruled in Bihar, and that a certain Mr Modi still rules in Gujarat. But it's better than any alternative. It just requires a lot of patience, that's all.