Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Can the Indian state be undermined by power blocks?

The Indian state as with anything Indian is an unique animal. At once bursting at its seams with a population explosion, scores of gods languages a climates, secessionist movements et all. We are unique and we could also become potentially powerful. But can the Indian state be undermined by a few particular power centers: Can the industry, interest groups or military ever provide a substitute (or a strong influence) in the current system. I would think not:

1) Structural stability: The seemingly arbitrary democracy by its vagaries ensures that the power is never concentrated at any given center for any particular period of time. This is applicable more in the national framework, with the regional parties constantly seeking attention. Many of the states have become inherently 2 party systems with no viable alternatives emerging (there is no strong reason for/against their going the coalition way), and these 2 parties tend to have a varying amount of influence on the centers.

2) Innovation is scarce: Indian innovation is confined to few centers of excellence in the public sector & a the rest lies in the adventurism of the Indian entrepreneur. He is likely to fight for his survival through manhandling the political machinery, but will he be more powerful than the state? Unlikely

3) Lack of expansionist tendencies: We historically have rarely invaded other countries (good/bad is out of scope). An influencing power center is formed when there is inherent feeling of superiority/inferiority among the populace. A group is convinced about what is right and sets out the mend the world in its world view. Our world view is based on inclusion, we would expand our physical presence & ideas, but area? Not for us.

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