It is pleasantly fortuitous to be able to review a book on democracy on the 65th anniversary of India’s Independence, especially as the India chapters of this book deal with the challenges our democracy has faced since the birth of the Republic. These challenges have become acute today, with the State and its institutions facing unanticipated and largely unprecedented challenges from a plethora of social and political quarters. Never before have the weaknesses of our State structure and machinery appeared in so pitiless and intolerable a light. Indeed, a question on most lips is: Are we facing breakdown or is this an enormously difficult transition from the ‘basic democracy’ phase to a functioning democratic one?
September 2012, volume 36, No 9