Opinion: India Doesn�t Need Lessons from US on Pluralism

March 29, 2005

Source: International Herald Tribune


On March 29, 2005 the International Herald Tribune ran an opinion piece by Ramesh Thakur in response to the U.S.'s denial of a visa to Gujurati government official. Thakur argued, "India is a vibrant, rambunctious and resilient democracy. Indians had already been repudiating the central planks of the BJP's anti-Muslim ideology of Hindutva, or Hindus first. The 2002 riots, and the question of culpability by politicians and officials, have been investigated by the national human rights commission, which is genuinely independent. A new central government inquiry has cast serious doubt on the veracity of accounts about Muslims locking Hindu pilgrims in a train carriage and burning them alive, an inflammatory allegation that led to the anti-Muslim riots.

In other words, India was well on the way to demonstrating one of the great virtues of democratic governance: its self-correcting mechanisms. Americans should know that the genius of democracy is that over time people do work out what is good and what is bad for them - and learn that they have to live with the consequences of their choices."