January 17th, 2013
03:18 PM ET

The Indian Spring

By Fareed Zakaria

Americans dismayed by politics in Washington might find something familiar in what’s happening in India. Here, frustration with government has turned into rage. Last month’s gruesome gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman brought tens of thousands onto the streets. And while the protests have subsided, the anger is still palpable and media attention continues to highlight the problem of violence against women. More than a year ago, millions joined in nationwide protests against corruption. “The Indian people are the best in the world,” Arvind Kejriwal, one of the chief organizers of the anti-corruption crusade, told me. “But they have the worst governance, the worst politics.” In fact, the protests and rage are signs of India’s development.

In the past, mass agitations in India have been about religious nationalism or caste identity, or they have been demands for preferential treatment from the government. The more recent protests have a different character: They ask the government to perform its basic duties. Women are not seeking government spending on female empowerment programs. They are demanding that the police and courts function properly so that rape can be prosecuted in the manner required by law.

Read the full column in the Washington Post

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Topics: India

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soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Joseph McCarthy

    If the Indian government and the Maoists there would only come together, the Indian Spring could come full circle. Now they're getting tougher on rapists and that's another step in the right direction. With the Maoists as part of the government, this country would have great potential!

    January 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • wjmccartan

      Good Posting, Joseph. You seem to one of the very few people here to realize the fact that the New Delhi government and the Maoists need to get together. Everyone else here just ignores it. That's why these people are called ignorant and that's why this country is in such big trouble!

      January 18, 2013 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Jason Bellingham

      No Way! Maoists are never a good sign for any Democracy. In order to preserve the democracy intact, India should never make a deal with the communists. India is a good supporter of America and I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to India.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    No doubt change is inevitable in India. The rise of a middle class attracts many Indian ex-pats and foreign investors like a magnet. America's Silicon Valley has always been a hub for some of the brightest and best Indian immigrants to start businesses. Now, in a reversal, more people from the US are moving to India with their ideas, because of the opportunity to innovate and build businesses that they miss in the West. Yet the country's problems and inefficiencies, poverty and poor infrastructure are also challenges for those, who have been used to Western amenities and public services and systems. So India needs to catch up, if it wants to compete with China and the West.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:16 am | Reply
  3. deniz boro

    oks no one could chew a worst .....give the link.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  4. prettygal

    50 million girls in India have gone missing in 3 generations through practices like infanticide, feticide, deliberate starvation, dowry murders, bride trafficking, honor killings and witch hunts !!!! We need to demand accountability and action from the Indian Hindus and the Indian Brahmin government to stop female genocide in India forthwith. It is immoral, illegal, against all civilized norms, against the principles of most religions and above all it setting a bad example for all the neighboring countries. We strongly urge you to join this movement that is now ongoing on all social media.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • Al Maggiacomo

      India and hindus are a disgrace to the world. A nation rife with gang r-apists

      January 20, 2013 at 4:20 am | Reply
      • Jason Bellingham

        How dare you spew venom against a pacifist religion such as Hinduism. Hindus have never tried to force their religion down anybody's throat like Christianity and Islam. They have always believed in the freedom of choice.

        Who are we to judge them when there are cases like Steubenville right in our background. Haven't our ancestors murdered the Native Americans and enslaved a whole nation. Who are you to judge?

        January 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  5. ShahNawaz Ansari

    “I see the colors of a rainbow.....so pretty ..in the sky
    Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
    I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
    They're really sayin......i love you.

    But when I look to the east or west… I see Indian Hindus and their women bashing ways
    And in the neighborhood …. doom and depressive days
    And I say to myself what a miserable world….
    But what a wonderful world it could be if India was sliced, diced and whirled.
    And I say to myself indeed that would be a wonderful world… what a wonderful world !”

    January 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
    • Jake

      Such beautiful penmanship. Well done !

      January 20, 2013 at 4:19 am | Reply
  6. krm1007 © ™

    Taj Mahal (purely by connotation, not size) reminds one of the saying of our dear architect friend Mies Van Der Rohe that “Less is More” and its application to India geo-politically. The recent economic bubble burst and minority backlash in India point to the necessity of imploding India in a controlled manner to make it more manageable administratively, before it ruptures chaotically. The Moghals may have left behind a legacy of regality in India but it was Mies that has given Indians a political concept that may give Indian Hindus a chance at survival albeit in a fragmented form.

    January 20, 2013 at 4:16 am | Reply
    • Kanakdas

      >>Moghals may have left behind a legacy of regality
      Are you aware that the ISalmist invaders in india have murdered 600 million Hindus? It is the biggest genocide in world history.

      >>it was Mies that has given Indians a political concept that may give Indian Hindus a chance at survival albeit in a fragmented form.
      What? Who is Meis? Your historical knowledge and background reeks of your low intellect. Indian Hindus had a democratic system from the time Before Christ. You would know if you had read Kautilya's Arthashastra and books on Ashoka. Unfortunately, your low intellect does not let you do anything other than provide narrow judgements and opinions without even knowing what you are talking about.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  7. Jake

    Pakistan's contention is that Indian Government is financing the terrorists and some segments of Talibans specializing in suicide bombing. These terrorists are in turn massacring the civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the US/NATO forces. US Treasury and CIA alongwith Pakistan Intelligence are following the cash trail left behind by the Indians using cricket gambling as one of the means alongwith the remnant Indian emigres' in East Africa and South America. The hunt is on.

    January 20, 2013 at 4:17 am | Reply
    • Kanakdas

      Bwahahaha! This is what happens when you watch too much Fox!
      Where was Osama found? Where are most of the terrorists found. Why would India sponsor Islamic terrorists in Pakistan to attack India?
      Stop believing everything that Pakistan tries to feed you. ISI is the most scandalous and deviant organization in the entire world.
      They take your money and feed you lies.
      Check for the video "gun markets in pakistan" in youtube.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  8. deniz boro

    Plans cooked in the election spirited environment of the Western world may not apply to the Eastern side. It is a pitty that so many people died (a huge amound of easterners with a comparably few westerns) to carry on the trend of this BLOOMING TREND. Which gave bloody red fruits.
    Sorry I never thouht it was a humanistic act of the west.to reform"whatsover" It wasn't even an advance on the oil rich countries. There was no land left to be exploited in the short term.
    It was not even an act to find a war footing to find a solution for the global crises.
    It was just a wile act done out of the blue just to be doing something.
    But it also brought about plusses that was not projected.

    The world has already shown how incapacitated it is in intervaining in other countries' problems.
    Why not form some councils to disgust the problem; forming some sub-counciils for minor detaiils until they come up wiith another brilliant solution ...That will cause less humen loss.

    January 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  9. Shakur Bengali

    India needs to stop killing the bengalis. You hindus dont want to see or face the wrath of Bangladeshis. Joy Bangla.

    January 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • Kanakdas

      Stop infiltrating into my country illegally first and then throw mindless allegations.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  10. Hugo Tademy

    The term Hinduism also occurs sporadically in Sanskrit texts such as the later Rajataranginis of Kashmir (Hinduka, c. 1450), some 16th-18th century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts, including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata, usually to contrast Hindus with Yavanas or Mlecchas.^'^..

    http://www.healthmedicine101.comRemember to stop by our internet site

    May 18, 2013 at 10:50 am | Reply

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