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India's vibrant democracy is fueling

By Uday Dandavate | PUBLISHED: 11, Dec 2012, 17:34 pm IST | UPDATED: 20, Dec 2012, 19:29 pm IST

India's vibrant democracy is fueling India's vibrant democracy is today faced with the risk of losing its fire in the belly. Has the political process lost its intellectual vibrancy? Have leaders of existing parties become lethargic? The two major political parties, Congress and BJP, are showing clear signs of going to the  next parliamentary election with Prime Ministerial candidates who openly champions dynastic (UPA) or autocratic (NDA) leadership style.

If UPA and NDA go to elections with Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi as their Prime Ministerial candidates, it will be a huge setback for the evolution of Indian democracy. Even worse, it will leave no choice for the electorate to vote for democratic ideas and systems of governance. We will be perpetuating benevolent dictatorship through democratic means.

Recent vote in the Parliament on the FDI issue shows that the leaders of smaller parties are accepting the polarization. Have they lost their nerve? Have they become too greedy? The senior political leadership of India is at a life stage similar to the leadership of Congress party in 1947- They are growing old and eager to grab power. In 1947 the Congress leadership rejected Mahatma Gandhi's advice that India should not accept partition of India and Pakistan as a precondition for freedom. He advised them to continue the freedom struggle (even if it meant that India would not earn independence during the life time of the tired and old congress leaders). Congress leaders were too eager to assume  power even if it meant playing into the hands of the British rulers and personal ambitions of leaders.

The only hope for India is its youth. There was a refreshing sign of Indian youth taking center stage when Anna Hazare started his anti corruption movement. The energy, optimism, and participatory culture unleashed by Anna Hazare's moment needs to be consolidated and harnessed. That is what India's democracy needs today- youth driven to experiment, innovate and challenge the corrupt system.

We need participation of the real youth who remain faceless- not the younger generation of established dynasties. Let us hope that once the elections are announced there will be a groundswell of enthusiasm amongst the youth, and voters will see through the selfish designs of the two political groupings and dump power hungry leaders who have compromised  advancement of democratic thinking.