设为首页收藏本站--- 驰名中外的国际土木工程技术交流平台!

东南西北人

 找回密码
 注册

QQ登录

只需一步,快速开始

总共8808条微博

动态微博

本站帖子精华之精华汇总 Best of the Best英语口语、听力、翻译、考试学习经验交流与探讨1000多土木工程类行业软件、计算表格和计算工具免费下载东南西北人网站QQ精英群 QQ189615688
中国土木工程师手册(上中下)东南西北人英文资料走马观花500多专业手册、工程手册100多个专业词典大汇总
如何获取积分和金币?精彩施工和土木工程技术视频东南西北人英汉对照资料汇总各版块精彩讨论贴汇总!
查看: 523|回复: 2

Indian democracy has an ugly side

[复制链接]
鲜花(0) 鸡蛋(0)
gaulue 发表于 2009-5-24 07:15:06 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Indian democracy has an ugly side
“A billion people, in a functioning democracy. Ain’t that something.” George W. Bush’s awestruck musings on the wonders of Indian democracy will be echoed all around the world this week.
Despite a sharp economic slowdown and a series of destabilising terrorist attacks, India’s 420m voters have just calmly voted the Congress party back into government, with a much increased majority.
In western capitals, admiration for the maturity of Indian democracy will be mixed with relief. There were fears that a government led by the rightwing BJP would take a more confrontational line with Pakistan – widening the conflict in south Asia in new and dangerous ways. Investors also seem to be impressed. The stock market shot up 17 per cent in the wake of Congress’s victory.

Political scientists have spent years demonstrating that democracy rarely survives in poor countries. India is a triumphant exception to this rule. Despite the fact that a quarter of its population live below the poverty line, the country has been a functioning democracy for almost the entire period since independence in 1947.
Indian democracy is indeed a wonder to behold. But this fact can lead to some unwarranted starry-eyed conclusions about the country. At this moment of euphoria, four common notions about Indian democracy deserve to be doused with a little scepticism.
First, it should be remembered that the country’s democracy is not always a beautiful sight. Manmohan Singh, the 76-year-old prime minister who has just won re-election, is a charmingly intellectual and courtly figure. But while Mr Singh is an impeccable frontman, the country’s politics has a much sleazier and more disreputable side.
In most countries when politicians are slammed as “criminals” this is simply vulgar abuse. In India, it is often the literal truth. The British public, currently hyperventilating about expenses fiddles in the UK parliament, might be interested to know that 128 of the 543 members of the last Indian parliament had faced criminal charges or investigations, including 83 cases of murder. In a poor society, gangsters can and do use muscle and money to force their way into parliament.
Second, just because India is a democracy, it does not follow that it will automatically side with fellow- democracies around the world. Mr Bush’s interest in Indian democracy was more than purely intellectual. The former president made a conscious decision to form a strategic alliance with India – and to cut the country a special deal over nuclear weapons – because he felt that democracies should be natural allies.
The Americans are carefully building a new special relationship with democratic India, partly to counterbalance authoritarian China. It is certainly true that relations between the US and India have been getting steadily warmer, driven by commerce, Indian immigration to America, the English language and – to a degree – common values.
But India is a major power with its own interests and its own distinct take on the world. It will not automatically fall into line with western policy, whether on sanctions against Iran or a world trade deal. And if realpolitik dictates, India is perfectly capable of cosying up to a dictatorship, such as the Burmese military junta.
The sleazy side of Indian democracy has led to a third common notion – popular in the authoritarian parts of Asia: the idea that democracy imposes a sort of tax on India. For many years, it was held that India suffered from a “Hindu rate of growth” because of its inefficient government. Growth in recent years, which has increased to an average of 9 per cent, should have put paid to that idea. But it is still true that, for all the virtues of its political system, Indian governance has failed hundreds of millions of people. Rates of poverty and illiteracy are much higher in democratic India than in authoritarian China.
Euphoria about modern India has led to a fourth mistaken idea: the notion that democracy has given the country a deep and unshakable stability. It is certainly true that the political future of China looks more uncertain and alarming than that of India, Asia’s other great subcontinental nation. But India still faces serious threats to its internal stability. The Indian Premier League is a new cricket tournament that has demonstrated the country’s growing wealth and cultural power by drawing in the best players from all over the world. However, the threat of terrorism is now so severe that this month’s tournament had to be relocated to South Africa. The country’s parliament and most prestigious hotel have come under attack in recent years.
While terrorism can be blamed on outsiders, India is also facing a serious internal insurrection. The notion of Maoist guerrillas roaming the countryside sounds like it belongs to another age – and is certainly at odds with the image of a modern India of commuter airlines and high technology. But over the past five years the Naxal insurgency has grown in strength – attacks on trains,  mines and industrial sites are on  the rise.
It is indeed marvellous that a country that is so large and so relatively poor can manage a peaceful, democratic transition. The new Indian government should also be able to use its stronger majority to renew the process of economic reform. But there are still some unappealing realities just behind the beautiful facade of Indian democracy.
印度民主丑陋的一面
“一个人口达到十亿的国家,却有着运转良好的民主制度。这难道不是件了不起的事吗?”小布什(George W. Bush)对印度民主奇迹充满敬畏的评价,本周将在全球各地得到共鸣。
尽管经济急剧减速,还遭遇了一系列破坏稳定的恐怖主义袭击事件,但印度的4.2亿选民刚刚冷静地投票支持国大党(Congress party)再次掌权,且支持率明显提高。
西方各国政府对印度成熟民主制度的赞叹之情中,还混杂着如释重负的情绪。他们曾担心在右翼印度人民党(BJP)领导下,政府会对巴基斯坦采取更为敌对的政策,从而一种新的危险方式加深南亚冲突。投资者似乎也感到振奋。国大党获胜之后,印度股市随即暴涨17%。

政治学家花费了多年时间,证明民主体制很难在贫困国家长期存在,而印度则是一个成功的特例。虽然有四分之一人口仍生活在贫困线以下,但自1947年独立以来,印度的民主制度几乎一直保持着正常运转。
印度的民主的确是一个奇迹。但这一事实可能导致外界围绕该国做出一些把握不足、过于乐观的结论。在当前欢欣鼓舞的情绪中,有4种与印度民主制度有关的常见观点,值得我们以略带怀疑的态度加以审视。
首先,我们应该记住,这个国家的民主并不总是美妙的。现年76岁、刚刚获得连任的总理莫汉•辛格(Manmohan Singh)高贵睿智,是个充满魅力的人物。虽然辛格作为头面人物无可指摘,但印度政治却有着更加丑陋、污秽的一面。
在大多数国家,当有人责骂政客是“罪犯”时,不过是一般意义上的谩骂。而在印度,这往往是不折不扣的事实。英国公众眼下对议会报销丑闻怒不可遏,他们大概乐于知道以下事实:上届印度议会的543名成员中,有128人曾面临刑事指控或调查,其中83涉及谋杀。在一个贫困社会,黑帮分子能够凭借武力和金钱进入议会,而他们也的确这样做了。
其次,印度是个民主国家,但并不意味着它会自动与全球其它民主国家站在一起。小布什对印度民主制度的兴趣,并非完全出于理性。这位美国前总统有意做出了与印度缔结战略联盟的决定,并与该国就核武器达成一项特殊协议,这是因为他觉得:民主国家是天生的盟友。
美国小心翼翼地与民主印度构建新的特殊关系,部分原因是为了制衡施行威权统治的中国。在商业往来、印度赴美移民、共同的语言(英语)以及(在一定程度上)共同的价值观等因素的推动下,美印关系的确在持续升温。
但印度是一个大国,有着自身的利益和对世界的独特看法。不管是在制裁伊朗还是在世界贸易协议方面,它都不会自动地赞同西方的政策。而且,如果是出于现实政治考虑,印度完全有可能亲近一个独裁政权,比如缅甸军政府。
印度民主丑恶的一面引出了第三种常见观点——这种观点在亚洲威权国家中非常流行——即民主成为了印度的一种负担。许多年来,人们认为,由于政府效率低下,印度一直受制于所谓的“印度式经济增长率”。近几年,印度平均经济增长率已升至9%,上述观点应已烟消云散。不过,尽管印度政治体制有着种种优点,但还是辜负了数亿人民的期望。作为民主政体的印度,其贫困率和文盲率远高于威权统治下的中国。
对现代印度的欢欣之情导致了第四种错误观点:民主给这个国家带来了深刻和无可动摇的稳定。当然,与印度相比,中国的政治前景看上去更加扑朔迷离,也更令人担忧,两国均为亚洲庞大的次大陆国家。但印度的内部稳定仍面临严重威胁。印度板球超级联赛(Indian Premier League)是新诞生的板球锦标赛,吸引了世界各地的优秀选手,彰显了印度不断增强的财力和文化实力。但由于严峻的恐怖主义威胁,本月的联赛被迫改在南非举行。印度议会和最有名的酒店近年来也曾遭到袭击。
虽然可以将恐怖主义归结于外来因素,但印度也正面临严峻的内部骚乱。毛派游击队在乡村地区出没,听上去就像来自另一个年代——显然与有着短程航班和高科技的现代印度形象不符。然而,过去5年间,那萨尔(Naxal)叛乱活动不断抬头——火车、矿山和工业基地遭遇垄击的事件不断增多。
如此庞大、且相对贫困的国家,能够完成和平民主的过渡,的确是件了不起的事情。印度新政府应该能利用其支持率上升之机,继续推行经济改革。但就在印度民主的美丽外表之下,仍掩藏着一些不那么美妙的现实。
鲜花(7) 鸡蛋(0)
zlz1999 发表于 2020-12-19 15:04:09 | 显示全部楼层
鲜花(84) 鸡蛋(0)
zspkd 发表于 2020-12-21 10:56:35 | 显示全部楼层
人命不保,需要民主干嘛?
您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 注册

本版积分规则

QQ|关于我们||QQ即时充值|站点统计|手机版|小黑屋|百宝箱|留言|咨询|微信订阅|QQ189615688|东南西北人

GMT+8, 2021-1-26 12:53 , Processed in 0.109975 second(s), 34 queries .

Powered by Discuz! X3.4

Copyright © 2001-2020, Tencent Cloud.

快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表