It is truly the greatest show on Earth, an ode to a diverse & democratic ethos, where 700 million + of humanity vote, providing their small part in directing their ancient civilization into the future.
It is no less impressive when done in a neighborhood which includes de-stabilizing & violent Pakistan, China, and Burma.
It’s challenges are immense, more so probably than anywhere else, particularly in development & fending off terrorism — but considering these challenges & its neighbors, it is even more astounding that the most diverse nation on Earth, with hundreds of languages, all religions & cultures, is not only surviving but thriving.
- Where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism & Sikhism were born, which is the second largest Muslim nation on Earth;
- Where Christianity has existed for 2000 years;
- Where the oldest Jewish synagogues & Jewish communities have resided since the Romans burnt their 2nd temple;
- Where the Dalai Lama & the Tibetan government in exile reside;
- Where the Zoroastrians from Persia have thrived since being thrown out of their ancient homeland;
- Where Armenians, Syrians & many others have come to live;
- Where the Paris-based OECD said was the largest economy on Earth for 1500 of the last 2000 years, including the 2nd largest, only 200 years ago;
- Where 3 Muslim Presidents have been elected,
- Where a Sikh was a Prime Minister & the head of the ruling party a Catholic Italian woman,
- Where the past President was also a woman, succeeding a Muslim President who as a rocket scientist is a hero in the nation;
- Where a booming economy is lifting 40 million out of poverty each year & is expected to have the majority of its population in the middle class already, equal to the entire US population, by 2025;
- Where its optimism & vibrancy is manifested in its movies, arts, economic growth & voting, despite all the incredible challenges & hardships;
- Where all the great powers are vying for influence, as it itself finds its place in the world.
- Where all of this is happening, is India and as greater than 1/10th of humanity voting in a phased manner, it is an inspiration to the entire World.
— V Mitchell, New York, NY
Letter to The NEW YORK TIMES, April 15, 2009