THE INDIAN ELECTIONS – NEW YORK TIMES

A decades old letter resurfaces to make it a point

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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.

The Nation:

  • 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

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