La democracia de la India a los 60 años

A medianoche del 15 de agosto de 1947, nació una nueva nación en un subcontinente desgarrado por una sangrienta división. La India independiente nació cuando las llamas arrasaban el país, trenes cargados con cadáveres cruzaban la nueva frontera con el Pakistán y refugiados exhaustos lo abandonaban todo para buscar una nueva vida. No se podía imaginar un comienzo menos propicio para una nación recién nacida.

Sin embargo, seis decenios después, la India que surgió de entre las ruinas del Raj británico es la mayor democracia del mundo, lista, después de años de rápido crecimiento económico, para ocupar su lugar como uno de los gigantes del siglo XXI. Un país cuya supervivencia misma parecía en duda en el momento de su fundación ofrece lecciones impresionantes sobre la creación, contra viento y marea, de una democracia que funciona.

Ningún otro país abarca tan extraordinaria profusión de grupos étnicos, lenguas mutuamente incomprensibles, religiones y usos culturales, además de variaciones de topografía, clima y niveles de desarrollo económico. En 1947, los dirigentes de la India se encontraban ante un país con un millón de muertos, 13 millones de desplazados, daños en las propiedades que ascendían a miles de millones de rupias y las heridas aún sangrantes de una violencia sectaria. En vista de la situación y de las dificultades para administrar el nuevo país, integrar los "Estados principescos" en la Unión India y reorganizar las fuerzas armadas divididas, se les podría haber perdonado que hubieran pedido poderes dictatoriales.

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