Every few years, a circus is laid on for the whole world by India, free of charge. That circus, the general elections, comes accompanied with sound, violence, unbelievable twists in the plot; pretty much what a typical Bollywood masala offering is about.
For a Westerner the Indian general elections are a thing of bemusement. The very fact that 1 billion people in a third world country vote every few years is astonishing. To top that, by and large the results are accepted gracefully (Dubya take note), and the democracy does work (so long as you dont raise the bonnet).
I have always trumpeted that for third world countries to break the shackles of the third world tag, mere annual growth rates arent enough. Those growth rates have to be backed by lessening of the wealth divide and a development of a mature society.
General Elections 2009 have been a revelation not because of the mandate given to the Congress but because the voters had the courage (inertia?) to vote for a government that will deliver political stability at the very least.
Maybe this is a false dawn, but still the emergence of social maturity is one to celebrate.