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'Our democracy is vibrant, it is functional, but it is not really a democracy.'
'From the mid-1970s we have psephocracy. It is totally determined by the electoral process.'
Ashis Nandy, the distinguished social psychologist and thinker, on the India he admires and dislikes.
What I love about India is its open mind. If you are willing to fight for what you stand, you have the opportunity.
Our people are fighters as can be seen in the recent Supreme Court judgment against homosexuality.
People are willing to fight even after the Supreme Court order against it. People are not taking it lying down. They know they are in the minority, but also know how they can protest and be heard.
We have done well in the creative arts, certain sports like chess which although is not a spectator sport. See how well Viswanathan Anand has done!
We have done well in technology where our competence is known world wide. We are not creative in IT, but are competent. Our scientists are just above mediocrity, but are competent.
We have failed in institutional creativity. We have established various institutions in every field. but we have failed to ensure that they perform at any level of competence.
After the pioneers or the first generation dies, the institutions are hollowed out.
It is not only lack of finance, but we lack psychological skills to manage institutions and realise their goals and institutional culture.
Our democracy is vibrant, it is functional, but it is not really a democracy.
From the mid-1970s we have psephocracy. It is totally determined by the electoral process.
Politicians are elected today and tomorrow they start thinking of the next election. This results in poor political performance.
The Cabinet is full of technocrats, not politicians.
There are one or two politicians, but they are not allowed to function because the others think they will take over all power.
If there is one thing I could do for this country, I would discover young people who are politicians and who can operate in this environment -- in the present political system.
The Aam Aadmi Party is exactly what I am looking for.
I would like to discover good politicians who will work without turning into technocrats.
Professor Ashis Nandy is a social psychologist and one of the country's most distinguished thinkers.
He spoke to A Ganesh Nadar.
The complete series: Why I love India