Are you proud of Indian democracy? if you ask this question majority Indian's will say No(Esp educated, Urban, still sleeping kind).
And yes, without any doubts there are significant loop holes in our Election system. getting Voter ID cards is pain, we don't know if our name is in election list or not, we don't know where our vote is,25% elected representatives have criminal records,majority are corrupt, politics became a business and the list goes on and on.
But on the other side of coin, they are few classic examples of Indian democracies strength:
1. Voting rights to all irrespective of caste, religion, and qualification: The right to vote was given to all Indian citizens without any struggle, unlike in many countries which took decades to get voting right
Blacks in USA were guaranteed their voting rights in 1965 by Lydon Jhonson. The world's most matured democracy took 100 years to give its minority a chance to vote.
Greece, gave women right to vote in 1952, after 64 years of aggitations
Indonesia took 36 years to sanction voting rights to women
Like many other gulf nations, Saudi Arabian women still don't have voting rights
2. Military did not interfere in politics and by and large bureaucracy is not partisan:
Unlike our neighboring countries or many African countries Indian Army restrained from taking hold of power and restricted themselves to their duty.
Many of my friends occasionally rant about, benefits of Army taking our India. They feel it is the only way to kick out corrupt politicians. Unfortunately its not a intelligent solution. I believe semi-functional, un matured democracy is much better than no democracy. Absolute power without any review system will be disastrous.
3. Peaceful transfer of power:
India has ensured a smooth, almost effortless democratic transition for more than six decades.Again a fundamental thing for any working democracy which we did not screwed up in last 60 years, except on one occasion when congress leaders thought Indira is India, India is Indira.
4. Indira Gandhi defeat
1977 elections truly tested fairness in Indian elections.Indira Gandhi's mindless decision to take on judiciary and two years of ruthless power killed all democratic institutions(independent media, Police, Judiciary), however people taught Indira Gandhi a strong lesson. Remember it happened in 70's when there is no 24/7 media
I think we made a good start in sustaining our democracy, by and large we are convinced that there is a need of one working democracy, now the challenge is to make it better.
We need to change the way we elect our representatives, scrap First past The Post(FPTP) electoral system, a legacy of British colonialism and a system our constitution writers choose given India’s extremely diverse and multi-ethnic society. Stop criminals and encourage internal democracy in parties, make fund raising process more cleaner, and ensure politics attracts right(not winning) candidates.