The lessons from our friends is that we must continue to be a liberal, secular democracy with civil liberties for all its citizens.
Mohsin Raza Khan, Associate Professor, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Political scientists have known for long that procedural democracy and a liberal State with freedoms and tolerance don’t necessarily coincide; one can exist without the other. Economists, too, know that without the freedom to pursue our aspirations, economic growth will not last too long, as the communist world found out.
India’s wise founders chose to become a liberal, secular democracy with civil liberties for all its citizens. It is this which has kept our diverse country united, and its citizens free and peaceful. The lessons from our friends is that we must continue on this path.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Japan are two of India’s closest friends and partners for decades now. Both are developed countries; however, when they began their nation-building journey, both were poor developing Asian countries, and things could have gone awry in more ways than one.
As is usually the case, both their ascents began with a crisis. On a humid July morning in 1853, Japan traversed several centuries thanks to a Sturm und Drang show by a US Naval Commodore and his battleships. Rudely midwifed from centuries of isolation under the Tokugawa Shogunate to the age of steam, the Japanese ruling classes were thrown into turmoil. The result of that churning was the restoration of power with the Emperor Meiji and the Charter Oath.
Published in: Deccan Herald.
To read the full article, please click here.