Conditions prevailing in contemporary India, particularly related to its political and socioeconomic situation are far from encouraging, if not outright depressing. Open horse trading of elected representatives of people for formation of governments, blatant misuse of governmental power for partisan politics and pervasive corruption in the government at all levels make one think what kind of governance India has even after more than seven decades of declaring itself to be a democratic republic after having suffered almost two centuries of colonialism and exploitative governance. Poverty is still a stark reality of India. It is particularly intriguing since India’s struggle for freedom was waged under the inspiring leadership of Mahatma Gandhi who was motivated to join and lead it on seeing poverty and wretchedness prevailing in its numerous villages. His prescription of ‘nonviolent non-cooperation’ with the colonial British government in India proved effective in making it quit India and grant its independence. He always advocated for democracy as a way of life and governance for free India and autonomous village governance would be the core of democratic India. Instead, India adopted in its Constitution essentially colonial system of governance under the veneer of parliamentary democracy and thus fell into the delusion of having democracy. The book examines all these aspects in their historical perspective and concludes that India’s governance still suffers from the virus of colonialism, i.e. exploitativeness in governance. Only democracy and democratic governance can deliver India out of the present deplorable situation and bring in its rightful prosperity commensurate with its excellent resources – natural, human as well as cultural.
The author of this book, Dr. Triyugi Prasad was born in a remote village in Eastern UP and received his education up to graduation in Civil Engineering in Bihar (Patna University) and post-graduation from the then Roorkee University. He joined teaching profession rather than being a government engineer. On a Govt. of India scholarship, he prosecuted four-year doctoral studies in Water Resources Engineering at the Univ. of Illinois, USA. Forsaking the offer of a teaching position at a USA University, he returned to India and to his home state of Bihar the economy of which remains shattered by water resources problems and the possible resolution of which may bring immense benefits. His conviction was further reinforced by his experiences of research and training at Moscow State University and at Harvard University as well as his technical visits to the TVA in the USA and several European and Chinese establishments. Despite this, he was baffled by the utter indifference of the political decision makers to the distinct feasibility of transforming Bihar and its adjoining regions from poverty to prosperity. From Dr. Prasad’s experiences of living in the U.S.A. for prolonged periods, both as a student and otherwise, and seeing at close quarters how governance in a real democracy works, he was convinced that the system of governance of India was gravely at fault for not resolving its long-standing problems of poverty, malnutrition, etc. and for not achieving its high potentiality commensurate with its natural and human resources. He was convinced that change of the system of governance is the crying need of India. He even set up a Forum for Change of the System of Governance of India at Patna and wrote a comprehensive note on this. The present book is based on this.