An Indian friend, Barun Mitra, posted this interesting article from Live Mint, October 8, 2014.
Beautiful analysis. Another Indian friend commented,
Why should Asians accept the Western religion of democracy? One place that has reduced wretchedness is not democratic India, but dictatorial China. And HK and Singapore are among the freest places in the world despite not being democratic.
Democracy is not about majority rule, but about recognition of and respect for minority opinions. So that the minority view of today, may enjoy the freedom to peacefully persuade others, and could become a majority opinion of tomorrow....
For democracy to survive in large communities and countries, where only representative democracy is possible and practical, democracy has to be minimal, so that it does not offend or alienate too many people. Secondly, as societies become complex, there is a need to recognise the challenges of centralised government, and devolve greater political authority and autonomy to lower tiers of government and local communities. Because only at such community level, with shared values, can there be a realistic prospect for widest consensus on such complex issues.
The rise of China which threatens democracy is nonsense. However, "one reason why so many democratic experiments have failed recently is that they put too much emphasis on elections and too little on the other essential features of democracy. The power of the state needs to be checked, for instance, and individual rights such as freedom of speech and freedom to organise must be guaranteed. The most successful new democracies have all worked in large part because they avoided the temptation of majoritarianism—the notion that winning an election entitles the majority to do whatever it pleases."
Part 1, September 25, 2014
Hong Kong Democracy vs. China Dictatorship, Part 2, September 29, 2014
Lion Rock 11: Barun Mitra on Democracy, Reading Salon 2013, October 28, 2013
Lion Rock 13: LRI Position on the Hong Kong Protests, October 08, 2014