Desert Blossom

Parth Sanyal /Reuters

GIVING TYRANNY THE SLIP: India's rural voters are firm believers in the country's democratic system

Near the start of his new book, India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy, the historian Ramachandra Guha writes that one of his goals is to solve "the puzzle that has for so long confronted scholar and citizen, foreigner as well as native—namely, why is there an India at all?" India's colorful history spans millenniums, but arguably its most vivid era began in 1947, when the newly independent nation embarked on the unprecedented experiment of democracy. Its survival as a unified country, and as a democracy, against immense odds—crushing poverty, hostile neighbors, secessionist movements—is one of...

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