Two Indias

Author
Ramachandra Guha
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
The National Interest
Volume
102
Issue Number
0
Publication Date
JULY/AUGUST 2009
Institution
Center for the National Interest
Abstract
I LIKE to think of India as a "fifty-fifty" democracy. I owe this formulation to a Bollywood film I once saw which featured a great comic actor named Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi, whose screen name was Johnny Walker (after an alleged fondness for that brand of whiskey). In this particular film he played the sidekick of a mafia don, who used him as a sounding board. Will I be able to successfully raid the bank? asked the boss of the sidekick. Will this moll of the other gangster come over to me? To every such question Johnny Walker would rub his hands and answer, "Phiphty-phiphty, boss, phiphty-phiphty." Every project or endeavor, felt the sidekick, would have a 50 percent chance of success, 50 percent of failure.
Political Geography
India