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THE INDIAN ELECTIONS - NEW YORK TIMES

It is truly the greatest show on Earth, an ode to a diverse & democratic ethos, where 700  million + of humanity vote, providing their  small part in directing their ancient civilization into the future.

 It is no less impressive when done in a neighborhood which includes de-stabilizing & violent Pakistan, China, and Burma.

It's challenges are immense, more so probably  than anywhere else, particularly in  development & fending off terrorism -- but considering these challenges & its neighbors, it is even more astounding that the most diverse nation on Earth, with hundreds of languages, all religions & cultures, is not only surviving, but thriving.

The nation:

Where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism & Sikhism were born,

Which is the second largest Muslim nation on Earth;
Where Christianity has existed for 2000 years;

Where the oldest Jewish synagogues & Jewish communities have resided since the Romans burnt their 2nd temple;

Where the Dalai Lama & the Tibetan government in exile reside;

Where the Zoroastrians from Persia have thrived since being thrown out of their ancient homeland;

Where Armenians, Syrians & many others have come to live;  where the Paris-based OECD said was the largest economy on Earth for 1500 of the last 2000 years, including the 2nd largest, only 200 years ago;

Where 3 Muslim Presidents have been elected,

Where a Sikh was a Prime Minister & the head of a major party a Catholic Italian woman,

Where a President was also a woman, succeeding a Muslim President who as a rocket scientist and a Revered Hero of the Nation;

Where a booming economy is lifting 40 million out of poverty each year & is expected to have the majority of its population in the middle class already, equal to the entire US population, by 2025;

Where its optimism & vibrancy is manifested in its movies, arts, economic growth & voting, despite all the incredible challenges & hardships;

Where all the great powers are vying for influence, as it itself finds its place in the world.

Where all of this is happening, is India and as greater than 1/10th of humanity gets ready to vote, it is an inspiration to the entire World.

— V Mitchell, New York, NY