While mentioning that division of linguistic states has been one of the greatest achievements, Guha says the question of Telangana,Vidarbha and Gorkhaland needs to be carefully looked into -- probably by another States Reorganisation Commission

Noted historian and writer Ramachandra Guha cited corruption and corrosion of public institutions, growing Maoist insurgency and conflicts over religious identity among the six major challenges India was facing today and called for the State, private sector and the civil society to be more robust to overcome them.

Delivering L.V. Prasad Eye Institute’s Silver Jubilee Public Lecture on ‘ Indian Democracy’s Midlife Crises’ here on Wednesday, he mentioned the other challenges as instability among neighbouring countries, cessation movements in three border States—Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland and Manipal- and neglect of the environmental issues.

4 forms of corruption

Describing four distinct forms of corruption, he lamented at politicisation of police, bureaucracy and turning political parties into family forums.

He said for democracy to function well, each of three legs—the State, private sector and civil society—would have to be robust as in the case of advanced democracies like Sweden and Canada.

Mr. Guha said although religious conflicts at the moment seem to be moderate and manageable, there was a need to be vigilant.

Religious pluralism

He also gave an overview of the “birthing challenges” India faced in the first few decades after Independence which included maintaining territorial/ national unity, nurturing democracy by giving people a system of universal franchise, safeguarding religious pluralism, forming linguistic States and caste and gender-based inequalities.

Reckless experiment

He said while India achieved territorial integrity, nurtured linguistic and religious pluralism and was economically growing after 65 years of Independence, the formation of Indian republic was the most reckless political experiment in human history.

More In: Hyderabad