Hamid Waheed Abraham Lincolns classic phrase, democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people, seems to be outdated. It does not apply to democratic governments comprising rich and corrupt elites. India - the so-called largest democracy of South Asia - keeps proving time and again that 'peoples majority (or majority public opinion) is not important in the states affairs. The recent increase in its defence budget is an example. Raju M. Mathew in his article describes India as the land of the billionaires and the very poor. In India, the benefits of liberalisation, globalisation, privatisation of public enterprises, infrastructure development with public money, and an overall economic growth have been hijacked by only a dozen families and their corporate houses. During the last 15 years, they have grabbed between 60 and 70 percent of the countrys natural, industrial, air and technological wealth, keeping over 80 percent of the population below the poverty line. Hence, it has some of the richest billionaires on earth. On the other side, the atrocities against the poor and lower class Hindus, as well as the people from other sects and beliefs, continue. In an article titled Walking with the Comrades, published on March 10, 2010, Arundhati Roy exposed the real face of the world's largest democracy. She highlighted how thousands of innocent citizens were being ruthlessly killed in the name of development. The Maoist, the forgotten people of India, were being killed and humiliated under Operation Green Hunt, using sophisticated weapons and equipment (i.e. laser range finder, thermal imaging equipment and unmanned drones), bought from Israel to kill its own poor tribesmen. She adequately explained how the government-owned training camps were established to turn street dogs to hunt the poor Gondis (tribesmen). According to the World Food Programme (WFP), nearly 50 percent of the worlds hungry live in India - a low-income, food-deficit country with 'extremely low nutritional and health indicators. However, 35 percent of Indias population - 350 million people - are malnourished and do not know where their next meal will come from. So this is India, which has the worse rates of malnutrition than Sub-Saharan Africa. In terms of Indias internal security, the aftermath of Hindutva power in Delhi was catastrophic. Hindutva fascism planted their own cronies in various governmental institutions. Even though, the Congress-led government has now made enormous changes in social governance, the legacy of Hindutvas muscle-powered nationalism continues. A large number of people belonging to minority groups, especially Muslims, have been killed in the past few years across the country. To top it all, Indias justice system is not only weak, but also biased towards the minorities. The recent decision of awarding death sentence to 11 Muslims in the Godhra train burning incident, and the delay in the Samjhota Express case, raises several questions. Further, New Delhis decision to increase its defence budget by 11 percent, in 2011, has revealed the cruel face of the present 'democratic leadership. By creating conflicts within the country, the corrupt bureaucrats, who mostly belong to the Brahmin community, get huge commission from the sale of weapons. In this way, they work for their self-interests, while national interest and public welfare is sidelined. Yet, the Indian army suffers from low morale, which has de-moralised the common Indian to join it. Colonel K.C. Dixits report titled Addressing stress-related issues in army, published by IDSA, in March 2011, reveals that there were 635 cases of suicide, including attempted suicides, in the three services of the armed forces during the years 2003 to 2007. According to Ministry of Defence, every third day a soldier kills himself a rate higher than the toll taken by the militants. Reportedly, from 2007 to May 2010, 208 soldiers lost their lives fighting against the militants, while 368 soldiers committed suicide during the same period. According to other estimates, about 15 to 30 soldiers commit suicide every year, but fail. However, the military top brass shamelessly claims that the suicide rate in the army is lower than among the civil population. Dr Prasanna Kumar Patasani, member Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence that examined the issue of stress management in the armed forces, said: The suicide rate within the army is shocking, since the soldiers are screened for mental illness frequentlyat least once a year.that it may not be right to compare the statistics of civilians with the armed forces' personnel. India spends 20 billon a year on its defence and 1.25 billion on a space programme; the attitude of India's wealthy elite to ignore poverty on their own doorstep will not help. But it is good that some conscientious world leaders, writers like Roy and S.M. Mushrif, and various international human rights organisations, keep raising their voices against Indias undemocratic norms, injustice and its atrocities in occupied Kashmir, which is definitely a cause of concern for the international community. n The writer is a freelance columnist.