We have suffered worse political degradation in Indira Gandhi's Emergency. But we emerged resurgent and vigorous because the spirit was not broken. This time around, we face an imminent threat to it. Aspiration has been universally acclaimed as the engine that drove India in the recent past. It is now being eclipsed by growing anxieties.

The damage done to the economy in the last five years (in my view, closer to nine) has been extensively commented upon. Dark clouds now loom on our collective psyche. The findings of the Pew Research Centre survey in 2012 showcase an India in a decidedly blue funk about its economy. Three out of five respondents were unhappy with the country's economic direction, whereas over 80 per cent of Chinese surveyed in the same period expressed confidence in their economy. A more worrisome factor is the prognosis for the future. Two-thirds of Indians said that they were better off than their parents, but did not expect their children to do as well. Read More