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...However, there are far more examples of prosperity being achieved under democratic set-ups.Prosperity in democracy is dependent upon encouraging "inclusive institutions" and avoiding "extractive institutions".This is the central theme of an interesting analysis by economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in their book, Why Nations Fail.It is now generally accepted that prosperity and equality of opportunity cannot be achieved without strong institutions, rule of law and science and technology.Of all the countries that achieved freedom from colonial powers in the 20th century, India had the most democratic and forward-looking leadership, committed to a secular constitutional democracy and a mixed model of economy which, the leadership -believed, would avoid the excesses of communism and brazen capitalism.Thus, India became a republic based on high idealism. ...Indian Express on Dec. 27, 2013, 12:03 a.m.