Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Picture: REUTERS
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Picture: REUTERS

The dynamism and nationalist fervour that prevailed before independence and freedom in SA and India have dissipated and given way to personal pursuits.

On the brink of crucial polls, with key issues of graft and racial and religious schisms flaring up again, leaders of both nations will contest one of the toughest elections yet.

Tampering with the constitution, one that was co-authored by the current SA leader leading up to a dispensation that had all the ingredients of true democracy admired by many nations, leaders went off track, embracing a capitalist ethos that has left behind a trail of economic gloom that will take years to repair. 

On the Indian side after British rule patriotic leaders drew up a constitution that emphasised national integration after horrific religious conflict and subsequent partition.

With a Gandhi again in the forefront to possibly lead the nation and an SA electorate tired of broken ANC promises, the race is on to give both nations the best chance to  forge ahead and restore stability — in India where a full-scale war was averted, and here, to provide relief from a decade of malfeasance in which voter confidence plummeted to its lowest since the change from apartheid to freedom.

The desire to hold on to power is behind many of the current leaders in world politics, despite their poor track records in administration.

South Africans and Indians must return to the ethical running of their countries and so restore voter confidence.

AR Modak