You'll hear the refrain often enough, sometimes with a euphemism instead of approaching it directly: "What India needs is a decisive leader. Someone who can just take charge and run this country, with an iron hand." Four decades since the Emergency, a 21-month period of undemocratic rule, was imposed on India by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a surprising number of Indians continue to believe that the country could do with a dictator.

Type in "Does India need" into Google, and two out of the first three suggestions involve dictators. (A quick attempt to see if this would be true for any large democracy proved that it wasn't since the suggestions for America are asking whether it needs immigrants, for Australia it's a "bill of rights" and for Turkey the question is whether it needs to be fully cooked).

The question is posed frequently enough for student's debates and that might be having an odd effect. A Hindustan Times-MaRS survey from two years ago concluded that 52% of young people would support a "dictatorship."  Another survey conducted by the Non-Governmental Organisation, Children's Movement for Civic Awareness also pointed out that 50% of youngsters would prefer military rule to democracy.

Why is that the case?

There are lots of good reasons that people feel envious about life in dictatorships, especially when they can look to a country like China where the economy is roaring and development seems to be reaching everyone. "Dictator envy is a habitual feature of democratic politics," wrote David Runciman in the Guardian. "We don't actually want to live under a dictatorship – we still have a horror of what that would entail – but we do envy dictators their ability to act decisively in a crisis."

The messiness of India's democracy, our failure to properly remember the Emergency, our wish for trains to just run on time, all these go some way towards explaining why India might have dictator envy. Still it's easy to point out what's going wrong with the country under the current system. Few can properly explain why a dictatorship would make India great.

But that's what the internet is for. A sampling of reasons why India needs a dictatorship from across the world wide web.

We can turn into Germany under Adolf Hitler
India's fascination with that most famous of dictators has not gone unnoticed, and it is a regular feature of these debates, somehow turning into an argument for dictatorship rather than against.

"If we look back in history, the very first name comes in our mind is of Adolf Hitler, a German solider whose patriotism was misconstrued with dictatorship," writes Piyush Kumar. "It was he who lead his people for the need of country in availing prosperity, liberty and a strong nation."

The damn people* don't know what's good for them (*excluding good-natured B-Tech graduates)
This is a pretty standard argument for a dictator, although it's always wound up in knots. But this anonymous writer puts it together perfectly, explaining why India could do with a supreme leader, if only to allow Ramu Kaka and his B-Tech degree allow him a life better than that of a slave rat.

"I personally think it should be, cause people here will always resist the good change. Here people will raise rallies, cause riots even when they don't know the matter," Anonymous writes. "The change which can make us proud in saying 'Mera Bharat mahan' is suppressed by politicians and their money, so what if there is a supreme power overall these people, which can pass anti-corruption bills, anti - poverty bills and the other important bills for upliftment of society as a whole."
Where our ramu kaka has a btech degree and is enough rich to pay his taxes, rent and enjoy his life as a human not as a slave rat.
We Indian's need a change, a change we can be proud of, a change which will make ours hearts say "I am proud to be an Indian"


Because people will stop lusting after a chair

Apparently all politicians in India lust after the throne, and have no other motivations for why they do what they do. In this dramatic performance, Yaman Malik tells us why dictatorship will help.

Only the dictator can remove caste reservations
One Quora user has a very specific demand from the dictator, after which he'd be pretty happy dispensing with the dictatorship altogether. Bhuvan Kumar doesn't think any other kind of politician can get rid of caste reservations, and he wants them gone now.

"Its almost like, the day we can remove caste reservation from our country, we  almost don't need a dictator, coz no government can remove it, only a dictator can.." Kumar writes.

Because a dictator will remind us how much we love democracy
In the you-don't-appreciate-it-enough-so-let's-take-it-away-from-you category, is Manish Singh, on

"India is trying to get rid of poverty, may be, a dictator can help in this aspect.," Singh writes. "A dictator can help the citizens realize the meaning of democracy and freedom."