Journal of Democracy - Volume 18, Number 2, April 2007, pp. 70-83
India\\\'s courts have been playing a growing role in the country\\\'s political life. Defenders of the judiciary often focus on the few success stories that result from judicial decisions. Yet there is a glaring lack of concrete, empirical data on the effects of court intervention. Courts can proclaim new rights as much as they want, but the proclamation of rights by itself does not produce results. Judges have an important role to play in strengthening our democracy. But they will have to exercise great discretion and resist the intoxication which comes from the view that judges are the last, best hope of the republic.