The New India

I haven’t been following the elections in India at all (not enough hours in the day), but The Economist has a piece indicating that world markets are worried about the new leadership in India. The Congress Party has ruled India for most of its history as an independent nation, and while there have been some promises of deep reform, there are also worries that the world’s largest democracy may be due for a shaky future. Especially now that Sonia Gandhi is balking about being PM, this worry is especially prescient.

Even bigger is the question of the unsteady peace between India and Pakistan. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had made significant strides in reducing tensions over the disputed province of Kashmir. Congress has indicated it wants peace, but it is unclear as to whether Pakistani militants will take the changeover as an opening for further bloodshed. It is important that the efforts at stabilizing the region continue to avoid a war between two nuclear-armed powers.

India is the world’s largest democracy, and the new government of India must meet the needs of nearly a billion people while trying to take India into the 21st Century information economy. It is a difficult challenge, but it is important that the new Congress Party leadership continue the reforms that has allowed India to modernize and increase the standard of living for its people.

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