Democracy triumphs over conventional wisdom in India?
May 13, 2004 12:46 PM Subscribe
'In the event, it was a near-unanimous verdict for the politics of inclusiveness - economic, social and cultural - and against the rhetoric of divisiveness and xenophobia.' The 'stunning' victory of Sonia Gandhi's Congress (I) party in the world's largest democracy may force us to reconsider some of our preconceptions about India. To the headline writers in Britain and the US, it's the place that's 'stealing' jobs from the West (itself a simplification); to most Indian voters, though, the BJP's economic miracle doesn't extend beyond the major cities, serving to accentuate rather than alleviate the poverty gap. The verdict on the ground? That this is a vote against the limited capacity of globalisation to bring real change to developing economies. Some might accuse Indian voters of cutting off their noses to spite their faces, but for hundreds of millions of them, the BJP's promise of a 'Shining India' spoke of an entirely different world.
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