India’s juggernaut has lost its way
Indians have worked hard in recent years to cultivate their country’s image as a thrusting young Asian superpower on the up and up. But the aspiration to be more millionaire than slumdog appears badly served by an ossified political system that is offering the same old choices, and same old excuses, in five-stage national elections beginning next month.
In the (soft) left corner stands the venerable ruling Congress party. Its candidate for prime minister is the mild-mannered Manmohan Singh, 76, the present incumbent, who underwent heart bypass surgery in January. In the (hard) right corner stands the veteran campaigner, LK Advani, 81, the candidate of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) that lost in 2004.
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