Poised for a Tumultous Change

This is about India and its democratic elections.

After a long time of 10 years of rule by the United Progressive Alliance, dominated by the Congress Party, India is now poised for a major change in government. That is how most people feel, anyway, in India, and elsewhere.

Even major countries like the U.S. and the U.K. are preparing for the change. In the past it was not this important, but now India has a growing economy which is only behind the U.S., China and Japan in terms of the size of the purchasing power of its economy. It is the world’s single biggest buyer of arms and ammunition and that alone should be a strong factor in any inter-governmental relations between the top countries of the world and India.

The growing economy of India has produced more than 300 million people who can be categorized as “middle class” and many USD billionaires (not just Rupee ones !!!).

But the past few years have been riddled with many scandals which have hit the image of India everywhere. The ruling government has lost its credibility by adopting inconsistent policies, to the detriment of global investors. The searing inflation has hit the pockets of most Indians.

The country and the world are both hoping for a positive change.

The current government and the alliance behind it cannot produce that positive change.

Any change in the government would be achieved democratically in India, but the change will only lead to another alliance as even the biggest opposition party cannot win a simple majority in the Indian Parliament.

So India is in for some rough ride as it settles down to another 5 years of coalition politics which is inherently conflict-driven and has not delivered for India over the past decade or so. While economic growth is important (and it was achieved), growth in many other areas have not been achieved. India has a long way to go for reaching the status of a developed nation, as its human development and corruption indices are way behind the developed countries.

It will be interesting and also crucial to watch how the Indian electoral politics develop over the next 5 months.


Vijay Srinivasan
17th November 2013


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