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Democratic to a fault?

India, whose creation as a republic is the most recklessly ambitious experiment in history, has flourished. But old strains put the future in peril

By TimDLS   February 2012

Congress party supporters shelter from a dust storm kicked up by Rahul Gandhi’s helicopter before an election rally in Purulia, 2009

Just over a year ago, Barack Obama described Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, as one of the “most extraordinary leaders,” he had met. Praising Singh for his “wisdom and decency,” the American president said that from their first meeting, he found they “share many of the same values, the same goals and the same vision for the well-being of our people.”

Praise as extravagant as this invited retribution, and 2011 was a disastrous year for Singh, with the Indian…

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