Inconclusive India

The resolution of the paradoxes that define India will determine its future trajectory.

Issue: July-Aug 2007

[India is] a living contradiction. Jewels may well be concealed in the cloaks of beggars. . . .India presents a paradox. It is profound and primitive, deeply spiritual and darkly superstitious, both universalistic and maddeningly provincial.

-Dr. Mani Bhaumik

FEW OBSERVERS comment upon India's paradoxes-whether in the social or cultural sense-as profoundly as Dr. Bhaumik, but paradox is indeed clearly central to the debate regarding the country's future. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clearly has a very similar view to Dr. Bhaumik of India's complex society. The vaunted economist, widely credited with framing India's sharp turn to a market economy some 15 years ago, has the daunting task of making the fast-growing climate he created work, economically and socially. As one close confidant told me, "Dr. Singh faces our paradoxes several times a day, every day. Thankfully, he remains optimistic."

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