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May 25, 2014

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FT can be ideological, outside of news and alphaville.

Part of what makes Modi appealing is that he cuts a fairly strongman profile, in comparison to Obama's speechifying, Modi will get things done. There is also a Reagan redux thing, Morning in India, look how Gujarat has done!

Edward Luce is likely to be disappointed. From what I know, Modi isn't a particularly savory personality (even if he wasn't assisting pogroms), and the Gujarat Miracle is about as real as Bush's Texas (and Rick Perry, and, and) Miracle. He's there to be sort of a bully boy for Indian business elites, but I think the License Raj heritage of the bureaucracy is quite capable of frustration. I also think that India's problems do not stem from a lack of Chinese-ness, in authoritarian paintbrush sentiment, but from an incestuous upper class that can't be made to cooperate enough on even the most common sense programs when it comes to boring but needed public goods. It should not be as difficult as it is to get resources from one place to another in India. How is Modi going to crack down on the 1% there in order to get power, water, etc fixed? These projects are frustrated from all of the decentralized aspects governing infrastructure--but that frustration is on the behest of local and national elites.

Sure Modi can just be a tough guy, but fundamentally, I think that requires a friendlier international finance climate than what exists. Given what Indians on my facebook (I drink lots of tea) are behaving like, he will have very vocal internal obstruction every inch of the way.

I think this is a good backgrounder on one aspect of hindu nationalist politics:

http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/rss-30?page=0,0

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