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     May 21, '14

Modi's challenge
By Martin Hutchinson

As the new prime minister of India, Narenda Modi, with a majority that should allow him to govern for five years, has potentially the most important job in the world.

Let me explain why, and why this high-flown claim operates only if he "gets it right". I will attempt to define that condition and to suggest how Modi may achieve it.

There is some reason for Indians to hope that Modi's election

marks a genuine change of direction, with potential to solve the economic insanities that are holding the country back. While Manmohan Singh made the first modest reforms of India's benighted "permit raj" after 1991, the most vigorous reforms were carried out by Atal Bihari Vajpayee's BJP government in 1998-2004. The Indian electorate then repaid Vajpayee with a staggering act of foolish ingratitude by voting out the BJP in 2004 and returning Congress to power.

You can argue which was worse, the Indian electorate's behavior to Vajpayee or the British electorate's voting out Winston Churchill in 1945. (I would argue voting out Churchill wasn't as bad, because his peacetime record was mediocre.) The 10 years since then have seen policy stagnation and corruption, which have gradually accumulated barnacles on India's grossly oversized state bureaucracy and subsidy network. India's brisk economic growth, continuing for several years on the momentum caused by Vajpayee's reforms, has since slowed to a crawl. More ...

Martin Hutchinson is the author of Great Conservatives (Academica Press, 2005) - details can be found on the website www.greatconservatives.com - and co-author with Professor Kevin Dowd of Alchemists of Loss (Wiley, 2010). Both are now available on Amazon.com, Great Conservatives only in a Kindle edition, Alchemists of Loss in both Kindle and print editions.

(Republished with permission from PrudentBear.com. Copyright 2005-14 David W Tice & Associates.)




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