World Citizen: In India, Corruption Moves to Top of the Agenda

World Citizen: In India, Corruption Moves to Top of the Agenda

One year from now, one of the great pageants of democracy will unfold in India, as hundreds of millions of citizens of the world’s largest democracy go to the polls to choose a new parliament. India’s May 2014 general election will focus, as it always has, on the need to fight poverty, reduce inequality and foster economic growth. And yet, more than ever before, the issue of corruption will play a pre-eminent role in guiding the voters’ decision. That’s because the Indian people are gradually but decisively coming to believe that endemic corruption is one of the greatest obstacles in the path to justice and economic success.

India has achieved strong economic growth and a significant lowering of poverty rates since the early 1990s, when the country liberalized its economy under the direction of then-Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, the current prime minister.

An unspoken competition ensued, pitting the world’s two most populous countries, China and India, against each other on a race to prosperity. Each had hundreds of millions living in poverty, and each launched enormously successful policies that lifted large numbers into the middle class.

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