If you think the recent election and formation of a coalition government here provided for political drama, you’d find Indian politics rather terrifying. India’s politicians cover every part of the social spectrum, from upper-class (and caste) Brahmins like India’s first prime minister, Nehru, all the way to those elevated from the bottom of the caste spectrum and even those under criminal investigation for murder.
Indian’s taste in politicians has followed their tastes in film: loud, colourful, often corrupt, and detached from reality. In all this, India’s current prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is an enigma. Quiet, considered and uncharismatic, he heads India’s ruling Congress Party. A party renowned for nepotism and ineffectual leadership. But Singh has been at the centre of Indian policy and progress for over 20 years. It was Singh who oversaw the economic reforms in the 90s that took India out of a socialist system to a capitalist one, leading to foreign investment and enterprise that has seen India become one of the world’s fastest growing economies and a significant political and economic power on the global stage.
In this article on the BBC website, Soutik Biswas looks at how Manmohan Singh is viewed by the Indian media today: