India’s understated leader

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.

India's First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru

India's First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru

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.

India's current Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh

India's current Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh

In this article on the BBC website, Soutik Biswas looks at how Manmohan Singh is viewed by the Indian media today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/soutikbiswas/2010/05/is_manmohan_singh_an_enigma.html

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About Ash Bhardwaj

A storyteller, travel writer, journalist and film-maker. I am a regular contributor to Huffington Post, The Telegraph and the Sunday Times Travel Magazine. I spent much of 2013 working on Walking The Nile, Levison Wood's attempt to walk the world's longest river. I founded Digital Dandy, a video storytelling company, in 2012 to produce content for brands and businesses.
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