Dark skies ahead for India’s government
Not a glorious August for India. This week-end, the national cricket team, winner of the World Cup only two months ago, lost its third match against England in a crushing defeat. It is now set to fall off its ranking as world number one.
The violence of the domestic backlash against the players reveals how much of a pilar of national pride cricket has become - but also how much Indians’ self-confidence in general has eroded over the past year. The team’s outstanding fortune had been identified with India’s growing stature as a major power; but the country is currently facing economic, political and social headwinds that put its sunny long-term visions into question.
The prime minister, Manmohan Singh, speaking at the opening adress of India’s independence day today, will have to answer his critics about rampant corruption among the political and business elite; but most importantly, he must explain what he will do to put India back on the economic fast-track. Stubbornly rising prices are scuppering the business competitively and harming the people’s purchasing power, and failing announcements of sound reforms the prime minister must expect a season of rather violent social storms.