Friends and Foes in India

My time as Ezra's guestblogger is coming to a close, and I want to thank him for giving me this opportunity.  It's been a very rewarding experience!

I see that he's made room for a category of posts on India, and nothing currently seems to occupy that category.  So as a final post, I'll say some very general things about Indian politics to give people a feel for the terrain.  My knowledge of Indian politics isn't particularly great, but I should be able to say enough to give you an idea of what's going on and why it's exciting. 

If you like Democrats, you'll probably be rooting for India's Congress Party.  Congress is a secular party that stands for tolerance towards India's Muslim minority, overturning the caste system, and more friendly relations with traditional rival Pakistan.  On the economic front, Congress is likely to support redistribution of wealth to the poor.  Congress posted a surprising victory in recent elections, and the current Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, is surprisingly similar to Robert Rubin.  He's a soft-spoken technocratic economist who served as a finance minister in the 1990s and set up economic reforms -- mostly in eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy -- that led to greater prosperity.