What is the present political condition of India?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is tough to address because of its complexity.  I think that there are two specific aspects of the Indian political condition that need to be addressed.  There is the international dimension, which is going fairly well for India right now.  There is a very strong alignment with the West on many different issues.  The potential thorniness in relations that existed with the Bush Administration is not as present right now with the Obama Administration.  India- U.S. Ties are at one of their strongest points, as evidenced by Secretary of State Clinton's comments this week in India.  The recent U.S. dissatisfaction with Pakistan, highlighted by the Bin Laden killing, has also helped to solidify ties with India.  Outsourcing debates have subsided to a certain extent, and there is a strong economic presence that India holds in the world with its presence in world economic discussions as having relevancy.  India is a nation that can offer its input on world issues, such as its recent condemnation of the Oslo terrorist attacks, and actually have a sense of purpose and relevancy in doing so.  From a foreign point of view, India is experiencing a moment of great international political prestige.

Domestically, things are at a different point.  The last three months have seen a very disturbing uptick in corruption scandals for the major political parties.  The reigning Congress party has had its hand full with calls from social activist Anna Hazare demanding for change.  The Baba Ramdev hunger strike and police entrance/ seizure caused another row because of how it was perceived, given his stand against government corruption.  In the last two weeks, the "2 G scam" involving Textiles Minister Maran and his eventual departure gave the administration another black eye, leading to a cabinet reshuffle that tried to cleanse some of the recent stench.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken to weekly press conferences, in the attempt to help spread a more positive public relations image.  The first of these did not go well, as he referred to the India Media as "judge, jury, and executioner."  The opposition party is not faring too well either on the corruption front.  This weekend's breaking news about the land scam charge against the Karnataka state Chief Minister has caused the BJP party to divide on whether or not he should be dismissed.  As the charges of corruption in this matter become more divulged with land dealings, secret trust funds, and using public land for private profit, faith in government seems to be decreasing.  It seems that other parties struggle with the corruption charge, as well, immersed in "votes for cash scams" as well as politicians being marched into police headquarters for questioning on corruption charges at an alarmingly frequent timetable.  It is here where there is a different state of affairs in Indian domestic political affairs.

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