Friday, May 14, 2004

Sonia Gandhi, New Prime Minister, Leads Upset of Strong Left Wing Parties to Indian Government

Tears nearly welled up in my eyes Wednesday night when I read about this magnificent election upset. India will no longer be a place run by one ethnic group, or a place of ethnically motivated mass murder, of a "Shining" India that forgets about its poor or a place that instinctively backs the US. Communists were the Queenmaker for Gandhi's Congress Party and therefore should have a strong say in the economic policies of the nation. Already investors are running scared.

Commentary from major newspapers here. The UK Guardian's is reprinted below:

Britain's "The Guardian" daily says that the losers in India were everybody except those who matter most. The newspaper editorializes: "The result came as a complete surprise to everyone but the people who matter in an Indian election. Not online India, the India of software developers, the India that produces 2 million graduates a year, the India with a runaway economy widely predicted to become a global power in the 21st century. But its rural poor, its illiterates, the villagers who live without electricity in mud and thatch houses, those who have to walk 2 miles to fetch water, some 300 million people in all, or twice the population of Russia."

The editorial concludes: "If this was a protest vote against Coca Cola consuming the aquifers of Kerala, or Monsanto being awarded the patents for wheat used for making chapatis, then Congress will be hard put to respond. It sees nothing wrong and much right in neoliberalism. But the genuinely good news of this result is what this vote was against. The Hindu nationalist BJP were not just voted out of power, they were drummed out of it. In the western state of Gujarat, where more than a 1,000 Muslims were killed by Hindu mob violence, the BJP lost half its seats, despite attempts by the BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee to reach out to India's 140 million Muslims. This too was a vote against nationalism and sectarianism. If Gandhi uses this mandate, it may herald a new era in Indian politics."

CAPITALISM/WALL STREET WANTS HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT! The above reminds me of a story I think happened Monday or late last week. It was when the latest unemployment figures came out. They were quite positive numbers by all accounts. This was the boost in the economy that all were waiting for to solidify the perceptions that we are really on the way up, so the markets should have been pleased right? NOOO - instead the news coincided with the largest drop in the stock market in quite a while.


Anonymous Men's Shoes said...

Sonia Gandhi has had a huge influence over India. Being unable to speak many regional languages, she has made her place as the King Maker in the history of Indian politics!

1:20 PM  

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