India: Schismatic Octopus

For all its inefficiency and sloth, India's dominant Congress Party has played a vital role in nurturing the growth of democracy in a diverse and desperately poor land. In the 22 years of India's independence from Britain, the party has been the stabilizing factor of Indian political life. A benign octopus that embraced both doctrinaire socialists and free-enterprising rightists, it provided the framework within which India's many sects and nationalities could work together for common political goals. During the past several years, though, the Congress Party has been increasingly riven by internal...

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