Is India Poor, Who Says? Ask Swiss Banks..

I am posting that article(from by Ramesh C M) for you guys…

With personal account deposit bank of $1500 billion in foreign reserve which have been misappropriated, an amount 13 times larger than the country's foreign debt, one needs to rethink if India is a poor country?

Dishonest industrialists, scandalous politicians and corrupt IAS, IRS, IPS officers have deposited in foreign banks in their illegal personal accounts a sum of about $ 1500 billion, which have been misappropriated by them. This amount is about 13 times larger than the country's foreign debt. With this amount 45 crore poor people can get Rs 100000 each. This huge amount has been appropriated from the people of India by exploiting and betraying them.

Once this huge amount of black money and property comes back to India, the entire foreign debt can be repaid in 24 hours. After paying the entire foreign debt, we will have surplus amount, almost 12 times larger than the foreign debt. If this surplus amount is invested in earning interest, the amount of interest will be more than the annual budget of the Central government. So even if all the taxes are abolished, then also the Central government will be able to maintain the country very comfortably.

Some 80,000 people travel to Switzerland every year, of whom 25,000 travel very frequently. "Obviously, these people won't be tourists. They must be traveling there for some other reason," believes an official involved in tracking illegal money. And, clearly, he isn't referring to the commerce ministry bureaucrats who've been flitting in and out of Geneva ever since the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations went into a tailspin!

Just read the following details and note how these dishonest industrialists, scandalous politicians, corrupt officers, cricketers, film actors, illegal sex trade and protected wildlife operators, to name just a few, sucked this country's wealth and prosperity. This may be the picture of deposits in Swiss banks only. What about other international banks?

Black money in Swiss banks -- Swiss Banking Association report, 2006 details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:

Top five

India---- $1456 billion
Russia---$ 470 billion
UK-------$390 billion
Ukraine- $100 billion
China-----$ 96 billion

Now do the maths - India with $1456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss banks than rest of the world combined. Public loot since 1947: Can we bring back our money? It is one of the biggest loots witnessed by mankind -- the loot of the Aam Aadmi (common man) since 1947, by his brethren occupying public office. It has been orchestrated by politicians, bureaucrats and some businessmen. The list is almost all-encompassing. No wonder, everyone in India loots with impunity and without any fear.

What is even more depressing in that this ill-gotten wealth of ours has been stashed away abroad into secret bank accounts located in some of the world's best known tax havens. And to that extent the Indian economy has been stripped of its wealth. Ordinary Indians may not be exactly aware of how such secret accounts operate and what are the rules and regulations that go on to govern such tax havens. However, one may well be aware of 'Swiss bank accounts,' the shorthand for murky dealings, secrecy and of course pilferage from developing countries into rich developed ones.

In fact, some finance experts and economists believe tax havens to be a conspiracy of the western world against the poor countries. By allowing the proliferation of tax havens in the twentieth century, the western world explicitly encourages the movement of scarce capital from the developing countries to the rich.

In March 2005, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) published a research finding demonstrating that $11.5 trillion of personal wealth was held offshore by rich individuals across the globe. The findings estimated that a large proportion of this wealth was managed from some 70 tax havens.

Further, augmenting these studies of TJN, Raymond Baker -- in his widely celebrated book titled 'Capitalism's Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free Market System' -- estimates that at least $5 trillion have been shifted out of poorer countries to the West since the mid-1970. It is further estimated by experts that one per cent of the world's population holds more than 57 per cent of total global wealth, routing it invariably through these tax havens. How much of this is from India is anybody's guess.

What is to be noted here is that most of the wealth of Indians parked in these tax havens is illegitimate money acquired through corrupt means. Naturally, the secrecy associated with the bank accounts in such places is central to the issue, not their low tax rates as the term 'tax havens' suggests. Remember Bofors and how India could not trace the ultimate beneficiary of those transactions because of the secrecy associated with these bank accounts?


God... No No No, even he can't..........!!


Awesome Resume !

CAN U BEAT THIS RESUME!!!!!! !!!!!!!


EDUCATION /Qualification:

1950: Stood first in BA (Hons), Economics, Punjab University , Chandigarh ,
1952; Stood first in MA (Economics), Punjab University , Chandigarh ,
1954; Wright's Prize for distinguished performance at St John's College , Cambridge ,
1955 and 1957; Wrenbury scholar, University of Cambridge ,
1957; DPhil ( Oxford ), DLitt (Honoris Causa); PhD thesis on India 's export competitiveness

OCCUPATION /Teaching Experience :

Professor (Senior lecturer, Economics, 1957-59;
Reader, Economics, 1959-63;
Professor, Economics, Punjab University , Chandigarh , 1963-65;
Professor,Internati onal Trade, Delhi School of Economics ,University of Delhi,1969-71 ;
Honorary professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University ,New Delhi,1976 and Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi ,1996 and Civil Servant

Working Experience/ POSITIONS :

1971-72: Economic advisor, ministry of foreign trade
1972-76: Chief economic advisor, ministry of finance

1976-80: Director, Reserve Bank of India;
Director, Industrial Development Bank of India ;
Alternate governor for India, Board of governors, Asian Development Bank;
Alternate governor for India, Board of governors, IBRD

November 1976 - April 1980: Secretary, ministry of finance (Department of economic affairs);
Member, finance, Atomic Energy Commission; Member,finance, Space Commission

April 1980 - September 15, 1982 : Member-secretary, Planning Commission

1980-83: Chairman , India Committee of the Indo-Japan joint study committee

September 16, 1982 - January 14, 1985 : Governor, Reserve Bank of India ...

1982-85: Alternate Governor for India, Board of governors, International Monetary Fund

1983-84: Member, economic advisory council to the Prime Minister

1985: President, Indian Economic Association

January 15, 1985 - July 31, 1987 : Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission

August 1, 1987 - November 10, 19! 90: Secretary-general and commissioner,
south commission, Geneva

December 10, 1990 - March 14, 1991 : Advisor to the Prime Minister on economic affairs

March 15, 1991 - June 20, 1991 : Chairman, UGC

June 21, 1991 - May 15, 1996 : Union finance minister

October 1991: Elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam on Congress ticket

June 1995: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha

1996 onwards: Member, Consultative Committee for the ministry of finance

August 1, 1996 - December 4, 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary standing committee on commerce

March 21, 1998 onwards: Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha

June 5, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on finance

August 13, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on rules

Aug 1998-2001: Member, committee of privileges 2000 onwards: Member, executive committee, Indian parliamentary group

June 2001: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha

Aug 2001 onwards: Member, general purposes committee


India 's Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth -
Clarendon Press, Oxford University , 1964; also published a large number of articles in various economic journals.


Adam Smith Prize, University of Cambridge , 1956

Padma Vibhushan, 1987

Euro money Award, Finance Minister of the Year, 1993;

Asia money Award, Finance Minister of the Year for Asia , 1993 and 1994


1966: Economic Affairs Officer

1966-69: Chief, financing for trade section, UNCTAD

1972-74: Deputy for India in IMF Committee of Twenty on
International Monetary Reform

1977-79: Indian delegation to Aid-India Consortium Meetings

1980-82: Indo-Soviet joint planning group meeting

1982: Indo-Soviet monitoring group meeting

1993: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Cyprus 1993: Human Rights World Conference , Vienna


Gymkhana Club, New Delhi ; Life Member, India International Centre,
New Delhi


Name: Dr Manmohan Singh

DOB: September 26, 1932

Place of Birth: Gah ( West Punjab )

Father: S. Gurmukh Singh

Mother: Mrs Amrit Kaur

Married on: September 14, 1958

Wife: Mrs Gursharan Kaur

Children: Three daughters

INDIAN Prime Minister seems to be the most qualified PM all over the world.


Thomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria: Author One-to-One

Fareed Zakaria: Your book is about two things, the climate crisis and also about an American crisis. Why do you link the two?

Thomas Friedman: You're absolutely right--it is about two things. The book says, America has a problemFriedman_3 and the world has a problem. The world's problem is that it's getting hot, flat and crowded and that convergence--that perfect storm--is driving a lot of negative trends. America's problem is that we've lost our way--we've lost our groove as a country. And the basic argument of the book is that we can solve our problem by taking the lead in solving the world's problem.

Zakaria: Explain what you mean by "hot, flat and crowded."

Friedman: There is a convergence of basically three large forces: one is global warming, which has been going on at a very slow pace since the industrial revolution; the second--what I call the flattening of the world--is a metaphor for the rise of middle-class citizens, from China to India to Brazil to Russia to Eastern Europe, who are beginning to consume like Americans. That's a blessing in so many ways--it's a blessing for global stability and for global growth. But it has enormous resource complications, if all these people--whom you've written about in your book, The Post American World--begin to consume like Americans. And lastly, global population growth simply refers to the steady growth of population in general, but at the same time the growth of more and more people able to live this middle-class lifestyle. Between now and 2020, the world's going to add another billion people. And their resource demands--at every level--are going to be enormous. I tell the story in the book how, if we give each one of the next billion people on the planet just one sixty-watt incandescent light bulb, what it will mean: the answer is that it will require about 20 new 500-megawatt coal-burning power plants. That's so they can each turn on just one light bulb!

Zakaria: In my book I talk about the "rise of the rest" and about the reality of how this rise of new powerful economic nations is completely changing the way the world works. Most everyone's efforts have been devoted to Kyoto-like solutions, with the idea of getting western countries to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. But I grew to realize that the West was a sideshow. India and China will build hundreds of coal-fire power plants in the next ten years and the combined carbon dioxide emissions of those new plants alone are five times larger than the savings mandated by the Kyoto accords. What do you do with the Indias and Chinas of the world?

Friedman: I think there are two approaches. There has to be more understanding of the basic unfairness they feel. They feel like we sat down, had the hors d'oeuvres, ate the entrée, pretty much finished off the dessert, invited them for tea and coffee and then said, "Let's split the bill." So I understand the big sense of unfairness--they feel that now that they have a chance to grow and reach with large numbers a whole new standard of living, we're basically telling them, "Your growth, and all the emissions it would add, is threatening the world's climate." At the same time, what I say to them--what I said to young Chinese most recently when I was just in China is this: Every time I come to China, young Chinese say to me, "Mr. Friedman, your country grew dirty for 150 years. Now it's our turn." And I say to them, "Yes, you're absolutely right, it's your turn. Grow as dirty as you want. Take your time. Because I think we probably just need about five years to invent all the new clean power technologies you're going to need as you choke to death, and we're going to come and sell them to you. And we're going to clean your clock in the next great global industry. So please, take your time. If you want to give us a five-year lead in the next great global industry, I will take five. If you want to give us ten, that would be even better. In other words, I know this is unfair, but I am here to tell you that in a world that's hot, flat and crowded, ET--energy technology--is going to be as big an industry as IT--information technology. Maybe even bigger. And who claims that industry--whose country and whose companies dominate that industry--I think is going to enjoy more national security, more economic security, more economic growth, a healthier population, and greater global respect, for that matter, as well. So you can sit back and say, it's not fair that we have to compete in this new industry, that we should get to grow dirty for a while, or you can do what you did in telecommunications, and that is try to leap-frog us. And that's really what I'm saying to them: this is a great economic opportunity. The game is still open. I want my country to win it--I'm not sure it will.

Zakaria: I'm struck by the point you make about energy technology. In my book I'm pretty optimistic about the United States. But the one area where I'm worried is actually ET. We do fantastically in biotech, we're doing fantastically in nanotechnology. But none of these new technologies have the kind of system-wide effect that information technology did. Energy does. If you want to find the next technological revolution you need to find an industry that transforms everything you do. Biotechnology affects one critical aspect of your day-to-day life, health, but not all of it. But energy--the consumption of energy--affects every human activity in the modern world. Now, my fear is that, of all the industries in the future, that's the one where we're not ahead of the pack. Are we going to run second in this race?

Friedman: Well, I want to ask you that, Fareed. Why do you think we haven't led this industry, which itself has huge technological implications? We have all the secret sauce, all the technological prowess, to lead this industry. Why do you think this is the one area--and it's enormous, it's actually going to dwarf all the others--where we haven't been at the real cutting edge?

Zakaria: I think it's not about our economic system but our political system. The rhetoric we hear is that the market should produce new energy technologies. But the problem is, the use of current forms of energy has an existing infrastructure with very powerful interests that has ensured that the government tilt the playing field in their favor, with subsidies, tax breaks, infrastructure spending, etc. This is one area where the Europeans have actually been very far-sighted and have pushed their economies toward the future.

Friedman: I would say that's exactly right. It's the Europeans--and the Japanese as well--who've done it,Zakaria_jkt_4 and they've done it because of the government mechanisms you've highlighted. They have understood that, if you just say the market alone will deliver the green revolution we need, basically three things happen and none of them are good: First, the market will drive up the price to whatever level demand dictates. We saw oil hit $145 a barrel, and when that happens the oil-producing countries capture most of the profit, 90% of it. So, some of the worst regimes in the world enjoy the biggest benefits from the market run-up. The second thing that happens is that the legacy oil, gas and coal companies get the other ten percent of the profit--so companies which have no interest in changing the system get stronger. And the third thing that happens is something that doesn't happen: because you're letting the market alone shape the prices, the market price can go up and down very quickly. So, those who want to invest in the alternatives really have to worry that if they make big investments, the market price for oil may fall back on them before their industry has had a chance to move down the learning curve and make renewable energies competitive with oil. Sure, the market can drive oil to $145 a barrel and at that level wind or solar may be very competitive. But what if two months later oil is at $110 a barrel? Because of that uncertainty, because we have not put a floor price under oil, you have the worst of all worlds, which is a high price of dirty fuels--what I call in the book fuels from hell--and low investment in new clean fuels, the fuels from heaven. Yes, some people are investing in the alternatives, but not as many or as much as you think, because they are worried that without a floor price for crude oil, their investments in the alternatives could get wiped out, which is exactly what happened in the 1980s after the first oil shock. That's why you need the government to come in a reshape the market to make the cost of dirty fuels more expensive and subsidize the price of clean fuels until they can become competitive.

Right now we are doing just the opposite. Bush and Cheney may say the oil market is “free,” but that is a joke. It's dominated by the world's biggest cartel, OPEC, and America's biggest energy companies, and they've shaped this market to serve their interests. Unless government comes in and reshapes it, we're never going to launch this industry. Which is one of the reasons I argue in the book, "Change your leaders, not your light bulbs." Because leaders write rules, rules shape markets, markets give you scale. Without scale, without being able to generate renewable energy at scale, you have nothing. All you have is a hobby. Everything we've doing up to now is pretty much a hobby. I like hobbies--I used to build model airplanes as a kid. But I don't try to change the world as a hobby. And that's basically what we're trying to do.

Zakaria: But aren't we in the midst of a green revolution? Every magazine I pick up tells me ten different ways to get more green. Hybrids are doing very well...

Friedman: What I always say to people when they say to me, "We're having a green revolution" is, "Really? A green revolution! Have you ever been to a revolution where no one got hurt? That's the green revolution." In the green revolution, everyone's a winner: BP's green, Exxon's green, GM's green. When everyone's a winner, that's not a revolution--actually, that's a party. We're having a green party. And it's very fun--you and I get invited to all the parties. But it has no connection whatsoever with a real revolution. You'll know it's a revolution when somebody gets hurt. And I don't mean physically hurt. But the IT revolution was a real revolution. In the IT revolution, companies either had to change or die. So you'll know the green revolution is happening when you see some bodies--corporate bodies--along the side of the road: companies that didn't change and therefore died. Right now we don't have that kind of market, that kind of change-or-die situation. Right now companies feel like they can just change their brand, not actually how they do business, and that will be enough to survive. That's why we're really having more of a green party than a green revolution.

Zakaria: One of your chapters is called "Outgreening Al-Qaeda." Explain what you mean.

Friedman: The chapter is built around the green hawks in the Pentagon. They began with a marine general in Iraq, who basically cabled back one day and said, I need renewable power here. Things like solar energy. And the reaction of the Pentagon was, "Hey, general, you getting a little green out there? You're not going sissy on us are you? Too much sun?" And he basically said, "No, don't you guys get it? I have to provision outposts along the Syrian border. They are off the grid. They run on generators with diesel fuel. I have to truck diesel fuel from Kuwait to the Syrian border at $20 a gallon delivered cost. And that's if my trucks don't get blown up by insurgents along the way. If I had solar power, I wouldn't have to truck all this fuel. I could—this is my term, not his—‘outgreen' Al-Qaeda."

I argue in the chapter that "outgreening"--the ability to deploy, expand, innovate and grow renewable energy and clean power--is going to become one of the most important, if not the most important, sources of competitive advantage for a company, for a country, for a military. You're going to know the cost of your fuel, it's going to be so much more distributed, you will be so much more flexible, and--this is quite important, Fareed--you will also become so much more respected. I hear from law firms today: one law firm has a green transport initiative going for its staff--they only use hybrid cars--another one doesn't. If some law student out of Harvard or Yale is weighing which law firm to join--many will say today: "I think I'll go with the green one." So there are a lot of ways in which you can outgreen your competition. I think "outgreening" is going to become an important verb in the dictionary - between "outfox" and "outmaneuver."

Zakaria: Finally, let me ask you--in that context--what would this do to America's image, if we were to take on this challenge? Do you really think it could change the way America is perceived in the world?

Friedman: I have no doubt about it, which is why I say in the book: I'm not against Kyoto; if you can get 190 countries all to agree on verifiable limits on their carbon, God bless you. But at the end of the day, I really still believe--and I know you do too--in America as a model. Your book stresses this--that even in a post-American world we still are looked at by others around the world as a role model. I firmly believe that if we go green--if we prove that we can become healthy, secure, respected, entrepreneurial, richer and more innovative by greening our economy, many more people will follow us voluntarily than would do so by compulsion of a treaty. Does that mean Russia and Iran will? No. Geopolitics won't disappear. But I think it will, speaking broadly, definitely reposition us in the world with more people in more places. I look at making America the greenest country in the world like running the Olympic triathlon: if you make it to the Olympics and you run the race, maybe you win--but even if you don't win, you're fitter, healthier, more secure, more respected, more competitive and entrepreneurial, because you have given birth to a whole new clean power industry--which has to be the next great global industry--and put your economy on a much more sustainable footing. So to me, this is a win-win-win-win race, and that's why I believe we, America, need to take the lead in it. In the Cold War we had the space race with Russia to see who could be the first to put a man on the moon. Today we need an earth race with Japan, Europe, China and India--to see who can be the first to invent the clean power technologies that will allow man to live safely and sustainably on earth.


I am not real proud of this one.

But this story needs to be told.

The prospect called the CEO and VP of Sales of my company he
was so pissed off.

The customer's offices were in Colorado Springs. I was
living and working out of Seattle at the time.

I had committed to fly out and give a demonstration of our
accounting software to this company. They had planned on
bringing a few people in from their offices in other cities.

Plane flights were required for them, from where I can't
exactly remember.

In fact I can't even remember the name of this prospect. I
guess that's selective memory loss.

But one week before I was to fly 3 states away and give my
all afternoon sales presentation I made a decision.

I had this sinking feeling in my gut that this sale wasn't
for me.

I had been in sales for nearly 6 years, and one thing I had
started to notice was that I was developing an intuition
about my deals.

Every deal I had ever won felt right from the start. And
similarly every deal I had lost felt bad from the start.

So a little late, I decided to trust my intuition.

I say a little late because I should've never committed to
going out and visiting onsite. And I shouldn't have waited
till just a week before to cancel.

I should have said no right up-front when I did my
qualifying, and I could see by the business requirements
that were driving the deal that it wasn't the best fit for

But I didn't.

And I called and canceled my visit.

And this prospect chewed me out. He threatened me that he
would call my company and tell them. Then he made good on
his threat and called my VP of Sales and my CEO and told
them how unprofessional I was.

At the time I felt both good and bad about my decision.

I felt good because I knew that I had made the right
decision for me, and for my company.

I felt bad because I had broken a commitment and probably
cost some other people some bux due to my inexperience and
inability to be decisive up-front.

When I spoke to my VP of Sales, he wanted to know why I
backed out of the deal.

I explained why this was not a good deal for us to be in, he
agreed with me and said he would tell the CEO that and back
me up. He just wished I hadn't pissed off the prospect.

You gotta have a thick skin in sales. You gotta do the right
thing for you and your company.

Sometimes that means breaking a commitment if it's one you
shouldn't have made.

Sometimes that means disappointing or even angering someone.

Better to make the right decision the first time. But part
of life is making mistakes and learning from them. The
sooner you can recognize and correct a mistake the better.

You gotta be yourself if you're gonna have a chance at
connecting with people and doing well in sales. And to be
yourself you gotta dump the baggage that we all got loaded
up with before going into selling.


I remember the day I became a pain-junkie.

It was pretty damned exciting.

I don't mean self-inflicted pain.


I am talking about my prospect's pain.

I remember it well.

I had my questions all planned in advance.

I knew what I was going to ask to find the pain. And I knew
what I was going to ask to stick the knife, twist it around,
and make it hurt.

All I needed was a prospect.

And then the phone rang.

My lead generation efforts had paid off.

Someone was calling me wanting to find out about my

As I picked up the phone, I put myself into high "On" mode.

I used all the rapport techniques I had studied, practiced,
and mastered.

I started asking the pain questions, used my control
questioning technique to keep control of sales call, found
the pain, and magnified it with more questions.

I leverage that pain into a commitment. A commitment by my
prospect to make a decision, yes or no, then and there with
me while we were both on the phone.

Commitment secured, I finally "presented". I discussed how
my service worked, what my prospect could expect to get from
it, what my qualifications were, and what the prices of the
package options were.

We discussed it a bit, and he made a decision. Just like he
committed to doing.

I had a new customer.

And I got paid.

I was so ecstatic, I had to hold back from laughing out

I mean, I knew exactly what I was doing every step of the
way. Once I had found pain that I knew I could do an
excellent job of solving, I knew I had about 60-70% chance
of closing this prospect.

And when I got the commitment that he would make a decision,
I knew that my chance of closing had just risen to about

I wanted to laugh, because for the first time in years, I
felt fully in control of the sale.

My transformation was complete.

I had become addicted to pain.

I had become a pain-junkie.

Selling hasn't been the same for me ever since. It's sooo
much more fun now.

Bhutto and the Future of Islam

RECONCILIATION: Islam, Democracy, and the West
By Benazir Bhutto. 328 pp. New York: Harper/Harper Collins. $27.95

Picture the moment. It is Dec. 2, 1988. A beautiful woman, 35 years old, walks into the presidential palace in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, flanked by liveried and turbaned honor guards. She is wearing a green silk tunic and a white gauzy shawl that barely covers her hair. She speaks flawless Urdu and English, her English perfected as an undergraduate at Radcliffe and then as a student at Oxford, where she was president of the Oxford Union. She is intelligent, erudite and intensely charismatic. And she is about to take the oath of office to become the first woman in history to lead a modern Muslim country.

The idea of Benazir Bhutto has always been more powerful than the reality. Bhutto, who was assassinated last December while campaigning in Rawalpindi, seemed to many of her admirers in the West to be the consummate liberal. But she was also the descendant of one of the oldest and most thoroughly feudal families in the Sind province. The size of her family's landholdings had stunned the British general Charles Napier, who conquered the province for Queen Victoria in 1843. She inherited the leadership of the Pakistan People's Party from her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's first elected prime minister, and ran it like a personal fiefdom. She was president-for-life, allowed no internal party elections and in her will bequeathed her party to her 19-year-old son, Bilawal, who has spent most of his life outside Pakistan.

Benazir Bhutto spent only 20 months as prime minister the first time she was elected. Pakistan's president dismissed her government over charges of dysfunction and corruption. She had few legislative accomplishments during those years, and her second term in office, from 1993 to 1996, was also largely unsuccessful. There are explanations for her lack of achievement—the military establishment gave her little room and maneuvered against her constantly—but still one cannot help but notice the gap between ambition and action that haunted Bhutto for most of her public life.

With the publication of "Reconciliation," Bhutto has—alas, posthumously—closed that gap. Written while she was preparing to re-enter political life, it is a book of enormous intelligence, courage and clarity. It contains the best-written and most persuasive modern interpretation of Islam I have read. Part of what makes it compelling, of course, is the identity of its author. People have often asked when respected Muslim leaders would denounce Islamic extremism and articulate a forward-looking and tolerant view of their religion. Well, Bhutto has done it in full measure. And as the most popular political figure in the world of Islam—for three decades she led the largest political party in the second largest Muslim country—she had much greater standing than the collection of reactionary mullahs, second-rate academics and unelected monarchs who opine on these topics routinely, and are accorded far too much attention in the West. In fact, Washington should arrange to have the portions of the book about Islam republished as a separate volume and translated into several languages. It would do more to win the battle of ideas within Islam than anything an American president could ever say.

In praising "Reconciliation," I am really recommending its largest part, which concerns the future of Islam. There is a second section, about Pakistan and Benazir Bhutto, which takes up about a fifth of the whole. Some of it is fascinating—one cannot help being riveted by the book's opening pages, in which she recounts arriving in Pakistan on Oct. 18, 2007, to tumultuous crowds and then being hit by a bomb blast, the first terrorist attack on her (the second would prove fatal). But beyond that, the sections on Pakistan are a mixture of potted history and justifications of her reign and that of her father. There is little introspection and much spin. For example, she implies that she was always opposed to the Taliban during her term in office and points out that it took over Kabul as her government was about to be dismissed. But the final takeover, in 1996, came after several years of battle during which Pakistan supported the movement—under Bhutto's second prime ministership. It is quite possible that she was not in charge of these matters—the military ran most of the foreign and defense policy during her years—but she chooses not to admit that either.

So these pages are neither fresh nor frank. In their lack of candor, these sections resemble the memoirs of most politicians. But never mind. The other, larger part of the book is stirring and important—and takes up most of the first three chapters. If the reader loses interest by the time he gets to Pakistan, that's just fine.

Bhutto begins the book by saying frankly and unhesitatingly that the Muslim world has many problems and that it has refused to look at them with much honesty. "It is so much easier to blame others,' she writes, 'than to accept responsibility ourselves." She takes on issues that most Muslim leaders have preferred to ignore or avoid, like the sectarian war within Islam. "One billion Muslims around the world seemed united in their outrage at the war in Iraq ... but there is deadly silence when they are confronted with Muslim-on-Muslim violence. ... Even regarding Darfur, where there is an actual genocide being committed against a Muslim population, there has been a remarkable absence of protests."

Bhutto addresses the most backward-seeming traditions in the Muslim world with a knowledge of both theology and history. She points out, for instance, that in many Muslim countries it is assumed that the Koran requires that women be wrapped head to foot in chadors. Actually, the key passage in the holy book merely states: "Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them. ... And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty." "The passage does call for modest dress," Bhutto concludes, "but for both sexes." It's a clever and progressive reading that achieves an equality between the sexes without denying the divinity of the text. It is a far more effective way to win over a religious community than to denounce the religion as sexist or backward.

Bhutto asks that Muslim societies learn to tolerate differences in faith. "It is my firm belief that until Muslims revert to the traditional interpretation of Islam—in which 'you shall have your religion, and I shall have mine' is respected and adhered to—the factional strife within Muslim countries will continue. ... Those who teach the killing of adherents of other sects or religions are damaging Muslim societies as well as threatening non-Muslim societies." Here again, Bhutto combines theological and practical smarts. She links the need for Sunni-Shiite harmony with the broader need for respect for other religions.

Considering that this book was written while Bhutto was hoping to return to office, perhaps its boldest sections are its accounts of other Muslim countries and their practices. She does not accept some of the conventional wisdom about the roots of Islamic terrorism. She discusses the Palestinian cause and acknowledges its importance but does not claim that it is the source of all Muslim ill will toward the West. She is unsparing in her description of Wahhabi Islam and its home, Saudi Arabia. She recounts the history of Wahhabism, with its repeated destruction of the mosques, monuments and lives of other Sunni sects, as well as its war on Shiites. Given that Saudi Arabia has been a generous patron to Pakistan, it is striking that Bhutto was willing to write things that would surely have caused her difficulty had she become prime minister.

Throughout, Bhutto is responding to the argument of Samuel P. Huntington's Foreign Affairs essay "The Clash of Civilizations?" that the Islamic and Western worlds are unalterably opposed to each other. She is extremely attentive to Huntington, marshals evidence against him and cites almost all the best critiques. In fact she has devoted her book in large part to dissuading Muslims from seeing the world as one in which a clash of civilizations is necessary or inevitable.

Bhutto is a child of both East and West, and it shows. She is imbued with rationalism, tolerance, progressivism. But she also writes persuasively about Iran, Algeria and, of course, Pakistan, from a non-Western point of view, accurately describing the corrosive role of the West in many of these countries and arguing that the pervasive interference, often to support unpopular dictatorships, has left bitter memories in these lands. Her discussion of Pakistan, however, is almost obsessive in its insistence that United States policy has been responsible for propping up dictatorship and undermining democracy there. While there is certainly some truth to these claims, it is worth bearing in mind that Pakistan has developed poorly along many dimensions—social, economic and political—from its birth, and that it usually lapsed into dictatorship without much prodding from Washington. General Pervez Musharraf's coup, for example, was neither engineered nor approved of by the Clinton administration. If Muslims must accept that they are the authors of their own fate and stop blaming outsiders, is it not fair to ask that of Pakistan's leaders, military and civilian?

On the most pressing issue at hand, the rise of terrorism in Pakistan, Bhutto is sure that it is a consequence of the country's military dictatorship. Democracy, she writes over and over again, will rescue Pakistan from its dangerous path. This is, of course, the argument that George W. Bush has often made to explain his support for democracy in the Muslim world. It is a matter of extreme irony—to say the least—that in the most important real-world application of the Bush doctrine, the president ignores his own words, siding with a military dictator rather than with the elected democrat.

Actually, life is more complex than Bhutto's or Bush's rhetoric. Pakistan's terrorism problem is not simply related to its lack of democracy. It has to do as well with recent history: the Afghan war against Soviet occupation, the American use of Pakistan as a conduit for arms to the Afghan insurgents, Pakistan's decision to train jihadis to destabilize both Afghanistan and India, and the broader rise of militant Islam throughout the Muslim world. It also has to do with Pakistan's more fundamental challenge of being, since inception, an Islamic state, and thus vulnerable to religious radicalism.

In any event, over the next few years, Bhutto's theory may well be given a chance to work. The new democratic government in Pakistan might endure and will then have to tackle its country's terrorism problem. One can only hope, for the sake of Pakistan, Islam and the world at large, that it succeeds, and that Benazir Bhutto will be vindicated in death in a way she was not in life.

By Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International. His new book, "The Post-American World," will be published next month.

India Rising

Messy, raucous, democratic India is growing fast, and now may partner up with the world's richest democracy—America.
By Fareed Zakaria(march,2006)

Every year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, there's a star. Not a person but a country. One country impresses the gathering of global leaders because of a particularly smart Finance minister or a compelling tale of reform or even a glamorous gala. This year there was no contest. In the decade that I've been going to Davos, no country has captured the imagination of the conference and dominated the conversation as India in 2006.

It was not a matter of chance. As you got off the plane in Zurich, there were large billboards extolling INCREDIBLE INDIA. Davos itself was plastered with signs. WORLD'S FASTEST GROWING FREE MARKET DEMOCRACY! proclaimed the town's buses. When you got to your room, you found an iPod Shuffle loaded with Bollywood songs, and a pashmina shawl, gifts from the Indian delegation. When you entered the meeting rooms, you were likely to hear an Indian voice, one of the dozens of CEOs of world-class Indian companies. And then there were the government officials, India's "Dream Team," all intelligent and articulate, and all selling their country.

The Forum's main social event was an Indian extravaganza, with a bevy of Indian beauties dancing to pulsating Hindi tunes against an electric blue Taj Mahal. The guests joined in the festivities. The impeccably dressed chairman of the Forum, Klaus Schwab, donned a colorful Indian turban and shawl, nibbled on chicken tikka and talked up the country's prospects with Michael Dell. INDIA EVERYWHERE, said the ubiquitous logo. It was.

And everyone now is in India—most significantly, of course, George W. Bush, who will arrive there on March 1. Jacques Chirac was there two weeks ago. (So was Bill Clinton, who can't stop returning to the country.) Two weeks before that it was Saudi Arabia's newly crowned monarch, King Abdullah. The week after Bush leaves, Australian Prime Minister John Howard arrives. And that's all in six weeks. The world—and particularly the United States—is courting India as it never has before. Fascinated by the new growth story, perhaps wary of Asia's Chinese superpower, searching to hedge some bets, the world has woken up to India's potential. But does it really know this complex, diverse country? Just as important, does India know what it wants of the world?

The marketing slogans wouldn't work if there were no substance behind them. Over the past 15 years, India has been the second fastest-growing country in the world—after China—averaging above 6 percent growth per year. Growth accelerated to 7.5 percent last year and will probably hold at the same pace this year. Many observers believe that India could well expand at this higher rate for the next decade.

While China's rise is already here and palpable—it has grown at almost 10 percent since 1980—India's is still more a tale of the future, but a future that is coming into sharp focus. A much-cited 2003 study by Goldman Sachs projects that over the next 50 years, India will be the fastest-growing of the world's major economies (largely because its work force will not age as fast as the others). The report calculates that in 10 years India's economy will be larger than Italy's and in 15 years will have overtaken Britain's. By 2040 it will boast the world's third largest economy. By 2050 it will be five times the size of Japan's and its per capita income will have risen to 35 times its current level. Predictions like these are a treacherous business, though it's worth noting that India's current growth rate is actually higher than the study assumed.

Even the here and now is impressive. Indian companies are growing at an extraordinary pace, posting yearly gains of 15, 20 and 25 percent. The Tata group, the country's largest business house, is a far-flung conglomerate that makes everything from cars and steel to software and consulting systems. In this sense, it is a useful window on India's industrial and postindustrial economy. Its revenues grew last year from $17 billion to $24 billion and it is heading for extremely strong growth this year. At another end of the scale, the automobile-parts business is made up of hundreds of small companies. Five years ago the industry's total revenues were $4 billion. This year they will exceed $10 billion. In 2008, General Motors alone will import $1 billion of auto components from India.

That's outsourcing—as it is any time an American company buys goods or services from abroad. It's also called trade or globalization or capitalism. Those who want to stop it—and it's not clear how you could do that—should remember that the United States' prosperity has come from its very willingness to open itself up to the world. Over the last 60 years, manufacturing employment in the United States has plummeted as those industries went abroad—and yet average American incomes have risen to be the highest in the world. Over the last 20 years, as globalization has quickened, American companies have outsourced first goods, then services—and American incomes have risen faster than those of any other major industrial country. Banning auto-parts factories or call centers will not save General Motors. Globalization highlights some problems for America, but the solutions are all at home. As they have in the past, Americans must—and can—make goods and services that people will pay for freely, not because the government forces them to by shutting out the competition. That is the only stable path to economic security.

At this point, anyone who has actually been to India will probably be puzzled. "India?" he or she will say. "With its dilapidated airports, crumbling roads, vast slums and impoverished villages? We're talking about that India?" Yes, that, too, is India. The country might have several Silicon Valleys, but it also has three Nigerias within it, more than 300 million people living on less than a dollar a day. India is home to 40 percent of the world's poor and has the world's second largest HIV population. But that is the familiar India, the India of poverty and disease. The India of the future contains all this but also something new. You can feel the change even in the midst of the slums.

To new visitors, it won't look pretty. Many Western businessmen go to India expecting it to be the next China. But it never will be that. China's growth is a product of its efficient, all-powerful government. Beijing decides the country needs new airports, eight-lane highways, gleaming industrial parks—and they are built within months. It courts multinationals and provides them with permits and facilities within days. It looks good and, in many ways, it is that good, having produced the most successful case of economic development in human history.

India's growth is messy, chaotic and largely unplanned. It is not top-down but bottom-up. It is happening not because of the government, but largely despite it. India does not have Beijing and Shanghai's gleaming infrastructure, and it does not have a government that rolls out the red carpet for foreign investment—no government in democratic India would have those kinds of powers anyway. But it has vast and growing numbers of entrepreneurs who want to make money. And somehow they find a way to do it, overcoming the obstacles, bypassing the bureaucracy. "The government sleeps at night and the economy grows," says Gurcharan Das, former CEO of Procter Gamble in India.

There are some who argue that India's path has distinct advantages. MIT's Yasheng Huang points out that India's companies use their capital far more efficiently than China's; they benchmark to global standards and are better managed than Chinese firms. Despite being much poorer than China, India has produced dozens of world-class companies like Infosys, Ranbaxy and Reliance. Huang attributes this difference to the fact that India has a real and deep private sector (unlike China's many state-owned and state-funded companies), a clean, well-regulated financial system and the sturdy rule of law. Another example: every year Japan awards the coveted Deming Prizes for managerial innovation, and over the last four years, they have been awarded more often to Indian companies than to firms from any other country, including Japan.This bottom-up activity is evident not simply among entrepreneurs. The Indian consumer is also rearing for action. Most Asian success stories have been ones in which the government forces its people to save, producing growth through capital accumulation and market-friendly policies. In India, the individual is king. Young Indian professionals don't wait to buy a house at the end of their lives with their savings. They take out mortgages. The credit-card industry is growing at 35 percent a year. Personal consumption makes up a staggering 67 percent of GDP in India, much higher than China (42 percent) or any other Asian country. Only the United States is higher at 70 percent.

Statistics don't quite capture what is happening. Indians, at least in urban areas, are bursting with enthusiasm. Indian businessmen are giddy about their prospects. Indian designers and artists speak of extending their influence across the globe. Bollywood movie stars want to grow their audience abroad from their "base" of half a billion fans. It is as if hundreds of millions of people have suddenly discovered the keys to unlock their potential. A famous Indian once put it eloquently, "A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance."

Those words, which Indians of a certain generation know by heart, were spoken by the country's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, just after midnight, on Aug. 15, 1947, when independent India was born. What Nehru was referring to, of course, was the birth of India as an independent state. What is happening today is the birth of India as an independent society—boisterous, colorful, open, vibrant and, above all, ready for change. India is diverging from its past, but also from most other countries in Asia. It is not a quiet, controlled, quasi-authoritarian country that is slowly opening up according to plans. It is a noisy democracy that has finally empowered its people economically. In this respect India, one of the poorest countries in the world, looks strikingly similar to the world's wealthiest country, the United States of America. In both places, society has triumphed over the state.

The Indian state has been a roaring success on one front. India's democracy is a wonder to behold. One of the world's poorest countries, it has sustained democratic government for almost 60 years. And this is surely one of the country's greatest strengths when compared with many other developing countries. If you ask the question "What will India look like politically in 25 years?" we know the answer: like it does today—a democracy, probably with a coalition government. Democracy makes for populism, pandering and delays. But it also makes for long-term stability. (In case President Bush is looking for some answers for Iraq, he should recall that the British were able to stay in India for 200 years and built lasting institutions of government throughout the country, and that India got very lucky with its first generation of leaders. Men like Nehru may not have understood economics, but they deeply understood political freedom.)

If the Indian state has succeeded in one crucial dimension, it has failed in several others. In the 1950s and 1960s, India tried to modernize by creating a "mixed" economic model, between capitalism and communism. This meant a shackled and overregulated private sector, and a massively inefficient and corrupt public sector. The results were poor, and in the 1970s, as India became more socialist, they became disastrous. In 1960 India had a higher per capita GDP than China; today it is less than half of China's. That year it had the same per capita GDP as South Korea; today South Korea's is 13 times larger. The United Nations Human Development Index gauges countries by income, health, literacy and other such measures. India ranks 124 out of 177, behind Syria, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. Female literacy in India is a shockingly low 54 percent. Despite mountains of rhetoric about helping the poor, by any reasonable comparison, India's government has done too little for them.

Is this a problem with democracy? Not entirely. Bad policies fail whether pursued by dictators or democrats. But there are elements of democracy that have hurt, certainly in a country with rampant poverty, feudalism and illiteracy. Democracy in India too often means not the will of the majority but the will of organized minorities—landowners, powerful castes, farmers, government unions and local thugs. (Nearly a fifth of the members of the Indian Parliament have been accused of crimes, including embezzlement, rape and murder.) These groups are usually richer than most of their countrymen, and they plunder the state's coffers to stay that way. It is ironic, for example, that India's Communist Party does not campaign for growth to lift the very poor but rather works to maintain the relatively privileged conditions of unionized workers. As these power plays go on, the great majority's interests—those 800 million who earn less than $2 a day—often fall through the cracks.

But democracy has its own way of rebalancing. The wave of Hindu nationalism that raged through the country in the 1990s is on the wane, for now, and a thoroughly secular government is in power. Headed by Manmohan Singh, the former Finance minister who opened up India's economy in the summer of 1991, it is also committed to economic reform. In an act of great wisdom and restraint, Sonia Gandhi, who led the ruling coalition to victory in the polls, chose to appoint Singh as prime minister rather than take the job herself. As a result, quite unexpectedly, India's chaotic and often-corrupt democratic system has yielded as its head of government a man of immense intelligence, unimpeachable integrity and deep experience. Singh, an Oxford Ph.D., has already run the country's central bank, planning ministry and Finance Ministry. His breadth, depth and decency are unmatched by any Indian prime minister since Nehru.

But Singh has disappointed many of his fans. They had hoped for another set of large-scale reforms, but the government has been cautious and is implementing programs that look suspiciously like another round of subsidies (programs that have had such little success in the past). These are the constraints of democracy. Singh heads a fragile coalition government without a strong mandate for economic change. He is not himself a powerful politician, depending on Mrs. Gandhi for his clout. But his quiet determination to keep moving forward—on economics, politics and foreign policy—has been underestimated. His Economic ministers are all reformers. They work within the political limits, but they work. For example, infrastructure in India is slowly getting better and will be funded through public-private partnerships. India's two major airports will be privatized and improve dramatically. Every week you read of a set of regulations that have been eased or permissions that have been eliminated. These "stealth reforms," too small to draw vigorous opposition from the unreconstructed left, add up. And India's pro-reform constituency keeps growing. The middle class is already 300 million strong. Urban India is not all of India, but it is a large and influential chunk of it.

Democracy is India's destiny. A country this diverse and complex—17 major languages, 22,000 dialects and all the world's major religions—cannot really be governed any other way. The task is to use democracy to India's advantage. In some cases this is happening. The Indian government has recently begun investing in rural education and health, and is focusing on ways to make agriculture more productive. Good economics can sometimes make for good politics, at least that is the Indian hope. Another change is that, since 1993, democracy has been broadened to give villages greater voice in their affairs. Most important, village councils must reserve 33 percent of their seats for women. As a result there are 1 million elected women in villages across the country. They will now have a platform from which to demand better education and health care. It's bottom-up development, with society pushing the state.

Will the state respond? Built during the British Raj, massively expanded in India's socialist era, it is filled with bureaucrats who are in love with their petty powers and privileges. They are joined by politicians who enjoy the power of patronage. And then there are some journalists and intellectuals who still hold on to some romantic idea of Third World socialism. There are many in India's ruling class who remain deeply uncomfortable with the modern, open, commercial society that they see growing around them.

But the state fills a vital role. Look at India's great success—its private companies. They flourish because of a well-regulated stock market and financial system that has transparency, adjudication and enforcement—all government functions. Or consider the booming telecommunications industry, which was created by intelligent government deregulation and re-regulation. Or the Indian institutes of technology—among the world's best—all government-run. But that's just a start. The private sector cannot solve India's AIDS crisis or its rural education shortfalls or its environmental problems. If India's governance does not improve, the country will never fully achieve its potential.

This is perhaps the central paradox of India today. Its society is open, eager, confident and ready to take on the world. But its state—its ruling class—is far more hesitant, cautious and suspicious of the changed realities around it. Nowhere is this tension more obvious than in the realm of foreign policy, in the increasingly large and important task of determining how India should fit into the New World.

Most Americans would probably be surprised to learn that India is, by all accounts, the most pro-American country in the world. The Pew Global Attitudes Survey, released in June 2005, asked people in 16 countries whether they had a favorable impression of the United States. A stunning 71 percent of Indians said yes. Only Americans had a more favorable view of America (83 percent). The numbers are somewhat lower in other surveys, but the basic finding remains true: Indians are extremely comfortable with, and well disposed toward, America.

This may be because for decades India's government tried to force-feed anti-Americanism down people's throats. (Politicians in the 1970s spoke so often of the "hidden hand" when explaining India's miseries—by which they meant the CIA or American interference generally—that cartoonists took to drawing an actual hand that descended every now and then to cause havoc.) More likely it is because Indians understand America. It is a noisy, open society with a chaotic democratic system—like theirs. Many urban Indians speak America's language, are familiar with the country and often actually know someone who lives there, possibly even a relative.

The Indian-American community has been a bridge between the two cultures. The term often used to describe Indians leaving their country is "brain drain." But it's been more like brain gain, for both sides. Indians abroad have played a crucial role in opening up the mother country. They returned to India with money, investment ideas, global standards and, most important, a sense that one could achieve anything. An Indian parliamentarian once famously asked the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, "Why is it that Indians seem to succeed everywhere except in their own country?" The stories of Indians scaling the highest peaks in America have produced pride and emulation in India. Americans, for their part, have embraced India in some measure because they have had a positive experience with Indians in America.

Americans also find India understandable. They are puzzled and disturbed by impenetrable decision-making elites like the Chinese Politburo or the Iranian Council of Guardians. A quarrelsome democracy that keeps moving backward, forward and sideways—that they know. Take the current negotiations on nuclear issues. Americans watch what is going on in New Delhi, with people inside the government who are opposed to a nuclear deal leaking negative stories to the media, political opponents using the issue to score points, true ideological opponents being utterly implacable—and this all seems very familiar. Similar things happen every day in Washington.

Most countries have relationships that are almost exclusively between governments. Think of the links between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which exist among a few dozen high officials and have never really gone beyond that. But sometimes bonds develop not merely between states but between societies. Twice before the United States had developed a relationship with a country that was strategic but also much more—with Britain and later with Israel. In both cases, the resulting ties were broad and deep, going well beyond government officials and diplomatic negotiations. The two countries knew each other, understood each other and as a result became natural and almost permanent partners. America has the opportunity to forge such a relationship with India.

This is not a matter of strategic "balancing" against China. The world is not that simple. The United States should not create a self-fulfilling prophecy of a conflict with China. The American relationship with China is complex, with many elements of cooperation. China, after all, is one of America's chief creditors, and Americans in turn buy Chinese goods, fueling its growth. Nor will India want to play along as a counterweight to China, since its own relations with its powerful neighbor are crucial. Beijing will overtake America as India's largest trading partner within a couple of years. Both India and America will want to retain their independence in dealing with the Middle Kingdom. That said, the rise of China is the fundamental strategic shift that is altering Asia's—and the world's—landscape. And the United States and India will be glad to have each other's company in that circumstance.

This doesn't mean that the United States and India will agree on every policy issue. Remember that even during their close wartime alliance, Roosevelt and Churchill disagreed about several issues, most notably India's independence. America broke with Britain over Suez. It condemned Israel for its invasion of Lebanon. Washington and New Delhi have different interests and thus will inevitably have policy disputes. But it is precisely because of the deep bonds between these countries that such disagreements would not alter the fundamental reality of friendship, empathy and association.

Such a relationship between the United States and India is almost inevitable. Whether the nuclear agreement goes through or not, whether the governments sign new treaties, the two societies are getting increasingly intertwined. A common language, a familiar world view and a growing fascination with each other is bringing together businessmen, nongovernmental activists, journalists and writers.

I say almost inevitable because there are pulls against it on both sides. In America, there is always the danger that politicians will turn to populism and protectionism as a cheap way to get votes. So far the pandering has been limited and temporary, but as elections approach and politicians grandstand, it's always convenient to find foreigners upon whom to blame your ills. Additionally, Washington is still learning the art of treating other countries with the respect and deference they expect—and India can be prickly and proud.

But the real stumbling block to a deep Indo-U.S. relationship will come not from Washington but New Delhi. While Singh and some others at the top of the Indian government see the world clearly, and see the immense opportunities it opens up for India, many others are blinded by their prejudices. For many Indian elites, it has been comfortable and comforting to look at the world from the prism of a poor, Third World country, whose foreign policy was neutral, detached (and, one might add, unsuccessful). They understand how to operate in that world, whom to bargain with, whom to beg from and whom to be belligerent with. But a world in which India is a great power, in which it moves confidently across the global stage, and in which it is a friend and partner of the most powerful country in history—that is an altogether new and unsettling proposition. "Why is the United States being nice to us?" several such doubters have asked me repeatedly. Even now, in 2003, they were searching for the hidden hand. China's Mandarin class has been able to rethink its country's new role as a world power with skill and effectiveness. So far, India's Brahmins have not shown themselves the equals of their neighbor.

The danger for India is that this moment might not last forever. The world turns and India will have its ups and downs. But today it is India's moment. It can grasp it and forge a new path for itself. Along that road lies a genuine and deep relationship between the planet's largest democracy and its wealthiest democracy. Until now, this has merely been a slogan. It could actually become a reality, and who knows what such a world might look like?