Singh leads India’s three revolutions (Greg Sheridan, March 06, 2006, The Australian)

MANMOHAN Singh is an unlikely revolutionary. Yet as the leader of 1.1 billion people, the world’s largest democracy and its second-largest nation, the Indian Prime Minister has already enacted three profound revolutions.

As finance minister during the 1991 economic crisis, Singh decisively turned India towards market liberalisation. Then after the last election he became India’s first non-Hindu prime minister — he is a Sikh — showing the depth of India’s secular democracy.

Now, in the nuclear co-operation agreement he has struck with US President George W. Bush, Singh may have marked India’s decisive emergence as a global power. […]

Bush hailed New Delhi last week as a global power and took every step he could to cement a US-India partnership, in trade, economics, politics, defence co-operation, nuclear technology, the war on terror and the promotion of democracy.

While John Howard will operate on a more modest scale this week, the Prime Minister, too, seems to “get” India and understand the profound challenge it poses for Australian policy.

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