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By Surjit Bhalla

I’m a natural optimist, but there are still plenty of good reasons to be positive about India’s growth, even if May’s election does not go the way polls suggest. Perhaps the best way to appreciate this is just to assume that this is not one of the most important polls in India’s democratic lifetime. What would you expect to happen? For starters: the normal improvements of the business cycle. Continue reading »

After a 23 year-old student was brutally raped in New Delhi in December 2012, women’s safety has been at the centre of public debate in India. A year on, the US-based Pew Research Centre conducted a survey and found that nine out of ten Indians feel rape is a “very big problem” in the country. Continue reading »

India is currently enjoying two of its favourite things – cricket and politics.

And on beyondbrics today we look at which of this pair, the popular Indian Premier League tournament and the ongoing general election, have the public more gripped. According to Google, it’s the former. Continue reading »

After a long weekend break for Easter, beyondbrics takes a look at the criminal records of India’s would-be representatives and Narendra Modi’s difficult relationship with Hindu extremists calling for intimidation of Muslims, amongst other inflammatory statements. Continue reading »

Crime, ill-gotten gains and violence are closely linked with electoral politics in India and with 30 per cent of lawmakers in the outgoing parliament facing criminal charges, the issue of ‘money and muscle power’ in the world’s largest democracy has once again emerged as a serious concern in the ongoing general election.

Civil rights groups such as the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have mounted a robust campaign to educate voters about the background of the candidates and have joined hands with 1,200 non-government organisations across the country to drive home the message. Continue reading »

Thursday was ‘Super Thursday’ in India – the biggest day in the country’s protracted general election – and beyondbrics takes a look at the battle in Maharashtra.

With Easter this weekend, the FT India team will give the blog a break on Friday – but check back next week as elections continue in the world’s largest democracy. Continue reading »

It is what might be dubbed “super Thursday” in India, the biggest voting day in the country’s month-long election. 121 constituencies are up for grabs in a dozen states, including Uttar Pradesh, the largest electoral battleground.

But strategists for the ruling Congress party, facing an ignominious defeat, will be paying just as much attention to voters turning out today in Maharashtra — a stronghold the party hopes may just save it from a polling washout. Continue reading »

As we heard from the FT this morning, film stars in India often graduate into politics, putting their fame to use at the ballot box.

Stars from Bollywood and many of its regional language peers have been making the move into politics for decades now, supporting parties from either end of the political spectrum. But this year, parts of the film industry have been pushing the electorate to vote for a ‘secular’ party – a thinly veiled nudge away from would-be prime minister, Narendra Modi. Continue reading »

With the Indian Premier League cricket tournament kicking off on Wednesday, people were a little distracted from the mammoth general election.

But beyondbrics took a look at the criminal and financial history of candidates in Mumbai and questioned whether anyone – even Narendra Modi – can kick start the economy quickly. Continue reading »

Voting is already underway in the state of Maharashtra, with citizens in the city of Mumbai casting their ballot next week.

And to stir things up, National Election Watch has released a new report analysing the financial and criminal records of candidates in the region. The questionable past of many leading figures in Indian politics is, sadly, old news. But the fact that organisations are digging up such detailed information on would-be leaders is a sign of progress in the world’s largest democracy, where governance has become the issue of the day. Continue reading »

By Rajeev Malik

Fixing India’s economic ills will be challenging, even for Modi.

India is a country with multiple social, political and economic personalities. Decisions and their outcomes often appear to challenge logic, and rarely fail to confound, amaze or disappoint – sometimes all at once. Even on a good day, there seems to be crisis somewhere in the folds of this chaotic democracy. On a bad day, one often wonders how it functions at all, let alone how it evolved to be Asia’s second-fastest growing economy, before losing that status to multiple and self-inflicted policy mistakes. Continue reading »

Infosys kicked off earnings season on Tuesday morning and inflation numbers were released later in the day, putting the spotlight on business and the macroeconomy in India.

Beyondbrics took a look at the latest opinion polls and the more charismatic but yet less politically active of the Gandhi siblings – Priyanka Gandhi. Continue reading »

Though opinion polls are predicting that the Bharatiya Janata Party will lead India’s next government, there are some skeptics. They don’t doubt that the opposition Hindu nationalists will win enough seats to form a coalition, but think it may not win enough to appoint its controversial prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.

Now, a new poll says the party will win 226 of the 543 elected seats in the Lok Sabha. Add in its allies and that is a total count of 275 seats – enough to give Modi the top job. Continue reading »

By Avantika Chilkoti in Mumbai and Thomas Hale in London

Three major private banks have closed operations in India in recent months, as cultural and regulatory challenges derail groups initially drawn by growing wealth in Asia’s third largest economy.

An emerging market with a high savings rate, a collection of some of the world’s most flamboyant businessmen, and economic growth hovering around 5 per cent despite a sharp slowdown, India should be a gold mine for the private banking industry. Continue reading »