APAC—Top 10 Stories of Decade

By: The Diplomat

3. Sonia Gandhi Steps AsideMay 18, 2004

image: Uniphoto Press

Although China got most of the attention, India’s economy this decade has been almost as impressive. Much of the growth has been under the pragmatic leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a technocrat who unexpectedly rose to power in 2004 when the Indian National Congress pulled off an upset election victory and leader Sonia Gandhi declined the top job. The Italian-born Ghandi averted a major brawl with nationalists opposed to a foreign-born leader, paving the way for Singh to continue the economic modernization he began as a popular finance minister in the 1990s. In 2009, India’s economy was nearly triple the size of a decade earlier and it was increasingly being courted as a great power counterweight to China.

Still, poverty remains rampant in India and in both absolute and per capita terms it lags far behind China in economic prowess. But it does have some advantages. India’s democracy may be messy, but emancipation offers a social pressure valve that China doesn’t have. And with English widely spoken, India has been able to plug into the global services sector. While it faces its own threats–demonstrated by the Mumbai attacks in 2008 and a brutal insurgency by Maoist separatists–India still doesn’t face quite the same array of internal and external challenges that China does. The 2010s could well be to India what the 2000s were to China, and could also be a decade of rising tensions between the two emerging giants, with potential triggers including an ongoing border dispute.

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Comments
Vlad January 12, 2010

You are jumping the gun. The first decade of this century ends December 31st 2010.

Don January 14, 2010

Ah, but you wouldn’t consider 1990 to be apart of the 80s, would you?
There was no year “0″, yes, so one may be tempted to say that we do have a year until the “00s” are up. However, seeing as a decade can arbitrarily be any stretch of ten years, it ultimately boils down to personal preference (notwithstanding the fact that we haven’t officially entered the 201st decade). So, yes, we haven’t technically made it into the next decade. But, once again, I wouldn’t consider 1990 to be apart of the 80s. And so, as far as I, and possibly most people, care, we have entered the “10s”, and left the “00s.”

Ashley Gavin January 15, 2010

I don’t see how neither the war in Iraq nor 911 made it to this list…

Xilantro January 15, 2010

Vlad is right – what’s the difference, though? Living in the strikingly stupid and un-democratic US, the 99-year century was no surprise, and moving decades up one for the new millenium makes as much sense as having the electoral college install the wrong guy in the presidency because Fox news announced his victory before votes were counted (that would be Bush) or calling the slaughter of 1m Iraqis a ‘war’ – Welcome to idiocracy! ;-)

Joe January 16, 2010

The 9/11 attack is, without a doubt, the most important event of this decade.

Robin January 16, 2010

Ashley/Joe- Actually, I think this story is called APAC: Top 10 Stories of the Decade for a reason. APAC. It is only concerned with the Asia-Pacific region which would exclude both New York and Iraq.

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