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India on a bull run

Leading South Asian dailies say that the year 2005 has made India a force to reckon with, reports Meenakshi Iyer.

world Updated: Dec 31, 2005 18:35 IST

India is shining.

To say that 2005 was a year of bull run for India, won't be an exaggeration. And as is evident from what our neighbours have to say, 2005 made India a force to reckon with.

Pakistan's leading daily Dawn says in its editorial, "The year ending has been a successful one for India. It is now a recognised player on the world stage, influential both in the realm of politics as well as in global trade deliberations."

Even as the Sensex crossed the 9,000 mark, there were analysts who opined that 'Indians have reason to believe the country is shining, but the shine is like the gloss on a new cricket ball. After a few overs the rough edges creep through'.

In an answer to this view, the editorial says: "Well-known South Asia scholar, Stephen Cohen, in his definitive study on India published in 1996, had described the country as an "emerging power". This appellation had raised some eyebrows, for while India had been doing well, many analysts were not sure whether, at that point in time, it could be considered as an emerging global power. Now, there are no such doubts."

"India's stable polity and investor-friendly policies, coupled with a strong leadership, have resulted in a conscious effort by the world's major powers to woo India, not only to take advantage of its increasingly attractive economic opportunities, but also to ensure that its voice and vote remain on their side," the edit says.

Foreign companies and institutional investors are already pouring into India, attracted by the country's blooming affluent classes, which have nearly tripled from 30 million households to 81 million in just ten years.

According to the latest FDI Confidence Index prepared by AT Kearney, the global management consultant, India ranks second only to China in the FDI attractiveness sweepstakes, scoring 1.951 points on a scale of 0-3 and it has upstaged the United States from the second position.

India also got recognition for its democracy, which according to Prof Amartya Sen contributed to India's economic growth this year.

Sri Lanka's leading daily Daily News has describes India as a foremost regional power and world's largest democracy.

Lauding India's democratic approach towards solving a crisis, the paper in its editorial says that Colombo should take a leaf out of New Delhi's experience to resolve the island's conflict via democratic means.

"Besides being a foremost regional power, India is our closest neighbour and the "world's largest democracy and besides the multiplicity of ties which we enjoy with India, experience has taught us that the country is of considerable importance when it comes to resolving our conflict by political means."

"…Western observers were deeply impressed by the quiet dignity with which Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee acknowledged the popular will, and even before the election commission had announced the results, decided to tender his resignation. This was democracy at its best," the Dawn says.

India's growth story just keeps getting better!

First Published: Dec 31, 2005 18:35 IST