Shashi Tharoor on sanctions and the United States as losing its primacy in Asia

The chairman of India’s parliamentary external affairs committee tells Alan Philps that sanctions are a blunt instrument to be used only for a great moral cause

The World Today Published 12 June 2015 Updated 4 January 2021 3 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

One of this magazine’s early articles about India was a piece from 1952 on Indian democracy. It said that Gandhi had taken politics into the villages, and the common man and woman were ‘the heroes of Indian independence’. Has Indian democracy lived up to that billing?

There is no question that what we have seen is the extraordinary phenomenon of democracy mattering to the underclass. If you look at America, for example, until the election of Barack Obama in 2008, I think the highest turnout anybody had ever seen in the poor black neighbourhood of Harlem was 23 per cent.

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