Bloomberg Businessweek

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He promised dramatic growth, and the numbers don’t look bad. But India needs more—and he’s retrenching

It was a sight to warm the heart of an Indian nationalist: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the Republic Day celebration on Jan. 26, welcoming one by one his 10 chief guests, the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean. They stood alongside Modi and watched an hourslong parade that, in its cheerful mishmash of tanks, marching sailors in spats, kilted bagpipers, female motocycle daredevils, camels, ballistic missiles, dancing schoolchildren, and tableaux representing such abstract concepts as ethical taxpaying, is a fair representation of this bewildering and vibrant country. You could see the presence of Asean’s leaders as a sign of India’s rise and allow yourself to hope that this most diffident of countries was finally stepping into a global role. Just the previous week, Modi had held forth at

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