The year 2012 began for India with a steep decline in the economy, disarray in politics, and paralysis in policy. While there were more immediate causes for this state of affairs, each malady reflected a deeper dilemma created by widespread corruption, a weakening central state, declining discipline within the ruling coalition, a loss of economic momentum caused by an unresolved balance between equity and growth, and a failure to harness popular support for reforms. Each dilemma called for a fundamental change in the power equation between different parts of the state and between state and society.

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