The Strategic Implications of Indian Corruption

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The Strategic Implications of Indian Corruption 1

As a result of COVID-19, heavy hitters in the United States and elsewhere are talking about shifting investments and supply chains out of China. This dovetails with existing strategic concerns about Beijing. When looking around the Indo-Pacific for an alternative democracy-compatible, large market that has the potential to be increasingly strategically useful, India pops to the fore. There is enormous potential, and at least one major roadblock. One of the biggest strategic mysteries of the past few decades is why India hasn’t lived up to its vast economic potential.

A series of court cases currently underway in India is starting to decode some of that mystery. What is being alleged is a decades-long complex, sophisticated, high-stakes scheme that led to the multibillion-dollar capture and manipulation of core elements of the Indian economy, masterminded by some of India’s most senior leaders. This is serious.

The highest profile arrest so far is India’s formerly untouchable finance minister, Pallaniappan Chidambaram. The cases against Chidambaram are spearheaded by two investigative agencies, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a specialized financial investigation agency under India’s Ministry of Finance, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s main police investigative agency.

(In association with The Diplomat; to read the full article visit

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