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The shadow of the guns

India and Congress have not learned the lessons of Bofors

To many who remember the politics of the late 1980s, this is a worryingly familiar moment for India. The two periods have several common features: a rudderless government, an insurgent anti-corruption movement, and weakness on the external economic front. The sudden recurrence in the national conversation of the totemic issue of those times, the quarter-century-old Bofors kickback scandal, is thus almost fortuitous. It is partly a reminder of how little some things have changed — and how high are the stakes, still, in the reform of defence procurement and of domestic oversight of ...