To nobody’s surprise, Narendra Modi. But the scale of his victory was surprising, indeed.
(If you want to know why I call the Indian PM the leader of the free world, there’s much more here.)
But as Manmohan Singh steps off the stage, take a moment to appreciate what he managed. Political careers end either in death or disappointment, and Dr. Singh’s is no different — the corruption and incompetence that his government slid into in its last years brought India to a virtual standstill. But before that, his policies, from his time as finance minister forward, were the proximate cause of hundreds of millions of people rising out of poverty. There are very few world leaders who can say as much, and Nobel prizes have been awarded for less — much, much less, within recent memory.
If Mr. Modi can do as much, he’ll have something to be proud of.