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The Boston Globe



Are the new democracies pro-democracy?

The United States is learning it can’t count on emerging powers like India and Brazil to promote freedom in their neighborhoods.

India today stands as the world’s largest democratic state, a nation of over a billion people that stitches together countless ethnic groups, castes, and languages. Indian officials long have boasted of their nation’s deep and founding commitment to democracy, a public emphasis that has only grown stronger as China and India increasingly become global competitors.

You might expect, then, that India would have been an important force behind the new openness in its neighbor Myanmar, with which India shares an 800-mile border, and which until very recently was one of the most closed and oppressive states in the world.

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