It’s common these days for people to compare India with China and conclude that maybe democracy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

In India, they note, power shortages force factories to rely on generators, and investors may spend years trying to gain title to land for construction. In China, by contrast, power plants, factories and entire mega-cities seem to sprout overnight. Sleek trains streak across China’s countryside while Indians cram themselves into — or cling to the tops of — wheezing old buses.

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