It's possible that, in the long view, 2011 will be seen as Indian democracy's summer of discontent. It's hard to escape the sense of simmering mass unrest bred by the cynicism and cupidity of the political class.
In the capital, the UPA coalition government, led by the Indian National Congress, has been rocked by corruption scandals and forced to deal with huge protests organized by groups in civil society. In Mumbai, a series of bomb blasts on July 13 led to a backlash against the state government's inability to protect its citizens. The dominant issue in Parliament and among the public is the Lokpal Bill, seen by its proponents as a radical anti-corruption measure. The latest episode in this year's extended drama of political distrust and dishonor occurred July 31, when the chief minister of the south Indian state of Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa, reluctantly handed in his resignation after being implicated in a mining scam.