Nonetheless, the controversy over the games highlights the gulf between India's lofty ambitions and its often messy reality. Over the last 20 years, liberalization and globalization have unshackled many of the country's most productive citizens from heavy-handed socialism and raised living standards faster than at any time in the nation's history. But even as the private sector booms -- swelling the middle class and producing billionaires by the fistful -- the quality of governance remains abysmal. Neither the courts nor the electorate punish public servants for amassing private fortunes. In parts of the country, the political and criminal classes are hard to tell apart.
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