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By Fareed Zakaria
Wherever you look these days, the world seems like it’s on fire.
New hot spots like Russia and Ukraine are competing with the old ones like Gaza and festering conflicts like those in Syria and Iraq – especially Iraq – are getting much worse. Even Afghanistan, which seemed in better shape than the other places, had a setback this past week.
So, is there any good news out there? In fact, there is. Some of the most important countries in the world are making remarkable progress, affecting at least 1.5 billion people.
Let's start with Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world – it has more Muslims than Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and all the Gulf States put together. Only 10 years ago, the great fear was that Islamic militants were taking over the country, that it was an economic mess, and an unreliable crisis spot in the region. The country has defied all skeptics and last month it took a big step forward, with the election of Joko Widodo marking the consolidation of Indonesia's democracy…
…The other encouraging election this year has been in the world’s second most populous country: India. The country has been mired in deadlock and paralysis for years because of a weak coalition government, ineffectual leadership, and an obstructionist opposition. So people voted for a single party to take power, for the first time in 30 years and gave the new prime minister, Narendra Modi, a mandate…
…So that is what’s actually happening in the world while the news about rockets, bombs, assassinations and terrorism takes up the front pages.