THE fall in India's stock with her friends abroad is matched by the doubts that assail her own people. To misgivings about economic prospects have now been added a deep disquiet about the political future. The marked increase in tensions within Indian society, accelerated by intensified competition between the political parties since the general election in February 1967, raises fears that the consensus which has so far sustained the Indian experiment in democracy may break down. These fears, now at the center of the political debate within the country, testify to a crisis of confidence which is far more debilitating than the actual difficulties faced by India as a result of the loss of economic momentum and political coherence. But, paradoxically, the crisis is also a sign of hope. India has reasonably well- evolved political institutions and a fair leavening of educated public opinion, and these give her a sporting chance of pulling through. The practical solutions are still difficult to perceive, but the fact that all political elements are searching for them is itself reassuring.