Friday, May 20, 2005

moi on India dimming?

May 20th

in 'celebration' of one year of cohabitation. a rather dismal affair, upa governance so far.


Rahul said...

Mr. Srinivasan,

Can't agree more with your assessment of Dr. Singh's (or should I say Signora Gandhi's) pathetic gov't. It has done nothing whatsoever to help India domestically, just riding on the rising tide of the economy that sadly, as you pointed out, it's seeking to hold back with "progressive" schemes that would embarass Leftists even here in America. All of course, so that this tide doesn't swamp them and their political culture of corruption.

As an 2nd Gen. Indo-American, I'm proud of my roots but so dismayed that the old country is under such horrible leadership. In foreign policy, the best that can be argued is that India didn't disband all the armed forces it maintains on the border with China. This lovely little tendency to snuggle up to China, despite China giving India a nasty kick in the gonads in 1962 puzzles me immensely, as does kneejerk anti-Americanism and this idea that India and China ought to oppose the "evil Americans" (lol, some people just never learn from things like NAM).

Anyhow, your points on SEZs and so on are right on the mark as well. Have been reading your blog for a few weeks now and it's quite interesting.

-Rahul, high school student, Michigan, United States of America

rc said...

I think the lackluster performance of India is due to the "democracy cost" that India is incurring.
Yes, I am suggesting that the economic development of India is not happening due to democracy but inspite of democracy.
In the most business freindly state of Gujarat the govt. requires years for land aquisition so that a good highway can be built. The reason being a multitude of small political factions trying to pull in different direction. What that causes is the removal of any long term, big picture view of projects . I cant imagine how it is in states that are not business freindly.

shan said...

I had expected the article assessing the governments performance to be true and insightful.
I think credit should be given where its due and the rate of dollar coming down is pretty impressive(this comes from a man who is hurting the most coz of it).
Your whole article is with the assumption that India WAS shining and hence its now dimming. Lemme remind you Advani himself apologized for this slogan.
When you talk about Indias foray into the world stage with more open policies which normally favor the business class please remember the last government did exactly that and failed miserably.
I am not praising the congress or the left for that matter. Its totally insane what they are doing with the economic policies and i dread the day when there will be job reservations in the private sector too. BUT......
this is what the majority of people living in villages, slums, under paid workers want.
UPA is not in the governmet to make India a super power. They are there to give people what they asked for. Why do u criticize CPM, they have more seats than ever, which implies there are more people who disagree with u and me on this issue.
The bottomline is, people in India themselves dont know what is good for them and they are getting what they have asked for. Give me one good reason why cheap people like Mayawati and her party members get the opportunity to attend the parliament as elected members.
Indians always have believed that religion, caste and local issues are more important than economic progress and international image

Raghu said...

I agree with Shan to a certain extent - that not many people in India know what's good for them. They are more passionate about other things than economy. That being said it was UPA which promised more to "Aam Aadmi". Now is Aam Admi really getting benefited? NDA, even though they srewed up many things, there was a general sense of achievement. India Shining was not totally an illusion..

Anonymous said...

What gibberish some of these previous comments illustrate: people in India donot know what is good for them, oh, so people sitting in the US know what is good for people in India? That smacks of so much global hegemony, the exact same thing that this blog space tries so much to fight against.
Contrary to the opinion of rich, well-to-do middle class migrants from India or in India, the people in India know very well what they want. They clearly want more domestic development as opposed to some nonsensical "enhaced global standing due to a seat in the UN Security Council" or things like that. And that has nothing to do with religion, caste or reservations. It smells of the dominant "ruler knows best" attitude when people sitting here saying they know better than the people in India.
Also, the term "India dimming" assumes India was "shining" before, which ofcourse was totally false. If India were truly shining, the NDA would have been voted to power with a huge majority.
I am not endorsing any policies of any political parties here, but this attitude of people sitting in the US know what's better for India than people sitting in India is exactly what the British had for the people in India: contempt. Get off your high horses, people in India know a lot better than you are ever capable of. If you care, shut up and go live amidst the circumstances. Else don't indulge in arm chair analysis of what's good for India. Incidentally, Rajeev indulges in the same critique-from-a-distance-but-never-step-in-the-mess game that the Indian Left has mastered..maybe, they are his true masters!


Anonymous said...

And does the decency and integrity of Manmohan Singh be reminded every time his name is mentioned? How decent is he anyway? His financial integrity may not be questionable. But how does it cover the other glaring deficiencies in his character? If he is of so much integrity, let him fire Laloo, Sahabuddin and so many others, instead of defending these indefensible thugs.

san said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, lauding populist politics won't help the population to a better future. The fact is that this is what India has been doing for past 50 years, with nothing to show for it except a more people teetering ever closer to the brink. I don't know what kind of Shining you are hoping for during these first couple of decades of reforms, but the reality is that decades of sacrifice will be needed in order to pull the population away from its self-inflicted disaster. Let's be clear on that -- India's poverty is self-inflicted. You can't blame the poverty of a billion on Her Majesty and the Vedas, even though it might make you feel good. The reality is that economic growth is achieved through sacrifice, and left-wingers are simply not willing to put up with that, since populism is too seductive a narcotic for them, destructive though it may be.

Anonymous said...


I disagree with the comments that Indian passed about others. I agree to an extent that people in India know what they want from government and they elect people accordingly. But, usually not all aspects are taken into consideration(by almost everyone). I studied in a premier institute like IIT and people will expect that elections for student bodies will be a serious affair with lots of cogitation and analysis. No way! Voting is on petty linguistic/engineering-discipline-fraternity feeling and so on...If one can see such patterns in IIT where people are "well-educated" then what to say of masses? Only after this experience, did I come to believe that voting in elections is mostly on either outright anti-incumbency or caste/religion basis. People tend to forget what government was provided by UPA earlier(although people did not vote for it recently) and soon this will be the case with NDA too which they voted out(which will do better in next elections by all probability). Anyway it is easy to dismiss all this "circus" as our "karma" (As we sow so we reap). A nation gets what it deserves. With recent skirmishes in Goa, Jharkhand, Tytler/Taslimuddin/Shahbabuddin/Laloo, YSR/Arjun Singh's Muslim reservations etc etc, NDA govt was not really this bad to be voted out. Maybe their campaigning(presnetation to masses) was not done well.
By the way by sitting in US in an armchair does not mean our heart does not bleed for India. At the same time it is preposterous to assume that those who are toiling hard in India are all patriots and nationalists. If this is the way to judge then our polticians who toil day in and day out living in India are really patriots? Also not all NRIs are villians who left India for greener pastures leaving their fellow-men in lurch. I guess one must not judge things so simplistically. And NRIs do contribute for growth of India in many ways which I need not mention. They are still Indian citizens(assuming they have not gvien citizenship) and have every right to criticise the govt.

san said...

Anonymous, but why is it that your leftists particularly choose to solicit investment and assistance from NRIs in particular? It's bizarrely tribal and nepotistic. Normal developed countries will take investment capital from the market in general, and not from some select ethnic demographic. Do you see the NYSE or the FT100 taking money only from Anglo-Saxons? Of course not, that's irrational. But we've always seen Indian politicians going around with the begging bowl to NRIs to specifically beg them for money. Are they afraid to present themselves to the regular capital market? Well, yes. Those who are lazy and corrupt won't present themselves to the wider public for judgement, but would rather prefer to quietly beg to relatives. It spares their pride, you see. Fortunately, Indian capitalists have opened up their market to the wider community of foreign investors, to help ween Indians off the practice of shamelessly begging NRI ethnic kin for alms.

Anonymous said...

TO the anomymous above,
I am also an IITian and the day I participated in one of the campaigning spearheaded by my seniors I stopped blaming people voting along sectarian lines or even for a bottle of liquor . If "cream of the nation" can be swayed by linguistic and regional sento then dont blame that poor farmer in Bhagalpur.

Anonymous said...

Do you see the NYSE or the FT100 taking money only from Anglo-Saxons

I suspect that until as recent as 1990, the above statement was true.

san said...

Anonymouse, you mean Japan only began economic interaction with the USA in 1990? Along with the rest of Western Europe, ASEAN, Taiwan, Gulf countries, or anyone else holding USD-denominated assets? Wow, the leftists are teaching me new things all the time -- mostly about how ignorant they are. The reality is that because Western capital markets are open to anybody, that means Westerners have easy access to capital, in order to improve their quality of life through market economics. This is in contrast to primitive 3rd World tribalistic societies, where people insist on only doing business with the tribe. Like some scared child who refuses to leave his room and go outside to play with everyone else. Just locking yourself in the bedroom and only opening the door to ask for food to be slipped in is no way to live. By choosing to forever limit the scope of their interaction to Mummy, Daddy and Uncle, such fools are limiting their access to resources and their ability to compete. This is why economic liberalization has suddenly created a boom in growth rates, and in availability of services and products.

Anonymous said...


I believe that your post made reference to the 'NYSE' and 'FT500' (sic). I, of course, can only respond to what you posted.

If you wish to assert that the Japanese, ASEAN, Taiwanese amd Gulf controlled interests made significant investments via the NYSE and FT500 )sic) prior to 1990, I would be most curious to see your source.

BTW, someone with your innate communication skills and knowledge of 'Western capital markets' should contact the EUREX and inform them that the 'Western capital markets are open to anybody' given that those ignorant leftsts at that exchange have filed lawsuits against U. S. exchanges.

sk said...


I have been reading stuff on this blog for quite sometime. never commented, usually never get into a pissing match on the net, never had the time to waste.

but you seem to be making lot of these prickly, i-know-it-all kind of statements. your above comment is totally f***ed up and shows your inability to process/analyze information. everyone has access to infomation. so doing a cut-paste or parroting the same shit is "NOT INTELLIGENCE". if u do not have the intelligence don't post your analysis. i do not have the time to show how f***ed your comments are. freaking idiot, talking about economies. rajeev's blogs cannot substitute for "education in economics". get some real education, prick, and do some thinking. and don't get into this "you are a leftist" shit. that is so lame and stupid.

Jai Hind said...

I am not surprised by the last comment made on this blog; obviously by a leftist hate monger. He ususally comes on this blog to get his share of attention & to his credit gets enough of it. Never have i seen him come up with logical or balanced rejoinder (But than you can't expect that from a leftist).
San, you are doing a good job. Do not be bogged down by such a perpetual idiot (We call him "george" by the way,since he comes under anonymous.This time he used something else).
He is an unemployed leftist (surprise surprise !) who happens to eat,sleep,sh**,drink on this blog.
It seems he does have access to internet; but thats it. Beyond that its a vaccum. This low-life scum seems frustrated with life (surprise again?) & tries to create a minor ripple every time a new post is made here.
I guess San, its best to let barking dogs do what they know best. BARK.
Its height of optimism to expect any intelligent conversation with this gutter.
Let us all who really appreciate Rajeev's commentary & views make an effort not to react to this a**-hole.Let him bark & scorn.
Remember that there's only bark no bite to a leftist.

san said...

Anonymous, there is no sic here -- whether you quote FT500 or FT100, these are both just indices for the FTSE, just like Dow Jones for NYSE. My point is that wider access to capital requires abiding by reasonable standards which will give people confidence to lend to you. It's a little bit more demanding than begging for NRI inflows, but also more rewarding. Why should Indians want to pay higher rates of interest to NRI depositors? To keep the money "in the family"? Why? Makes no sense.

Meanwhile, India is thankfully now setting up Special Economic Zones which it should have done like China long ago. These SEZs are another way to move Indians towards better standards of conduct required to interact with the rest of the world -- albeit in piecewise fashion, since the population as a whole would find it too much of a shock. These SEZs will jump-start the manufacturing sector, rather than the country purely relying upon service sector like call centres, etc. Call centre jobs are for those who have 'innate communication skills,' which leaves out the bulk of the masses. Only a radical upturn in manufacturing sector will allow ordinary laymen a chance to get a job and a better life.

Because India is not 'Shining' when only the call centre workers are getting the sunshine -- which is why BJP really lost the election, and not because of riots. Rest of the population wants to feel the sunshine too, and that will only happen through manufacturing sector jobs. And these will only happen through SEZs.

Another thing that SEZs are good for is social melting pot. SEZs will induce migration as in China, and this will help to break up and dissolve the village tribalism/feudalism ('casteism') to re-cast everyone into a new alloy. (Re-cast the castes)
Sure, there will be some social upheaval, but in the end it will be beneficial. This is how the original Industrial Revolution in Britain broke their land/agriculture-based feudal system -- not social activist groups. Same for Henry Ford in USA.

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