Home > Europe, History, Indian Economy, Social Trends, USA > India’s success – the race for credit!

India’s success – the race for credit!


With India’s recovery from economic devastation of colonialism now irreversible, many are standing up to claim credit.

A mercenary mass-media and a 'captive' intelligentsia distort the picture! (Cartoon by Jeff Stahler).

A mercenary mass-media and a 'captive' intelligentsia distort the picture! (Cartoon by Jeff Stahler).

End of WWII

Try imagining the Bretton Woods conference. Of the less than 50 countries, three stand out.

Britain – with an empire on which the sun never set.  At the end of WW2, Britain was a superpower, its huge colonial Empire intact – apart from the massive debt that it owed the US. With Germany defeated and Hitler dead, Italy in shambles and Mussolini hanged, Japan nuked into submission, Britain sat at the head of ‘high tables’ in the post-WW2 world deciding the fate of the nations – with its partner in crime, the US of A.

The US itself was financially dominant (with 25000 tons of gold reserves), militarily effective (with atomic bombs) and industrially strong (unaffected by the WWII).

The wreckage that was India

India on the other hand, was an abandoned wreckage, impoverished by 100 years of colonialism, millions killed by an indifferent British Raj during the Partition of India (giving rise to a Pakistan), The Great Bengal Famine.

Poverty, hunger, disease, with social distortion and destruction on an unprecedented scale in world history stalked the land.

Is corruption an Indian monopoly?

Is corruption an Indian monopoly?

To the Indo-skeptical US and UK, add a few thousand Muslim secessionists, claiming to represent nearly 10 crore Muslims!

Regardless of accountability, contribution or acceptance, Muslims secessionists were “much too conscious of their erstwhile political, intellectual, and cultural superiority to be able to accept their new position.” Muslim leadership saw themselves as in a position to demand an “equal share of the power which would befit and be commensurate with their status as the erstwhile rulers of India.”

Cut to the 21st century

‘Great’ Britain is close to bankrupt Britain – with a gross national debt (public, private, corporate debt) equal to 500% of GDP. The decline  of US is palpable – though the imagined demise is at least a few decades away. Pakistan’s implosion is happening in real-time and apparent. India has come out in the last 60 years – stronger and greater.

For every Indian success there are many, in India and abroad, who give and take credit. No one, but no one, wants to compare the Indian politician to his global peers who have presided over the fate of ‘superior’ nations. The following report by an ‘interested’ party is no secret – but a matter of prejudice and intellectual baggage that needs to examined.

Lazy minds, mercenary media (Cartoon by Don Addis.).

Lazy minds, mercenary media (Cartoon by Don Addis.).

Seriously

India Habitat Centre has rarely witnessed such a gathering … line of cars waiting to gain entry snaked around the road and outside the Stein Auditorium, the queue of Delhi’s intelligentsia was long and winding … never before had such a huge crowd spontaneously turned up  – The occasion was the Penguin Annual lecture –  the speaker, Ram Guha … I looked around me and was amused to see that I appeared to be the only politician present. [for a] lecture [that]was intensely political namely “India’s political tradition — those who made it and those who did not” – also the platform to launch Guha’s new book, Makers of Modern India, an anthology of writings of those who have been, according to Guha, the primary “makers of modern India”.

[As it progressed]… an eminent writer in the audience loudly commented that the leaders of today referred to by Guha had not only failed to read these seminal works, but if they read them, could probably not understand them … this admittedly eminent writer … was entirely serious. His cynical dismissal of the entire political class shocked me to the core. What was worse, the entire audience sniggered at the remark … can [anyone] be considered to have an open mind — be it a good writer or sociologist — if he simply dismisses the entire political class with one demeaning remark.

In a democracy are only politicians corrupt? What about bureaucrats, judges, teachers, lawyers, policemen, doctors, nurses, bus conductors? Are not even some journalists and media houses and writers corrupt? What, therefore, gave this eminent writer the right to snigger crudely at senior political leaders? How did he think politicians get elected? By being stupid? In fact, electoral politics is the most intellectually and physically challenging of occupations, as any elected MP will tell you. Besides, you live in a fish bowl, get kicked out every five years and have to seek re-election … (read more via The leaders’ legacy | Deccan Chronicle | 2010-11-08; parts excized for brevity; text within […] supplied for clarity).

The World Of Indian Politicians

The World Of Indian Politicians

Filmi Stereotypes

Till 1980s, the popular Hindi filmi villain was the caricatured businessman. Madhuri Dixit’s movies and the 90’s liberalization, killed this stereotype.

Possibly, the massacre of politicians in ‘Inquilab’ ( a 1980’s film starring Amitabh Bachchan) initiated the change of villain from the businessman to the politician.

Today, a popular profession for villains in Hindi films is politics.

Behind Indian Success

Is this forward march of India an accident ? Or a happy co-incidence? Black magic, perhaps? Not forgetting credit to The West? After all, the the West is confident that modern Indian success is due to Western contribution? Of course, it begs a question as to why this has not happened in any other country.

Or why the West could not arrest its own decline?

Is the secret of India's success like the Indian rope trick?

Is the secret of India's success like the Indian rope trick?

The Wonderous NRI

We must not forget the NRI contribution – especially the Westernized NRIs (like Lord Meghnad Desai who wants to be an Indian now). Possibly, the only people who should not get any credit is are the desi, home grown Indians – and Indian politicians.


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  1. November 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Which politicians do you have in mind that made Indian growth sustainable? I was hoping to read a few examples in the post.

  2. November 10, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I really think individual politicians are rather unimportant. It is the systemic change that is needed. Bharattantra focusses on changing the system – and any ruler, selected by any method is less important.

    Desert Bloc polity inverts the equation – It diverts attention away from the system by focussing on changing the ruler.

  3. Galeo Rhinus
    November 11, 2010 at 7:27 am

    A wise observation was articulated last year:

    …नेता, नारा, नीती, पार्टी, अवतार, सरकार, विचार, महापुरुष, यह केवल सहायक होते हैं, समाज को संघटित बनना पडता है, गुणसम्पन्न बनना पडता है, स्वार्थ और भेदोंको भूलकर, देशके भाग्यके लिये जीनेमरने की तैयारि रखकर, संघटित होकर प्रयास करना पडता है… तब यह सब, नेता, नारा, नीती, पार्टी, अवतार, सरकार, विचार, महापुरुष, यह सारे सहायक होते हैं…

    A sub-structure that respects Indic values is a pre-cursor to this systemic change… you and I can talk about Bharatantra – but without the sub-structure – it will be nothing but talk… fortunately – there are people who are working towards this “smaller” goal of creating this sub-structure – a foundation…

  4. November 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

    This comment is interesting for two reasons.

    Govindacharya is always thought provoking – and I have maintained that BJP lost an excellent ideologue in him. The point he is raising is a chicken and egg syndrome. Without intellectual leaders how does a society become गुणसम्पन्न. Can an unready society accept a ‘ready’ leader!

    Two – In my various posts I have maintained how it will have to be a mix of good leaders and a ready society which will work together. Your contention is that burdening the society with responsibility of its own well-being is a part of the Semitic ethical construct – and designed to fail. Your earlier comment pasted below.

    mired in the semitic thought, the burden of the semitic society is on the individual therefore “democracy”… progressive liberalism…racism… these are all burdens on individuals racist laws are not spoken about… but racist individuals are demonized the asuras – will perpetually blame society for its ills or praise it for its greatness

    I found your above comment thought provoking and curious. Maybe now is the time when you can reconcile the ‘inconsistency’!

    fortunately – there are people who are working towards this “smaller” goal of creating this sub-structure – a foundation…

    This is good news … If someone is doing this ‘smaller’ job.

    Everyone cant work on the same ‘small’ job … different strokes for different folks … as long as someone is on the watch .. and doing the job …

  5. samadhyayi
    November 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    yes. i am that leader. i am the dharmaraja. you are my bheeshma pitamaha and vidhura, vyasa 😀

  6. A fan of your blog
    November 13, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Galeo Rhinus :A wise observation was articulated last year:
    …नेता, नारा, नीती, पार्टी, अवतार, सरकार, विचार, महापुरुष, यह केवल सहायक होते हैं, समाज को संघटित बनना पडता है, गुणसम्पन्न बनना पडता है, स्वार्थ और भेदोंको भूलकर, देशके भाग्यके लिये जीनेमरने की तैयारि रखकर, संघटित होकर प्रयास करना पडता है… तब यह सब, नेता, नारा, नीती, पार्टी, अवतार, सरकार, विचार, महापुरुष, यह सारे सहायक होते हैं…
    A sub-structure that respects Indic values is a pre-cursor to this systemic change… you and I can talk about Bharatantra – but without the sub-structure – it will be nothing but talk… fortunately – there are people who are working towards this “smaller” goal of creating this sub-structure – a foundation…

    Who is working on this “smaller” goal? What are their objectives? How will we/they know that this goal is achieved? Please enlighten.

  7. Galeo Rhinus
    November 17, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Actually – it was not Govindacharya – but a quote from Mohan Bhagwat’s first press conference last year.

    Anuraag – I am glad you pointed out the *perceived* dichotomy.

    The way I see it – systemic change is possible – only when there is a critical mass that supports this change. Achieving this critical mass means going out and making “society” understand what Indic values represent – so that you can enroll people to reach that critical mass – that will form the sub-structure.

    According to Mohan Bhagwat (in an interview with Prabhu Chawla) – this critical mass is estimated to be 1% in rural India and 3% in urban India. That is the goal they are working towards. This critical mass could potentially provide the sub-structure that can allow for a systemic change to sustain itself.

    Once this sub-structure becomes strong enough to bear the load – India can see itself ready for Bharatantra…

    …that is how – I see the path ahead. AFOYB – does that answer you question?

  8. November 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    This still does not show how the ‘semitic’ idea of a ‘great society’ is different from ‘gunn-sampann’ society of the RSS?

    You are explaining the mechanics – and not the conceptual difference.

    If any? I suspect that this is none!

  9. Galeo Rhinus
    December 1, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    sorry – I was away for a couple of weeks.

    Democracy puts the burden on “each” individual… and “blames” the “society” for the problems… creating an illusion – maya – that each individual is an “owner” in the polity…

    RSS – has never suggested that they want to enroll everyone in their organization… they simply want to organize a critical mass within the society… when a critical mass of society is guna-sampanna – the transformation to a different polity will be more sustainable…

    I am not sure where you see any similarity other than the semantics – which uses the word “society”… which in any case is meaningless.

    I suspect – you are unwilling to truly take a second look… perhaps not even a first look…

    …about

  10. December 3, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    OK … so this is the RSS system … how is the semitic idea different?

    Please remember that both these are your ideas. I am just trying to understand the difference!

  11. May 11, 2011 at 9:07 am

    At last, somebody out there brave enough to question the western view of human history. Good to read the contents. Do take a look at my blog, it pretty much demolishes notions of western supremacy and Indian subordination.

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