How India can lead the South Asian Century

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by SPIEZ, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    At first glance, South Asia’s prospects look grim. Pakistan is trapped in a cycle of violence. Bangladesh emerged from an Islamist government led by Khaleda Zia and successive caretaker administrations only three years ago. Sri Lanka is still recovering from the debilitating 27-year-old a civil war with the LTTE. Nepal and the Maldives are in political ferment. Afghanistan remains mired in war.

    And India? The fulcrum of South Asia is at a fork in the road.
    A wrong turn could set it back years in its battle against corruption, political misgovernance and policy inertia. The converse could help it build South Asia into an economic and geopolitical power within a decade.

    The informal talks last Sunday between the Indian prime minister and the Pakistani president have reinforced the growing conviction in Islamabad that peace in South Asia is a necessary condition to extricate Pakistan from its economic quagmire.

    South Asia houses 23.50% of the world’s population. But its 1.65 billion people are among the poorest in the world with per capita incomes ranging from $ 1,250 (Nepal) to $ 5,100 (Sri Lanka). Even adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), South Asia’s median per capita income is around $3,000 – one-tenth of Greece, Europe’s most distressed economy.

    Apart from poverty, the region shares the same afflictions: widespread corruption, shambolic infrastructure, inadequate healthcare and huge socio-economic inequalities. So how can 23.50% of the world’s population, packed together in just 3.20% of the world’s land mass, steeped in poverty, sectarianism and fundamentalism, turn things around?

    The countries of South Asia have a common civilisational heritage. Four of the world’s nine great religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism – evolved here. Two others – Islam and Christianity – arrived in the subcontinent mere decades after their founding in west Asia and established deep roots. A seventh and eighth – Judaism and Zorastrianism – came here through believers escaping persecution in Palestine and Persia. Only the ninth, Confucianism, stayed away. But its monks travelled frequently from China to India to exchange ideas and debate theology.

    In such a plural subcontinent, conflict is inevitable. However, from violence a syncretic society can emerge, bound by a common heritage and common wounds. The scars of partition, the more recent trauma of state-sponsored terrorism from Pakistan and old memories of Mughal and Protestant conquests give all sides cause to be deeply suspicious of one another.

    But now South Asia is at a turning point. Pakistan has belatedly realised that using terror as an instrument of state policy has brought it close to bankruptcy. Whoever wins the next general election will seek cooperation not confrontation with India, despite the rhetoric over Jammu & Kashmir. The military has no constituency or goodwill left. Islamic fundamentalists are feared but reviled. Thus the three “As” that defined Pakistan for decades – Allah, Army and America – are no longer omnipotent. From the wreckage, Pakistan can rebuild itself as a prosperous and peaceful nation – but only as part of a prosperous and peaceful South Asia.

    Pakistan, in various back-channel talks, concedes that the militancy it unleashed on Jammu & Kashmir in 1989 has bled Pakistan, not India. It would, however, be unwise to underestimate the fanaticism that lurks within the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and other state-sponsored Pakistani terrorist groups, including Hafiz Saeed’s JuD into which the LeT has morphed.

    Bangladesh has meanwhile, under the secular leadership of Prime Minister Hasina, pulled itself back from the fundamentalist precipice former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia had pushed it towards. Sri Lanka too, freed finally from its devastating conflict with the LTTE, though not from the taint of alleged human rights violations against ethnic Tamils, is ready to move towards a better future for its people.

    India is the key to South Asia’s emergence as one of the world’s most powerful regional blocs. It constitutes 75% of South Asia’s total population and 82% of its combined GDP ($4.10 trillion out of $4.96 trillion, at purchasing power parity). How can India provide leadership to a region beyond the dated, bureaucratic confines of SAARC? Pakistan’s grant of MFN status to India is a starting point. At an average annual GDP growth rate of 7.5%, India’s economy will more than double in 10 years to over $8.50 trillion. Pakistan’s own economy – even assuming annual GDP growth of 4% (twice its current rate) — would by then have hauled itself up to just $0.70 trillion – one-twelfth India’s GDP.

    In this statistic lies the future of India, Pakistan and the rest of South Asia. To counter the nuanced challenge of a rising China taking America’s place in Pakistan’s post-2014 geopolitical strategy, India will have to overcome political misgovernance at home and emerge globally as the third angle in the Isoceles triangle with China and the US.

    The world’s geopolitics will be dominated in 2022 by three economic zones: the American Economic Zone, bridging the Atlantic from North and South America to Europe; the Chinese Economic Zone, tracing an arc across the Pacific Ocean; and the Indian Economic Zone, sweeping through South Asia to West Asia and Africa. In this unfolding century, South Asia has the opportunity to overcome terrorism, corruption and poverty to give a quarter of humanity the life of peace and dignity so long denied them.


    How India can lead the South Asian Century : Minhaz Merchant's blog-The Times Of India
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
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  3. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Are you sure the economy alone is enough for India leading the South Asia?

    What about the geo- politics, political will power, friends and other stuff?
     
  4. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    Please read it fully. And all the others we can do, when we have the "economy"
     
  5. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    But the problem is, we already have a good economy. Still we are not doing what we are supposed to do with it. And there are some basic assumptions that so many things will go right in that article. "SO many". Thats why i asked, if economy alone is enough?
     
  6. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    From the article

     
  7. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Pakistan is already leading in many areas like Terrorism, Suicide bombing, Hate, Miss Information on Non-Muslims etc.,

    We dont need to catch up but what other nation is there in South Asia to lead?
     
  8. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    The article talks about South Asian Century as against Chinese Century or yet another American Century.
    Peace and stability will have a lot more to do for a stable economy, what say?
     
  9. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    :rotflmao:. This i what i meant. It assumes everything will be alright. What if fanatics take over again?

    This is a big joke really:laugh:. Come on, you know it right? It has moved past its violations? May be because there wont be any need for that, if you know what i mean:noidea:

    This is said "after" these lines

    How can the Pakistan be Peaceful, have an economic growth at 4% and that too without changing the ideology, which keeps it together in the first place, which is not happening soon?
     
  10. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    South Asian Century is not happening any time soon. Thats my point.

    It can be Indian Century if and only IF we play it right.
     
  11. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    My personal opinion is as stated by the great Shehnai performer Late Ustad Bismillah Khan , ' Aap itne aagey aa jao, log peechein he rahe, aagey na aa paaye'.

    Indian economy will make the neighbouring countries accept our superiority. We need good leadership to impose this though. With a strong economy, we can give them shed load of aid and make them dependent on us.
     
  12. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Exactly :rolleyes:
     
  13. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    No it wont, Economy is war to, its another form of competition. The US achieved its pinnacle of scientific break through in the cold war, all those weapons and technology is product of the cold war, including the GPS and Internet, right now it is slipping down and they dont even have an replacement for the Space Shuttle.

    Today India would not even have Agni-1 if not for constant pressure and a knife to the throat of our corrupt nethas from Pakistan. We would be worse than Haiti in terms of arms development or for that matter even roads and infrastructure, if not from a very real threat like Pakistan.

    What we need is an even bigger threat not lesser one..lol.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  14. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    This prediction is radical but the most questionable. On Indian EZ part there seems not a road map to achieve that end in the whole write-up. BTW Confucianism is not a religion but more like a life compass IMO
     
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  15. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^^ Well India has been taking some important steps on improving economic ties with SAARC countries particularly Bangladesh for example. India-GCC economic ties are one of the biggest economic relations in the world already and India ASEAN economic relations are increasinly becoming important as well. India-Africa trade is also another area where high growth has occurred in the last couple of years.

    Infact, while India - EU and India US trade has been slowing down, trade relations with all these countries has been ramping up exponentially.
     
  16. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    India already accounts for more than 80 % of south Asia's GDP

    We dont need these useless and INCOMPETENT neighbours for our ECONOMIC growth

    They need us

    We dont need them

    That is why we see both ISLAMIST nations pakistan and Bangladesh making overtures to India
    for more trade and economic cooperation
     
  17. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    We need to get out of this term south asia, which has been tossed by the cold warriors. This is Indian sub continent
     
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  18. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    @ Nitesh Absolutely right

    These stupid western people some how think that our useless neighbours are economically
    relevant to India

    They are just a nuisance

    Either they want to create trouble or they want MONEY for NOT INVITING China in their countries

    They are either troublemakers or blackmailers or freeloaders
     
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  19. peacecracker

    peacecracker Regular Member

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    look out for srilanka, that country will have the highest chance for economic growth IMO. pakistan and bangladesh will remain the nuisance what they are. if India can stop radicalization in bangladesh, that will be a great thing. but how?
     
  20. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    No pankaj the orignial pupose of the term south asia was to some how decrease the value of India. Both in economic and political terms. We need to put this in our people's mind also, that this is Indian sub continent
     
  21. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    For a very long period India has quitely suffered the INDIA PAK Comparision done by Western
    Nations

    But No MORE

    Today we stand MILES taller than these USELESS Neighbours pakistan and Bangladesh

    India Pak RACE IS OVER

    There is a NEW race in this World

    It is the India China race Though China is ahead of us on most counts yet India 's POTENTIAL is
    Now globally recognised

    And Pakis should first learn to make railway Locomotives before they can even think of comparing themselves
    to India
     
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