West has badly overestimated Singh

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Yusuf, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    V
    The title says, "The west has badly overestimated Singh."
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    Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that "The west has overestimated Indians."
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    Indians have indeed been good at shooting themselves on the foot --Vsince at least 1192!V
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    Looks like Indians do not care for Vtheir nation's progress.
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    China need not worry about any competition at any time even if India is capable of catching up, because Indians just do not want to!!
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    The west has badly overestimated Singh | The A-List | Must-read views on today’s top news stories – FT.com – FT.com
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    FINANCIAL TIMES
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    The west has badly overestimated Singh
    V
    Ramachandra Guha
    V
    December 7, 2011
    The Indian governmentVannounced the opening up of the retail sector to foreign direct investment late last month. This led to an intense and sharply polarised debate. Passionate editorials for and against the plan appeared in the Indian press. The Bharatiya Janata party, the major opposition group, said it would oppose the policy in the streets and in parliament.

    The critics had their say – and, within a week, their way. As of Wednesday the policy has been put on hold, perhaps indefinitely. It was striking how soon the government capitulated, abandoning a policy that Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, was himself deeply committed to. ThisVmove points to some deeper structural features of the Indian political system, which may mean that – at least in the near future – other major reforms proposed by the government will not be implemented.

    Mr Singh had seen the opening of the retail sector as a continuation of the economic reforms he supervised as finance minister in the 1990s. He believes that the entry ofVcompanies such as Walmart will generate a boost inVemployment, and better connectVfarmers to urban markets.

    On the other side, critics of FDI draw on deep historical memories, dating to the days of the East India Company, the foreign group that came to trade but stayed on to rule and plunder. They now fear the wiping out of neighbourhood stores and a restriction in consumer choice. The BJP’s oppositionVis partly explainedVby the fact that small traders have for them been a reliable source of votes.

    Yet the Indian National Congress’s coalition partnersValso opposed the move. Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal whose Trinamool Congress has several representatives in the union cabinet, even refused to take the phone when the prime minister called her to explain why the change in policy was necessary. Faced with opposition within and without, the government capitulated.

    A critical factor in this is the complete breakdown of relations between the Congress and the BJP, the two main parties. For more than a decade their leaders have poured abuse and scorn on one another. Even on matters of vital national interest – as with terrorism or relations with Pakistan – the two parties cannot even begin a conversation, let alone arrive at agreement. The partisanship is so poisonous that relations between Republicans and Democrats in the US seem almost courteous by comparison.

    In this context, the timing of Mr Singh’s announcement on retail was surprising, to say the least. When it was made, parliament had already been stalled for more than a week. The BJP insisted that it would let normal business resume only when a senior minister charged with corruption resigned. The new retail policy provoked further hostility and even louder protests.

    Since 1989 everyVIndian government has been composed of fractious and unstable coalitions. To secure a parliamentary majority, the Congress, like the BJP before it, had to take in many smaller parties into a coalition. These parties have great powers of blackmail that they use sometimes to secure ministerial postsVwith greater avenues for corruption, at other times to stall policies that they fear will affect their potential voters.

    There has for some time now been a sharp disconnect between dominant western perceptions of Mr Singh and how the prime minister is viewed within his own country. Barack Obama called him a sage among statesmen. World leaders and international newspapers have attributed qualities of leadership toVMr Singh that have been less visible to his fellow citizens.

    Within India it was always known that the authority to make senior appointments and to push through public policies lay principally with Sonia Gandhi, the Congress president. Mr Singh was once admired for his personal honesty; now his inability to dismiss corrupt colleagues has gravely dented his image among the middle classes. The prime minister’s failure, even after eight years in office, to seek direct election to parliament means that he cannot even bring his own colleagues into line, still less command the trust of the opposition.

    The writer is Philippe Roman chair in history and international relations at the London School of Economics. His most recent book is Makers of Modern India
     
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  3. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    India is followinh Mao policy of Two step forward and one step back. Chinese have dumped that approach of one step back and chinese leadership is now worried on that account.

    West wants to ride on "Financial Capital" - concentration of Capital only. Employ Capital to earn more capital without endulging in production thereby controlling the consumption and production both. That is through Wall Mart they can control China (production) and India (Consumption).

    There is nothing new in it.
     
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  4. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    India and the Indians are yet to move past the socialist past.

    Let’s move back to pre-reform era, when India urgently needed to usher in the much needed reforms, the days when IMF was breathing down our necks. Exactly the same thing happened. The left and the right united, and did all they could to stop the opening up of economy. They went to the extent of labeling it as invasion by the foreigners and that the congress being hand in glove, I hear the same arguments.

    Nothing really has changed since. A reform that should have been done by the NDA, a decade back, is still not done.

    People argue the mom and pop stores will vanish, really?

    Have they done any research on the consumer patterns/behaviors of the indian consumer/buyer?

    Indians are so attached to that 1 rupee extra discount, courtesy, respect and personal rapport that they would not change their buying behavior for a place where there is every likelihood of not getting any of that, and most important, all these branded outlets wont be located next doors like a kiranawala. Forget all that, what have the more’s, the reliance mart’s and more such stores been able to do in taking away the business from these stores? Practically nothing, on the contrary, I saw one of the reliance and a more store cutting down on their initial size, and the kiranawalas growing the usual way that they were, in fact now these chaps were bargaining better with the companies/distributors and passing on the benefits in more innovative ways to the consumer, those chaps down the street had only got smarter, a natural human instinct of survival.

    India is a market which is growing, where the everyday needs of consumer are increasing by the day, the disposable income of the consumer is increasing, there are more people forming the middle income group which means there will be room for everyone to play, and more the competition the better for the consumer.

    But then petty vote bank politics and feeding the leftist leaning of the Indians, sadly which is what the most indians are, has had the better of a decision which otherwise should have been a routine decision.

    The reason why India will remain a country with potential, always!

    My only fear is that there will be a reform paralysis for another two-and-a-half-years, but then will I be complaining in future? Not anymore, people get what they want, so India can struggle as much as people want it to.
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Is the state of affairs remain like this, we can forget about being the 3rd largest economy any time soon. A slow economy will mean slow down in defence modernization as well and also bid goodbye any hopes to crash into UNSC.

    My feeling is that the suspension if FDI is only till the parliament session gets over. I think the gift was staring at another Lokpal agitation if this bill was not introduced in this session. Already murmurs had started about the govt intruducing FDI to stall parliament so that Lokpal could be put off. So the discussion would have been on facing another round of trouble and it was decided that backing down on FDI for the moment to get other work done and once this session gets over, FDI will be back. May be a bit if modification may be not.
     
  6. Tianshan

    Tianshan Regular Member

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    seems like the same political dead-lock that is slowing down the west, but too early in the stage of development.

    not that our system is any better. we get competition between factions and political dead-locks too, just more private.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    No one has overestimated or underestimated anyone.

    They apparently has underestimated the Indian scenario.

    Why drag in this poor hapless man, who is not Captain of his Soul and Master of his Fate?

     
  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Ray wrote

    I remember reading the poem Invictus in high school. Thanks for the memory jog, sir.

    by William Ernest Henley (1849–1903).
     
  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    P.S. The line My head is bloody, but unbowed has been pirated more than once to say about someone, "His head is empty but unbowed." :-D
     
  10. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    FDI in retail could be worked out by putting in place a regulatory authority. But then that would be a mess because the commodities in FDI are far far greater in number than say telecom, and there would be way too many issues to sort out.
     
  11. Tianshan

    Tianshan Regular Member

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    one of my favourite english-language poems ever. what a coincidence.

    destiny is always in our own hands, this is very true. so the indians can elect a more efficient administration like modi, change their destiny.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  12. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Invictus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  13. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    MMS is most overestimated Economist. I think under-estimated Yashwant Singh and P.V. Narshima Rao was far better.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Now, how can we blame, estimate (over or under) the poor chap, our PM.

    Just see this:

     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Yaswant Sinha is not an economist.

    Born and educated in Patna, Bihar, Sinha received his Masters Degree in Political Science in 1958.
     
  16. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This is UPA's fault as a whole and not the fault of one man. This is not the American Presidency we are talking about. Lok Sabha makes the decisions and the ruling party is at fault. In our system we cannot blame one man, no matter his position.
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Manmohan is the sacrificial goat!

    In real life, he is Lambert, the Sheepish Lion!

     
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    maomao and Dovah like this.
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Poor man.

    He find the political jungle a bit incongruous!
     
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  19. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    One of my favoritest stories as a kid!!!!. Childhood was cool.
     
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  20. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    This is why democracy is good for India and west cant get control because opposition will always oppose :laugh:
     
  21. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Its not just because of Democracy. If the Govt had been a single party Govt they would have gone ahead with bigger "reforms" ages ago.

    What holds back the Govt from taking arbitrary decisions is the pressure from their own allies. So you can say this is why 'coalition govts are good for India'
     

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