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Originally posted by expatter at 2010-3-7 18:09
I try to give my opinion as short as possible.
India is a highly decentralized country where political interests between New Delhi and the states clash ever so often. India's Federal States are often run by very ambitious politicians, who themselves want one day to become PM and who put their own interests or those of their companions first and the country last. This is, in my eyes, a trademark of Indian democracy and not necessarily democracy in general. The country only started modernization in earnest after the collapse of the Soviet Union, ca. 1992. Because of India's special way of socialism it was a poor and backward country.
After opening to the capitalist world India decided to put it main emphasize on the service sector (call centers, for instance) and software development. It almost completely neglected its traditional industries such as garment -, medical instruments -, agriculture etc. Because service centers were mainly located in Mumbay and software development in cities such as Hyderabad and Bangalore, it's infrastructure was no main concern for the central government. This only changed over the last four, five years. India's government ought to take one page out of the China book. There is a proverb in China that says: First build a road, development will follow.
India has also a western neighbor with which it fought three wars since independence. This relationship was and still is affecting India's development because billions of $$$ have to be spent for the day X, which hopefully will never come.
Then India has this nasty Naxalite problem. This insurgency originally begun as a peasant uprising in 1967 and is still going on. These guerrillas are stronger than ever before. As of this year India's government was only able to cut this insurgency back in 5% of the affected areas although it is expected that violence will go up in 2010/11. The rebels are well funded with budgets of roughly 300b $, obtained largely through extortions. India's government has to spend a fortune to get the monster under control. The Naxalites are using an administrative vacuum to establish their hold over large tracts of land across almost all state bounderies in NE and central India.
I do not believe that India is handicapped by religion or various languages. This always was common and accepted in India. I do not want to touch the subject of Sino-Indian relations over here and the cause of the bad state they're in. It is well known but I believe that time will heal the wounds and relations can of course improve.
Remains the question, is democracy the right form of government for India. I'm prejudiced but believe that even with democracy India will advance and we'll soon find this country amoung the top four or even top three nations of the world. The country has a bright future if India makes some highly needed shifts (yes, I talk infrastructure in general).
Personally I wish this country all the best. India and her people deserve to be among the top nations and it will prove that Asia's century has truly started.
Please excuse any orthographic or other linguistic mistakes.