Sunday, July 09, 2006

India - Global Superpower?

“Unfortunately the harsh reality is that if India succeeds in establishing a just and fair society, it can definitely kiss all its dreams of becoming a global economic superpower goodbye.”

The statement above does not reflect my own thinking. I am not making it up either. I actually read it in the Times a few days ago in the Letters to the Editor section.

This was the response of one Diana Pinto, to an article by Swaminathan Aiyar Anklesaria, a commentator on the economic scene in India. In his article, Swaminathan Aiyar put forward the view that unless India first did something to iron out the economic inequalities and establish a higher standard of living all round, we would not get ahead as a nation.

So as you can see, it is possible to look at the whole business of equality and exploitation from quite another perspective as Ms. Pinto (whoever she is) shows us. If we want to become a global superpower we have to overlook the fact that three quarters of India’s population is still scrabbling for two square meals a day, that millions of people are grossly underfed if not actually starving, that millions more are suffering from diseases caused by malnutrition and so on.

Among the views that this reader puts forward is that all super economies are based on the exploitation of the majority and that suffering is good for the soul and encourages people to strive harder. Hmmm. That’s food for thought, no? If we want to be a superpower – and Ms Pinto seems to be all for it – we will have to just overlook thousands of farmers who have committed suicide on account of their failed crops, overlook the gross injustice we see all round us, forget about fair wages and just about everything else that distinguishes a civilised nation from the barbarians.

Even as I’ve been writing this a super idea has infiltrated my brain. If we are talking of destroying individuals and human values to become a global superpower, which is what many businessmen and politicians apparently want – something that will make them feel PROUD to be Indian - maybe we should get someone to help us with a job which our own politicians have started on and so far carried quite successfully – though what they lack it sometimes appears, is brute strength, stamina and the final bit of stupidity needed for the job. Which is why I am thinking maybe they should call on Dubbya some time at the White House and ask him for a helping hand. Having accomplished so much in the department of destruction and injustice in the attempt to retain America's superpower status, he wont mind sharing some useful tips.

Open Space:


Dwight said...

Hi Uma,

It is sad that people really do not, or choose not to, see the price that the US pays for being a superpower. It is time to re-examine the words 'development' and 'progress'.

And finally, can one really be 'proud' of any country in which the people who feed the population have nothing to eat themselves?


suresh said...

Loved your piece!!!

The corruption that exists in the political and administrative circles, are nothing but a mere reflection of the decadence that has crept into our society and nation as a whole.

At times, I wonder if a students' revolution under some young leader (like Fidel castro in his early years in Cuba) can set the ball rolling for a wind of change in India.

At times of war, they say, the most basic of human instincts come into play ... and the values of a life-time in an individual is tested.

Time for yet another change. Time for yet another revolution. For better or worse, it would atleast jolt the majority of our populace that sleeps in lethargy...

We need a political revolution .. to jolt us back into action and vigour...