10 reasons why India can’t be a superpower: Ramchandra Guha says in Netherland University
| September 29,2010 03:27 pm IST
On 23 June, during a lunch lecture organized by Nyenrode, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael and the Ministery of Foreign Affairs, the renowned Indian historian Ramachandra Guha talked about his book ‘India after Gandhi’. He claimed that there are ten reasons why India, despite its enormous economic growth, will not become a superpower.
It is unfortunate to see that people of the stature of Ramchandra Guha will use sensationalism and indulge in India bashing in a foreign country rather than providing direction and leadership to the country which is at the cusp of a new dawn. By deriding India, Guha has done nothing but joined the league of Naysayers who thrive on criticizing India on foreign shores and talk what the audience wish to hear.
India, as an emerging economy, has undergone extraordinary levels of economic expansion, along with countries like China, Russia, Mexico and Brazil. The cost effectiveness and labor intensiveness has benefited India immensely from outsourcing of work from developed countries, and a strong manufacturing and export oriented industrial framework. With the economic pace picking up, global trade has also seen considerable growth over the years.
Despite all these facts, even a single comment by people of such seniority can seriously ruin India’s position it has achieved during the past years as this negative bashing very soon acquire colors of wisdom and used by Investors / Companies to make important decisions where as China, the world’s fastest growing major economy, has no such back stabbers at least at an International forum.
According to Guha the remarkable economic growth that the country has experienced in recent years hides a “multitude of sins” that are exposed when dissecting a nation that he calls “a unique political experiment” that “was not designed to survive as a nation”.
The ten reasons he lists are:
1. Nepotism determines opportunities and success
2. Unchecked degradation of the environment
3. Religious extremism
4. Left wing extremism
5. Right wing extremism
6. The gap between rich and poor
7. Lack of objective criticism in the media
8. No long-term government policy
9. Internal disharmony between regions
10. Difficult border relations
Guha says, “The Indian state is not built on unified nationalism, but on the embrace of pluralism. And 60 years after the efforts of Gandhi, a revival of India’s internal threats seems a reality. There are too many fault-lines in the Indian society to be a superpower. As a historian, I say ‘we are not prepared’ and as an Indian citizen I say ‘we should not even attempt it’. India should adhere to its constitutional ideals, fight national fires and try to heal and harmonize.” Whether Guha‘s ramblings will be a gospel truth or meandering of publicity seeking author only the time will tell but then a nation is what its citizen do for it. On this record India might have failed us or not but Ramchandra Ghuha has definitely failed his motherland for few cents and some press footage.
What do you think? Is India a country of Naysayers?