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?







Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. CoolAvenues.com is not responsible for the views and opinions of the posters.
1 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Guest on 09/29/10 at 07:07 pm

Well, i totally agree with Guha as the totality of any country's growth depends on all the internals factors along with what Guha has already mentioned. Indian are selfish, greedy, self centered, Prudish, stubborn, arrogance which people of india need to get rid off, only then can think of becoming a super power.

Indian are excessively religious and are bound by caste and family which reduces the time and effectiveness spend towards work and growth of he country. Un necessary relgious practices. Idol worships should be abolished from India.

Especially the rich in india are highly demanding and rude towards others in there behavours

Guest on 10/02/10 at 08:53 am

What Mr. Guha has said I agree with that. But Mr. Guest you are giving a generic statement. I find whatever you have said about the drawbacks in north Indians especially is same for all Indians. There is nothing special about people from the other parts of India that they don't have these super qualities, they have equally.

Indian on 09/30/10 at 11:25 am

People like these (Ramchandra Guha and this guy who's posted the comment) are the very reason of our tarnished image in front of world.
They dont care even if are the largest democracy in the world ... and inspite of having so many religions and languages .. we have survived all these years .. and still going strong ...
If we would have been a communist country like China ... these guys didn't even existed on the planet to express ... bloody hypocrites

Indian of Different sort on 09/30/10 at 06:42 pm

Truth is always biter, u fool. And, hypocrites are the people who do the idol worships, scream out in the name of Ram and Allah but do no good to the society or human being. Being a indian i can feel the country india undergoing the pain through. That's y all idol worship should be abolished from the country. And pave way to modern and untied india.

Guest on 02/09/11 at 05:06 pm

You are an idiot. You affirm his point that there can never be constructive criticism in this country. I totally agree with him. I hope someone agrees with me that you are an absolute idiot!

asit on 09/30/10 at 11:59 am

10 good reasons. I agree Mr Guha. But let us see how China , now a proven Superpower fares on all your 10 poitns

The ten reasons he lists are:
1. Nepotism determines opportunities and success : In China, your survival depends upon your relationship with Communist party. India and China equally bad.

2. Unchecked degradation of the environment : Hongkong air and quality of air in China is not a hidden secret. Its much worse than India. India scores better

3. Religious extremism : Given communist rule, its not allowed but there have been various incidents of violence between han chienese and others i.e Muslims, Ughgirs, tibet

4. Left wing extremism : China is all Left and always work in extreme.

5. Right wing extremism : all are dead. China better compared to India.

6. The gap between rich and poor : In china gap is much worse. The condition of workers working in factory is very bad. In fact one of apple supplier is famous for number of suicides by factory workers.

7. Lack of objective criticism in the media: every thing is state controlled so there is no criticisms , forget about objective criticism.

8. No long-term government policy : China scores better in this regard and have a long term policy.

9. Internal disharmony between regions : Very high but with high degree of state driven terror, they have been able to silence it. Remember what happened in Tibet and other provinces.

10. Difficult border relations : with issues with japan, thailand, taiwan, India, burma, what is there to say? China is an aggressive beast who has little time for niceties and coutsey.

So what do you say about China, Mr Guha?

Guest on 09/30/10 at 01:26 pm

Guha is looking like Steve Jobs .. :)

lOL on 10/01/10 at 03:21 am

Please don't compare China and India together.

The only similarities is a rich and vibrant old civilization and large population.

China is vastly different and is on whole different level compared to India.

lOL on 10/01/10 at 03:33 am

In China, poorer are getting richer, richer are getting richer. Society together is getting richer.

In India, the poorer are getting poorer, and the richer are getting richer.

So while the income gap is increasing in China, China's overall poverty situation has drop significantly (unprecedented poverty reduction in human history, 300 million peasants lifted out of poverty in just 20 years)

India? Let's not even talk about it. How many billionaires does India have? How is that something to be proud of when majority of Indians cannot get adequate intake of food?

surendra on 10/02/10 at 12:25 pm

hi all,

ur assumption abt china is wrong that poorer are getting richer.......i hv been in china for so many years. further to add about mr. guha he must be promoting himself the way indian do here..by crticizing... moreover in ur view if india is in worst condition it must have been not progressed at all till the date.....

kumar on 10/25/10 at 01:44 pm

What u have done for india & its growth MR. Guha?
U have become rich n touring all countries n getting good name n fame & money. What else for ur home land? except criticism.