India had missed industrial revolution because of several reasons that include the colonization by British and the rule of great myopic kings. The British had left and the myopic kings also disappeared, but they were replaced by another set of myopic selfish rulers in a new democratic setup. The present politicians are no less despotic, myopic and arrogant than the erstwhile great kings. It is like old wine in a new bottle. In the past fifty years the democratic India could have achieved a lot more than she had, but for the wrong policies. It appears as if India almost missed the computer revolution as well, though she is trying to catch up now.
The Indian situation seems to be beyond rectification. The policies of discrimination and reverse discrimination have been in motion for thousands of years. Even today, preferential discrimination is the order of the day. The main question is not how to improve one’s situation, but how to stop another from improving his situation. Still the philosophy is “not to compete, but to grab.” This is quite evident in the government and the people’s attitude. Recently, the customs department of India was excluded from a central government pay revision for the government employees. The reason cited for that was “the customs employees have access to bribes and illegal income and hence they don’t need a pay raise.” Instead of raising the pay along with other government employees and taking strict measures against the illegal activities, the government’s acceptance of such illegal activities and government policies based on such illegal activities show how corrupt is the mind of ruling politicians in India.
India has everything that is needed for rapid growth and development in any sector, except the political will and visionary politicians. To develop that, India has to concentrate really hard on much neglected education. But India is caught in a cycle of myopic leaders and uneducated population, because the myopic leaders come out of the uneducated population. It is even more difficult now, because constitutionally mandated preferential quotas and reservations exceed more than fifty percent in every sector, discarding the merit and recruiting below the average into the educational institutions and government jobs. The Indian constitution professes but does not guarantee equal protection and does not provide equal opportunity. For some strange reason India never practiced equal opportunity. Always some castes manipulate to get preferential treatment over the others. The cycle of discrimination and reverse discrimination continues.
Thanks to scholarly politicians like former Prime Minister P.V.N. Rao and his finance minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the new world order that has emerged under the umbrella of various international organizations such as WTO, IMF, World Bank, the UN etc., India has changed its direction from socialist path of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. The competition from the rest of the world, and accountability to the international organizations have infused new enthusiasm and vigor to the economy and industry. This change to a new open economy hopefully brings in the required changes in the society and in the Constitution of India as well.
India needs a stable government to proceed firmly with the economic reforms. Hopefully, the scheduled midterm elections will bring in a new stable government in 1998. Interestingly, all the three contenders, the BJP (rightist-capitalist), the UF (left to center-socialist), and the Congress (I) (socialist) are committed to the reforms.
India and America have a lot of common interest in democracy and world peace. The United States of America, as the leader of the world, has a major role to play in the lives of the peace loving and democratic people of India. To have a positive impact which ultimately helps the whole world because India is ~20% of the world population, the US has to understand and pay more attention to the people of India, and help bring out the dormant Indian manpower from the slumber of illiteracy, unequal opportunity, lack of facilities, bureaucratic controls etc.
In the emerging inter-dependent world of modern technology, where confrontation has no place and cooperation and competition are the way of life, the United States and the Indian Union should shed off their old prejudices and march together toward the goal of peace and prosperity to all, and realize the Brahminical Vedic dream of “peaceful one world-one family.”
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