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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Sunday, 10 February 2013

'Free Democracy' (India) vis-a-vis 'restricted democracy' (China)

There are basic differences between two big emerging developing countries  in the planet -India and China -and their progress and development. It is sad that world's largest and vibrant democracy-India-is lagging behind 'restricted democracy' in China. Apparently, it appears that China is growing because of 'disciplined approach' while India is lagging behind in the development parameters because of 'weak leadership' More over , poverty, corruption and inequality have gripped India as well as 'haphazard implementation' of liberalised economy.Apart from that 'prevailning feudalism' in India where landlords and big industrial employers behave like petty tyrants and almost all new papers except a few not reporting all these misdeeds as they depend on advertisements from government and industries  and also judiciary, composed of friends and relatives of these feudal society, protecting the tyrants. Huge payment of pensions to retired employees and subsidies in the name of goodies to poor people, which hardly reach them, are also holding back the reforms in the economy of India.Economic measures in China is percolating to the common masses while in India such results are not going  down to underprivileged and marginalised!

As recent Davos meeting has suggested that India is doing worse than China. Not only that almost all indicators like growth, inflation, output per capita,  unemployment, budget deficit, corruption indicate that India is far behind China. A few years back , it was predicted by Davos men that India would emerge as most powerful and developed country in South-East Asia But that hopes are gradually belying .India, could achieve per capita GDP at $ 3,851 against China's $ 9,146. Official figures in India say that unemployment rate is double in comparison with China. On corruption front, the Transparency International's index has put China 80th rank in the globe while India has been ranked 94th and it is growing rapidly.Apart from that military preparations and manufacturing arms and ammunition by China are increasing leaps \and bound, whereas India is yet to give full thrust on the security of its border although India is one of the top-most buyers of arms and ammunition for its defence preparedness. (My blog Topic: "Arms and Ammunition manufacturing and acquisition at the top among Globe Nations: US , China heading for manufacturing lethal and sophisticated weapons"- December 6, 2012-www.kksingh1.blogspot.com).

According to cross-sections of the society and various news and views reports; the" rural people are hardly better off than they were two or three decades ago." A former Supreme Court judge, Krishna Ayyer, a towering survivor of the progressive personality  has expressed pain and anguish over prevailing situation in India and said, " more than 40 percent of the Indian children are malnourished-worse that in Africa, while detailing the report of the World Bank, depicting sad aspects on India.. Over 17, 000 farmers have committed suicide in 2010  on the failure of their crops. Timothy Garton Ash has written in the Guardian in its issue on January 31, 2013, " Even the most superficial, privileged travellers cannot avoid seeing the shocking proximity of wealth and want, whether in the garbaged-piled slums of Mumbai or the medieval-looking peasant farms visible just off a brand new expressway."

Well-known economist and a former union revenue secretary, now JD(U) MP from Bihar  N K Singh, who has recently returned after attending Davos's World Economic Forum meeting , has written in a national newspaper that  Davos men felt bad over 'inefficiency of  India government over  economic development in India."One European  participant has said in the meeting that Indians are seen every where in the meeting but not India!", Singh said and added that GDP of India has sharply declined because of coalition government , resulting into political instability.

"Unlike China but like Europe, India expends a vast amount of energy simply coping with its incredible diversity. The French President Charles de Gaulle once exclaimed how you can you possibly govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese? Well, how about a country with 330 million gods"? And when you say a country; a 19th century English observer once observed that Scotland is more like Spain than Bengal is like Punjab. A poetic exaggeration, no doubt, but the country is a continent, a commonwealth, an empire itself. And like Europe, it is trying to manage this diversity in freedom. China has diversity too, in vast its sparsely populated areas of mainly Tibetan and mainly Muslim population, but it copes with it mainly by repression." India lacks united powerful narrative. Unfortunately, if unsurprisingly, many of these stories in India are sectarian, regional, petty-chauvinist narratives, dividing rather than uniting.

Secondly, one of the main reasons of poor growth story of India is legacy of British Raj bureaucracy. Licence and permit raj still exist in India indirectly.. Captains of  industry like Lakshmi Mittal and Tata's Ratan Tata prefer to invest elsewhere because it takes  eight to ten years to get all permission in India to open industrial units..The Guardian essay by Ash says, "If the bureaucracy of a post-colonial state is the problem, more deregulation and economic liberalisation should be answer; and so, in some respects, it is. This is, for instance, the only way that we will bet to an EU-India free trade agreement, which could bring great benefits to both sides. But the free market liberalisation that was let rip in the 1990s is also part of the problem. Take the media, India's media now boasts a commercial, sensationalists, race-to-the-bottom culture that makes Fox News look fair and balanced and the British tabloid the Sun look like a new bulletin for the Salvation Army. A few quality papers such as Hindu, are exceptions that prove the rule. Elsewhere paid news (corporations paying for favourable news coverage) is the order of the day."

More and more politicising the things is also responsible for poor show in India."Every one in Delhi but every where, there are general impression that business and politics in Delhi and elsewhere in India are cardinally inter wind like 'tantric gods and goddesses'. besides the shrill name-calling, regional and religious identity politics and dynastic politics (witness the irresistible rise of Rahul Gandhi in the Congress Party), there is monstrous condescension to the two out of every three Indians, who are still dirt people."

Ash remarks, "ruling political classes manly through to poor subsidies for basic foodstuffs, a few other cheap goodies, guaranteed low wage employment for a number of days a year-and buy their votes every election time. So is China bound to go on winning.No and again no, because while the Indian system is daily soap opera of small crises, the big crisis of China's self-contradictory system of Leninist capitalism is yet to come. And no, again because India is a free country, with the most amazing diversity of human talents, originally, personality and spirituality. Surely that free expression of human individuality must tell out in the end."

However, in his remarks on the essay of Ash on India, Prof James Manor of Institute of Commonwealth Studies, says, " Ash is wrong about Indian politicians buying votes of the poor. Even illiterate voters of India are too canny to be duped and they have thrown out more moneyed parties at state and national elections on majority of occasions since the late 1970s." Craig Jeffrey of the Oxford University has rightly said in his comment , " Ash provides a timely reminder of the need for broader-based social development in the subcontinent but stops short of taking India's government to task. The state in India is engaged in a curious strategy of allowing schools, hospitals and other government services to atrophy while dispensing huge sums via populist development programmes. How this strategy will play out is unclear, but in the meantime the poor are taking things into their own hands, and it is interesting that on the day of this article in the Guardian, a huge demonstration against manual scavenging reached its climax in Delhi."

But growth rate in China also seems to be in long-term decline.According to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Chinese GDP growth, year on year, which had fallen from 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 to 7.6 percent in the second quarters and 7.4 per cent in the third quarter, had bounced back to 7.9 percent in the last quarter of that year. But sign of survival appears to be weak. as growth spiked in China when the government launched a $ 585 billion stimulus package in response to the 2008 crisis, which drove the year-on-year quarterly growth rate from 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2009 to 12.1 percent in first quarter of 2010..According to an article in the on line edition of The People's Daily, China's first release of the Gini coefifcient for the past decade demonstrated the government's resolve to bridge the gap between rich and poor The director of the Chinese NBS  Ma Jiantang, has said ," The  statistics highlighted the urgency for our country to speed up the income distribution reforms to narrow the wealth gap."

Slower growth rate may be upsetting  Indian government, but it seems to be sign of achievement in China.

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