原文标题：India lacks China's ruthless pursuit
India's economy is slowing down not because of external factors, but due to domestic issues, says Sumit Ganguly, who holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilisations and is a Professor of Political Science at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Ganguly, who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies, says Indians should pursue crucial national interests as ruthlessly as the Chinese.
Fear of another Bofors happening is so great that no bureaucrat is going to swiftly approve tender for fear that they might be accused of financial malfeasance, he tells Faisal Kidwai in a telephonic interview.
Here are the excerpts:
In a widely-quoted Foreign Policy article, you have highlighted some that issues that could hold India back from becoming a superpower. The first problem area you have focused on is the economy.
That's because policy making is adrift at the moment and foreign investors are loath to invest in the country, plus they have destinations that are more transparent so, consequently, India will be the loser.
Then there are the series of scams that have broken out, starting with 2G and coal procurement, and the apparent inability of the political elite to act decisively against the perception of widespread corruption in high places.
So, both of these factors are inhibiting foreign investments and thereby hurting India's prospects. It's very easy to say, well, there's a global economic downturn, Europe is in disarray and that's why we are not doing well. But that, I think, is a dishonest answer.
Much as I respect [Prime Minister] Manmohan Singh, I disagree with him on this because, as a superbly trained economist, he should know that India is not an export-led growth economy. And although India is much more globally integrated today than it was in 1991, the principal impetus for growth doesn't come from export. Major export sectors are services and, yes, they've been hurt to some degree, but that's not the whole story.
The real issues are domestic. Lack of transparent regulatory and investment climate; the massive subsidies that are bleeding the country and also contributing to budget deficit; the poor and uneven quality of infrastructure; lack of decent aviation policy, with continuing subsidies to Air India, even though it shows no capacity to discipline itself - all of this is having a sandbagging effect on the economy.
What are the reasons for this sorry state of affairs?
There's lack of leadership and inability to manage coalition partners. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hasn't been helpful on a number of issues, but the task of leadership is to manage these kinds of differences. Political differences in a vibrant democracy like India are inevitable, particularly when there's a coalition government, where coalition members are going to be moved by the particular interests of their constituency. But the real genius, talent of political leadership must be to find ways around these issues.
A very senior administrator in West Bengal told me not long ago that, 'Look, how many times Manmohan Singh has flown down to the state to talk to Mamata Banerjee? Had he flown down to talk to a somewhat unwilling soul, then perhaps she might have been more willing to cooperate'.
The lack of cooperation with allies in parliament is simply striking.
Do you see the situation improving?
One keeps hearing from the prime minister that he understands that the economy is slowing down, that he understands that there are anxieties, that he intends to take important decision, but until there's concrete action, one will wonder whether the country will continue to drift and whether people will continue to suffer.
It's a tragic commentary on a country that has no dearth of talent, no dearth of ideas and entrepreneurship. But none of these things can thrive unless there are transparent policies and proper incentives.
In that article, you have said that China is way ahead of India when it comes to securing international oil and gas contracts. Why is India falling behind?
The Chinese are more adept and ruthless in their pursuit of national interests. They are very clearly focused on what their goals are, they have - for most part - consensus on how to pursue these goals. Now, there are admittedly differences between the more hardline elements and the Chinese foreign ministry, but in terms of critical goals, there's substantial consensus and they pursue these goals with considerable vigour.
Unfortunately, one fails to see the emergence of similar consensus and agreement that there are certain critical national interests that should be pursued regardless of ideology and regardless of party politics and, much to the country's detriment; I don't see that happening in India.
You have also said that tensions with Pakistan will increase over Afghanistan.
Absolutely. There's no question about it. Pakistani military elite is determined to undermine India's position in Afghanistan. Part of it is fantasy and paranoia that India plans to sandwich Pakistan between Afghanistan and itself and part of it is simply long-standing anxiety that exists about a much powerful neighbour which, despite all the problems that I've outlined, is doing much better than Pakistan on every dimension.
Consequently, there are anxieties about India, but these anxieties are deliberately exaggerated by the military establishment, which wants to protect its extraordinary privileges and wants to maintain its position of superiority in Pakistan. One way to maintain all this is to highlight the threat from India and to say that India is interested in encircling Pakistan.
If Pakistan were to give up supporting terror in Kashmir, I doubt that India would be as concerned about having a strategic bridge in Afghanistan. India would still have friendlier relations with Afghanistan and try to promote economic development and would, obviously, prefer not to see return of Taliban.
But India would not be so aggressively pursuing strategic relations with Afghanistan, were it not for the fact that Pakistan remains passionately committed to the return of Taliban-like regime, which would be definitely detrimental to India's interests and interests of many other world powers.
You have said that the United States shouldn't bet that India will be its useful ally. Why aren't you hopeful about India forging strong ties with the US?
New Delhi is still debating what kind of relations it should have with Washington and the debate is still not settled yet. There are number of constituencies who have different visions of what constitutes stable relationship with the United States.
Until that debate is resolved, and it's appropriate that such kinds of debates should take place, but it's time that India try and settle the internal debate and decide what kind of relationship suits India. But until the dust settles, there will be turbulence in India-US relationship.
You have criticised the defence acquisition process. What are the major issues that are hampering India's military?
Defence acquisition process remains antiquated, is extremely slow and so it takes India too much time to acquire requisite military hardware. The military is often frustrated with the slow pace of acquisitions.
But the fear of another Bofors happening is so great that no bureaucrat is going to swiftly approve tender for fear that they might be accused of financial malfeasance and then there's the defence minister who, I think, is inherently cautious. He's a decent and honest man, but he's a slow and rather deliberate decision maker, which complicates matters further.
Another area that you have focused on is the Hindu-Muslim issue. Many say that the BJP is trying to shed its right-wing image. How do you view this issue?
I'm not hopeful because if you see the language BJP uses, if you see who the BJP made its president, if you see the fact that someone like [Gujarat Chief Minister] Modi can be seriously considered as a possible prime minister, then you have to remain anxious about Hindu-Muslim relations.
Some experts have pointed out that there has been a steady decline in communal clashes since the BJP left the office at the centre, but that doesn't convince me that the pernicious ideology that certain members of BJP, and particularly RSS, still adhere to exists and they haven't departed from the unpleasant vision of India.
So, one must maintain a certain vigil because the last thing India needs is any kind of communal violence. Hatred towards minorities is not a recipe for social stability of India, leaving aside the moral issue.
But Modi's supporters claim he is a superb administrator and cite the investments the state has attracted in recent years.
There have been reports that show that despite the steady inflow of both foreign and domestic investments into Gujarat, the state isn't doing that well in terms of poverty elevation and access to healthcare.
Its social statistics don't bear out to Modi's claims. Yes, he may be wonderful administrator when it comes to attracting investments, but who this investment is benefitting? Is the growth in Gujarat trickling down to significant segments of the population? And it might be interesting to disaggregate these statistics by caste and religion to see how certain disadvantaged groups and minorities are faring in Gujarat.
It's very easy to look at aggregate statistics, but these figures should be broken down to see how particular communities are faring.
Caste based reservation and dynasty politics is the real cause
by Sudhir (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 10:31 AM | Hide replies
Caste based Rservation and Dynasty Politics is the real cause of India 's failure. Further, our corrupt politicians since Nehru first divided India then divided Indians on the basis of caste , religion, language, province etc and now they are looting the country...
Re: Caste based reservation and dynasty politics is the real caus
by Roy (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 11:00 AM
When Arabs and Brtish attacked India,why India failed to defend,is due to Caste based Reservation and Dynasty politics?
Re: Re: Caste based reservation and dynasty politics is the real
by Susan Held (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 11:14 AM
Arabs attacked and started ruling India after the rise of Buddhism in India after the fall of Mauryan empire when Indians started chanting peace. British were invited into India by the Mughal Ruler Jehangir.
Re: Caste based reservation and dynasty politics is the real caus
by Ravi (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 11:55 AM
the same comments goes on and on and on and on...
Thats the reason India is suffering in fact, from never ending analysis paralysis.
IsKhan-gress going to allow India to become a Super power?
by jaggu (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 09:52 AM | Hide replies
Look at the track record of super power :
Killings of Hindus in Pakistan 5 Cr- ( Indian Govt does not say anything)
Killing of Hindus in Bangladesh : 30 Lacs( Indian Govt treated the killers - 95000 soldiers who had surrendered as state guests and sent them back)
POK - After winning 1971 war we FORGOT to ask back our land.
Re: IsKhan-gress going to allow India to become a Super power?
by Ravi (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 11:53 AM
I don't know what you are talking about.
India will be economic superpower in next 3 years, no matter whether the world comes to an end.
China facts are hidden
by jai (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 09:30 AM | Hide replies
India may not be there...but China has hidden figures and cant be trusted...just like china goods
Re: China facts are hidden
by Ravi (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 11:51 AM
welcome to civilization.
Who is this clown?
by Ravi (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 04:36 AM
This is not rocket science. Every indian is aware of this.
Indians only make noise and keep themselves paralyzed in endless analysis. Blame it on our education format.
Meanwhile China takes away the cake in global arena.
India lacks China's ruthless pursuit'
by t prasad (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 02:44 PM | Hide replies
As per the ruthlessness, India is not assertive like the Chinese, It is because , we have a democracy, while China is a communist country. In china, the offenders are hanged if found, where as in India we go to court for a crime. Moreover, we are very lethargic towards our work and always have the attitude Chaltaiah hai, then you can't expect a growth
Re: India lacks China's ruthless pursuit'
by ajith sudhakaran (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 03:04 PM
I work in Muscat, Arabs come to our Nokia showroom and insist on made in India or Finland Nokia phones and say they do not want a Made in China Nokia phone, This says something about the quality in other markets doesnt it?
I WOULD BET THAT IF INDIAN PRODUCTS ARE AS CHEP AS THE CHINESE ONES (possible now that rupee has become cheaper)EVERYONE WOULD BUY INDIAN
Re: Re: India lacks China's ruthless pursuit'
by Sonderaj (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 12:04 AM
You are lying. Nokia doesn't make cell phones in India.
Re: Re: Re: India lacks China's ruthless pursuit'
by Susan Held (View MyPage) on Jul 25, 2012 10:39 AM
What nonsense. Chennai in India is one of the 9 manufacturing facilities of nokia world wide. Even more, India is one of the 7 countries where Nokia has research centers. Get you GK updated.
MMS and Industry
by ASA C (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 01:45 PM | Hide replies
Like we studied for Professional Degree in life we have to be ruthless like China the benefit will be India out of poverty, more rich people, good tax collection for Govt and a modern India and our Children will also get benefit of it. MMS is a bookish economist who can grasp only paper economy like BSE,NSE,MFs Banks,FIs etc a problem.He has not kept Engrs around him but people like him only.Industry is the main source of Income for Govt hence he has to focus Industrial growth. He needs good Engineers with business and economic sense around him in addition to Rangarajan , Montek etc. Hu is an Engr and Chinese go all out for industry and projects thus their max result.
Re: MMS and Industry
by ajith sudhakaran (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 02:28 PM
Why do you think even a single innovative product has come out of china to date? only copy of western or Japanese products? not even the kind of software and services that Indian companies produce?because communism does not allow freedom of intellect where innovation is possible, it is because of this that only as long as the chinese yuan is artificially kept low and their products are cheap ( albeit low quality) will the Chinese economy be able to grow.
Re: Re: MMS and Industry
by loveleen (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 02:41 PM
u r wrong. Chinese exports to India are of Cheap Quality, but not for others.
Re: Re: MMS and Industry
by ASA C (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 04:43 PM
Man,China is at 7T USD economy and India is at 2TUSD No. of people almost same.India is nowhere near them.Why to comment when you have not understood things.
by arungopal agarwal (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 01:38 PM | Hide replies
An indisciplined country cannot be compared to disciplined one. China at least has wondered world with its population policy, lesser corruption within China, better employment, which we are lacking even after 65 yers of independence. Who stops to whom to bring such discipline in life. Only Govt. at centre are responsible for such mess.
by Ajai Jacob (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 01:24 PM | Hide replies
People have been predicting China's collapse since long time saying their growth story is not sustainable,their market economics is wrong etc,etc.But China has grown so strong,becoming even capable of challenging big boy US of A.
Now somebody may reply,just wait and watch,China will soon collapse and India will become superpower in 9 and half years.Hahaha.
Re: Wrong predictions
by loveleen (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 02:43 PM
keep dreaming!! .. BTW what calculations is that 9 abd half years?
by socrates singh (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 01:05 PM
well said Mr. Ganguly.
India needs to get moving and not search for excuses.
Heart rules brain
by ashok kumar (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 12:40 PM
Heart rules brain in India.....
Result 1) We are Bade Dilwale(big hearted)
2) We are poor
by Ajai Jacob (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 12:59 PM
Unable to accept the truth,many people are becoming liars.The success of communist China is difficult to digest for many.
Heavily populated countries like India and China need ruthless systems like communism for fast-track development.Democracy is ok for low-populated countries like USA.Intelligent chinese understood this fact long back.This is the reason for China's development.
India may become a superpower in 200 years,but China is already one.
Kuch paane ke liye kuch khona padta hai.Indians were not ready to lose their freedoms(like producing any number of children)for rapid development.So suffer under pseudo-democracy.
CHINESE ARE LIARS
by ajith sudhakaran (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:57 AM | Hide replies
The chinese economy grew by only 3% last quarter while they lied that it was 7.5%, This data is from the reliable market guru, Mark Faber on Bloomberg, other factors like low inflation, stockpiling of copper and crude, slump in electricity demand all point to this.India with 5.6% growth despite all the probs is much better,
Re: Re: CHINESE ARE LIARS
by ajith sudhakaran (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 01:02 PM
We forget the fact that the Chinese are able to lie about their GDP growth percentage precisely because they are communist, while India cannot do the same, The Chinese are worried that with the lower value of the Rupee and Greater percentage GDP growth, most FDI will start flowing into India and other emerging economies, its as simple as that, Just wait and watch, in another 10 years India will have overtaken Chins in economy size.
This Ganguly himself is a short little COWARD
by Dev Gupta (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:47 AM | Hide replies
In debates with Pakitanis & Kashmiri Jihadis he regularly gives ground
Indian use Heart instead of Brain.
by Tushar Roy (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:44 AM | Hide replies
Indian use Heart instead of Brain.
? No education
? Early marriage.
? Production of children in quantity and not in quality.
Only country in the world to crush religious fundamentalist viz; Islamist.
why no news on assam
by free trade (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:41 AM | Hide replies
why no news on Assam. Hindus are being kil.led by the cong govt's muzlm rowd.ies. more than 21 people died.
Re: why no news on assam
by free trade (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:45 AM
as if no one is bothered unless your dear ones are but.ch.ered!
by Nikus Kumar (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:39 AM
Indias population density is huge and had it been controlled, we would have been in progress path
by Ravi (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:21 AM | Hide replies
India can not become China.
India is democratic country and here political leadership is most corrupt who always makes one or other issue to hamper progress of the country. Moreover, most of the people in India has political mindset.
by sunil (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:26 AM
indus are cowards ... happy to be ruled by foreign power...
NE should join with China who can protect them from infiltrators
by Dragon Heart (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:06 AM | Hide replies
NE should join with China who can protect them from the Bangldeshi infiltrators. India is only busy with vote bank politics .
China will prosper because...
by neeru sharma (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 10:59 AM | Hide replies
....it doesn't have gems like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Sharad Pawar, A Raja, Kalmadi and many more !!!
Re: China will prosper because...
by Venugopalan (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:07 AM
NO you are totally wrong, China do not have any opposition parties, what the Government decides, it implements, there is no democracy in China...in China you wont' be free to air your opinion..
Re: Re: China will prosper because...
by neeru sharma (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:13 AM
A girl in Jharkhand was on TV the other day saying that she will eat tomorrow because it is her brother's turn today ! I wonder if she needs food or democracy !!!
Re: Re: Re: China will prosper because...
by madan menon (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:17 AM
it is because of bad food grains distribution management..thousands of tons of wheat and other grains are rotting in Food Corporation godowns but it is a tragedy that people are going hungry without one time meal...
Re: China will prosper because...
by sunil (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 11:28 AM
china has many A rajas... but they have will to develop... no policy paralysis.. no court rulings...
Re: Re: China will prosper because...
by prashant sinha (View MyPage) on Jul 24, 2012 12:31 PM
China has many A Rajas...Where did you get this information. Have you have made any investigation or is your thinking merely a cut and paste churning of propaganda coming from the mainstream corporate media of this country.The standard of living enjoyed by the average Chinese is way ahead of what an average Indian can even think of.All the degrading statistics of the world are linked to India in some way or the other. And whatever is left as a residue for the average Indian is also at the mercy of corruption which has a universal presence in this country.So even the residue of benefits that this system dishes out for the deprived is at the mercy of corrupt.Another interesting facet of this thinking is to divorce the concept of democracy from the basics of life that is the birthright of every individual. It is indeed a cunning way to circumvent the failure of the system which lavishly indulges in self praise which otherwise is in need of urgent surgery.