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Monday, September 11, 2006



"The recent announcements - ... - reflect the allure of selling cars to every echelon of an increasingly affluent society."

Right, that's the view from some posh office in Bombay, maybe. But, like China, there is not sufficient attention being given to India’s backwater and the millions that are suffering abject poverty.

The worst possible thing for a developing nation to do is to have a dual-speed economy - which creates a social fracture that separates widely the haves and the have-nots. I am not a Marxist, but growth must be handled such that all move up the economic scale and not just a comparatively select few. The menace is very real, particularly if not seen early enough.

Why did both the Indians and the Chinese embark upon their revolutions were it not based upon the obvious class differences that existed in their countries, the Raj in India and the Boxers in China? Both were anti-colonial movements, admittedly. But the underlying sentiment was common in both instances – the great disparity of well-being between the classes. The same can happen today, powered by the same volatility that existed then.

Both India and China must be careful about seeking "leadership" in any aspect of a modernized economy - until they can show that modernization is benefiting all and not just some.


India's economy is roughly 700B. Perfectly equitable distribution of income would result in every one having 700 dollars. That still amounts to a pretty pathetic survival. How about we bake the pie before we start distributing it.


Patel: "How about we bake the pie before we start distributing it."

Just what sort of pie do you have in mind?

The one with meringue on top, or with ordinary apples?


Re Perla's comment:

It never ceases to amuse me to hear terms such as "social fracture" and "have and have-nots" as though all people in society are equal and have the same priorities and values, and thus any differences *must* be a direct consequence of external factors. I really wish life was that simple (as I could blame someone else for my sorry state of affairs..:))....


Anonymouse: "I really wish life was that simple (as I could blame someone else for my sorry state of affairs ..."

Me too. The sad fact is that life IS that simple, unless we try to drown the basic facts in intellectual camouflage.

The peoples of developed countries benefit from a standard of living and lifespan almost uniquely dependent upon economic development that most developing countries can only envy.

And emulate ... but only carefully. The indications that both China and India are creating serious social fractures are not my imagination. A blatant example: French television recently reported of a Chinese millionaire who has created a copy of the Chateau de Versailles as his personal residence at the modest sum of only 20M-€. (Even the chinaware has been copied.)

At the same time, numerous are the agencies reporting a serious breakdown of heath care services in the countryside as they are no longer uniformly funded by the state.

Should we care?

Not about the fact that a millionaire wants to spend his money on a childhood dream. That's his business. But, that China's remarkable economic growth has a growing appearance of being serious unbalanced? Well, yes. Especially, in light of the fact that China’s importance in the world economy is increasingly acknowledged as pivotal.

Make your own conclusions from the above for India. But, please, spare the bit about "life being not so simple" or that India is somehow a special case. It isn’t.

Anonymous; " ... and thus any differences *must* be a direct consequence of external factors."

Who should we blame them on ... Father Christmas?

The development of both India and China has been spurred by FDI. That's goodness. How each country manages its internal development is its sole concern, admittedly. But, neither is it relieved of scrutiny.


"A $25 million plant in the southern port of Madras will manufacture 1,000 of BMW's..."

Really? Just $25 million?

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