Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Billion Reasons to Care

Here's a feel-good streaming video clip on India hosted by Diane Sawyer. Tom Friedman's sound-byte captures the essence: "you're seeing 50 years of pent-up aspirations ... if you want to know what India feels like shake a champagne bottle for an hour - remove the cork ... you don't want to be in the way of that cork ... ". Or Freidman again: "to me India is a miracle".The host on education in India - "education is like a form of worship. Parents will skip meals for the kids to go to private school".


doubtinggaurav said...


Interesting video,

But if I may say so I feel a bit queasy at this exuberance and euphoria.
Ofcourse I am hardly an economist (and by nature pessimist)but still my gut feeling is that with reforms stalled till 2009, our economy is on autopilot.
If there are any external upheavels or worse if the professional bleediing hearts in present dispension manage to roll back reforms then India is in a bad time.
Bottom line is while competitors are catching up, we are still shuffling.


libertarian said...

dg: disagree that we're in autopilot till 2009. In some cases we're rushing forward - in others, backward. Even if I accept your auto-pilot assertion, sustainable 7.5%-8% given our size and diversity is a mind-boggling achievement. In any case (as one interviewee said on the clip) the Indian people are working at a frenetic pace while the Indian government sleeps. We're probably better off with benign neglect by the government in most areas (except infrastructure and defense) than having their paws all over the common man's dreams.

doubtinggaurav said...


I disagree with your disagreement :-)

I only wish that government was benignly neglectful.
Unless unfriendly labour rules, bynzatine bureacratic processes and multiple tax regimes are reformed, there is a real chance of slipping back to Nehruvian rate of growth*.


* You said that I am a right wing, so I have to take cheap shots at dear Chacha ;-)

libertarian said...

dg: let's agree to disagree. I don't believe the common Indian (wo)man will surrender his/her freedom without a fight. Presume you feel that government still has the power to snatch that freedom away.

Arvind Iyer said...

Atanu Dey had put up a link for this video quite a while back..
Frankly, it's load of bulls* - satiated with india-stereotypes, and effectively painting a skewed picture - that a Farid, living amongst rats, while sending SMS's, will steal your jobs because he'll work more, eat less, and be as servile as required...
They say Indian media sucks...I guess American media sucks harder !

libertarian said...

arvind: I thought the tone was overwhelmingly positive. I'd rather focus on the SMS part of Fareed walking over rats and sending SMS's. Also, ABC's got to sell it's news - SMS's being sent by the elite of Malabar Hill won't do that. Seems like the larger message was that Indians are "people like us" - noisy, chaotic, ambitious and _free_.

Anonymous said...

Is this true??

Jaffna said...


India will need to something about its infrastructure though i.e. roads, railway, power and urban planning. The infrastructure in Mumbai - which should be the Shanghai of India - is over stretched and falling apart from what I hear. Private provision of infrastructure with cost recovery and Government relegated to a regulatory roll might help in certain instances.



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