India has a lot of advantage over China and will be having in the coming days. It need not go China ways.
- China’s economy should not be growing in the near future. That is on account of one child norm, reducing demograohic dividend, saturated World market, a huge inventory of raw materials and many other.
- China is a top-down system that failed in most countries but seems to have so far succeeded in China. This system has inherent disadvantages. A top-down coercive system may work for a while, but tends to backfire in the long-run. Coercion and the dictatorship of the conductor can produce good music; but truly great music requires personal freedom for individual players and trust between the conductor and the orchestra. The Chinese top-down system is so all-embracing that it may be impossible to dismantle. Like in so many countries through history, when there is some malfunctioning of such a system, the economy gets short shrift over political power preservation. And, therein lies India’s strength.
- Thanks to the India’s early commitment to democracy, openness and free media, it is now in a position to reap the benefits. Democratic norms with their traditions of freedom, and in particular the anonymous ballot, play an important role in bringing a lot of wrong turns to an end, as happened in the US and in India.
- India has a much better potential of becoming a soft power throughout the whole of the world in comparison to China. India has only leveraged this status in Yoga and to some extent in Ayurved. It needs to take it long way.
- terms of demographic dividend, India will be a country to look for and to use its youthful population. That is the trump card for India if India can educate, skill and value load its youthful population.
Source–Kaushik Basu in Indian Express and Happymon Jacob in The Hindu