Monday, February 21, 2011

Last week Prof. Ya Li spoke about China. The Economist reported that China has now become No2 economy in terms of the size of GDP. The other behemoth shaping the world is India. Indians overtly or sub-consciously keep sizing up China on various parameters. They view China with awe when it comes to their economy and military power. They draw comfort from Westerner's admiration that India is a democracy and China is not. Perhaps, India's comparatively slower economic growth is the price that Indians pay for the cherished values of freedom, democracy etc that is driving revolutions in the Arab world through social media.
In the last couple of years, I have seen many conversations on the internet comparing India and China. One of them is by the alumni of Delhi School of Economics who despaired at India failing to catch up with China, and lamented the failure of Indian state and the bureaucracy to deliver to the Indians a quality of life comparable to that of China. In one of the conversations, a stray statement of Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate was picked up to justify certain claims about the two countries. Prof Sen promptly wrote an article clarifying his stance. The facts and views presented by him are thought provoking. Go to the link to read it.

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