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Updated: April 10, 2013 03:39 IST

Rahul Gandhi’s dragon cliché

Ananth Krishnan
Comment (47)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

The Congress vice-president would do well to ponder why China has outperformed India on every social and economic indicator

In his speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on April 4, 2013, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said his advisers had told him to “not go into the India-China cliché.” Mr. Gandhi should have paid heed to them. For the heir-apparent of a major political party — and a possible prime ministerial candidate — Mr. Gandhi, during his more than an hour-long interaction, came across as worryingly ill-informed about a country that is not only India’s biggest neighbour and single largest trading partner, but also set to emerge as possibly India’s most important, and difficult, diplomatic challenge in the next decade.

“There is no complexity in China,” he declared, going on to present an anecdote which, he suggested, reflected life in the People’s Republic. “A friend of mine who came from China, an Italian guy, was in shock,” he recounted. “He said, ‘I was in a bus in China. A bus hit a man. The driver picked up the man, put him on the side of the road and we carried on’.” “There is no complexity there,” Mr. Gandhi concluded. “Simple, [China] is.”

Mr. Gandhi used this rather strange anecdote to make the claim that as India and China were fundamentally different countries, their development experiences and growth stories could not be compared. Hit-and-run incidents are no more commonplace in China than they are in India, and arriving at a simple conclusion about a billion people based on the testimony of one foreign visitor would be a misguided venture in either country

“There are two types of systems, centralised and decentralised,” he argued. “China is a centralised system. They call it, the dragon. You can see it, it is very clear. It is big, it is powerful, it builds big structures that are visible.” India, he went on to say, was “a beehive.” His apparent argument was that unlike China’s centralised and organised development model, India’s growth story was entirely a bottom-up process driven by creative energy and the spirit of entrepreneurship, and not by the state.

The real lesson

There was much about Mr. Gandhi’s rather sweeping and simplistic characterisation of what he called the “India-China cliché” that does not bear scrutiny. The argument that a decentralised democracy slows development and hinders the delivery of good governance, and that China’s remarkable growth story over the past three decades was more the result of a strong one-party state than any other factor, has been made frequently — including by China’s own ruling Communist Party, as well as sections of India’s business elite with cases of China-envy.

This is despite the fact that the widely popular perception of China’s economic development being the outcome of an entirely top-down, State-driven, centralised process has been disproven by compelling evidence to the contrary. The ubiquitous caricature of China’s growth story — decades of double-digit growth and rapid State-led infrastructure development driven by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and a thriving export sector — is limited to the country’s experience in the 1990s. As economists such as Huang Yasheng of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and others have pointed out, China’s growth story began a decade earlier in the 1980s preceding the infrastructure boom.

As Mr. Huang has argued convincingly, growth in the 1980s was as much “bottom-up” as “top-down,” driven by rural entrepreneurs who benefited from the loosening of State controls, more liberal policies and decentralisation. China’s record of reducing poverty, Mr. Huang has shown, was the highest during the 1980s, when the number of poor fell by 154 million. The following decade of FDI-led growth saw a reduction in the number of poor by a relatively fewer 62 million. China’s growth in the 1980s was underpinned by investments in human capital — in boosting health care and education. That, according to Mr. Huang, is the real lesson from China’s growth story – not a superficial fascination with skyscrapers and high GDP.

India and China certainly have vastly different political systems. A strong party-state has, no doubt, allowed China to enact policies rapidly. Yet, one-party rule has also imposed huge burdens on China’s development. Mao Zedong’s disastrous Great Leap Forward of the late 1950s, which claimed more than 30 million lives, and the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), set China back by at least a few decades. Today, China’s political model is seen, even in Beijing, as stifling innovation and creative industries. No sensible person would suggest following China’s authoritarian model, which would have no place in India’s diverse and plural society — a stark contrast from China’s Han-dominated society which offers far from adequate protection to minorities.

Comparing social indicators

Mr. Gandhi was, however, wrong to dismiss out of hand the lessons from China’s growth story, and to simply attempt to explain away India’s development problems using questionable assumptions, rather than put forward new ideas or a vision for the future. Mr. Gandhi, correctly, mounted a passionate defence of India’s pluralistic and democratic political system. But implicit in his comments was the troubling suggestion that the expectations of people in decentralised, “beehive” India could not be held to the same levels as those in centralised, authoritarian China. Foreigners who were “driven crazy” by India’s chaos could succeed in doing business “even on the moon” if they succeeded in India, he said almost proudly, rather than suggest how he might perhaps help improve the environment for business and investment.

He would do well to ponder why China has done far better in providing its people with basic necessities, why China continues to outperform India on every social indicator; and most importantly, and why the gap between both countries has widened — and not narrowed — following a decade of the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) rule. According to the United Nations Human Development Report, China is far ahead of India on social indicators ranging from life expectancy (73.7 years against 65.8), mean years of schooling (7.5 years against 4.4), adult literacy (94 per cent against 74 per cent), under-five mortality (19 per 1,000 against 66) and maternal mortality (38 per 100,000 against 230).

Mr. Gandhi has, as yet, not put forward any concrete vision for addressing India’s many domestic challenges, let alone those on the external front. While he acknowledged China’s rising national power in his speech, he offered no ideas as to how India should respond to the challenge even as China continues to spread its economic and political influence, including in India’s neighbourhood.

Instead, he appeared almost content with a notion of “Indian power” that was reflected in the fact that “there are people doing yoga in New York, dancing around” and that “you go to a nightclub somewhere in Spain and there is Amitabh Bachchan on the screen, dancing around.” Mr. Gandhi would do well to pay closer attention to a country that India will have no choice but to engage with increasingly, as the world’s second-largest economy and a neighbour that cannot be wished away. The work of economists like Mr. Huang, rather than the unreliable testimony of an Italian tourist on a bus, might perhaps be a good place to start.

ananth.krishnan@thehindu.co.in

More In: Comment | Opinion

Rahul Gandhi's comments and observation about China is SPOT ON
CORRECT! The author of this column Ananth Krisnan is entitled to his
opinion but should not be arrogant and belittle Rahul Gandhi's view.
Rahul came across as a gentleman, down to earth, democratic, and
sensible to everyone who were prepared to hear him keeping their
individual biases aside. Though I'm not a fan of him subtle, neutral,
dispassionate and idealistic stance, I do recognize that these
qualities are very essential in a great leader. Rahul has miles to go
but I'm happy he is not arrogant, dictatorial, disrespectful and does
not have the egoistic traits that Modi exhibits.

from:  R D'souza
Posted on: Apr 12, 2013 at 12:52 IST

I believe Rahul Gandhi knows what he's talking about. His is experience gained first hand by working up and down the hierarchy.
Of course China is "simple" it is monolithic, ruled mostly by one emperor at a time for the most part of the past 4000 years, speak two dialects between a billion people. For that matter Britain is simple, Germany is simple even USA is.
Compare that with India - it's not just complex culturally and linguistically but even ethnically and several other factors.
The author stands guilty of the "folly" Rahul is being accused of. The article is skewed without attestation to any facts.
China is the manufacturing capital of the world; if you were to talk about innovation look at their airports, look at Beijing Olympics, look at Lenovo, look at Shanghai. Russia fought a war with China in 1969 yet China and Russia are #1 friends in all of the east.
Before Bacchan or yoga, there was Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan.

from:  Ajay
Posted on: Apr 11, 2013 at 17:15 IST

Saratchandran hit the nail on the head on the basic and essential premise for those in
charge of the affairs of the country, namely patriotism and love of country and its people.
China success story stems from this premise that in spite of its one party centralized rule, the
basic needs of the people are taken care of and the administration is alive and responsive to
problems that come up including tackling corruption at the higher levels. It goes without
saying that China also holds its own against the powerful West in its unyielding projection of
its long term interests.

from:  Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 22:49 IST

We forget one important difference among st our countries - RELIGION.
And that the Chinese had only one real 'opposition' - poverty. Their
leaders and people cooperated together, so the country prospered.
In Indian democracy, however, religion has been the big spoiler. The
opposition party has always been religious ( or casteist ), and the
rulers ( Congress ) spend most of its energies, fire-fighting the
negative effects of the religious hatred spread by the religious, non
progressive, opposition.
In short, we have all frittered away our collective energies, because
of our religious / casteist baggage.

from:  Parthasarathy
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 20:57 IST

We are reading Ananth Krishnan's opinion and not of 'The Hindu'.If INC
has been in power it is not their fault, if communists have been in
power in China it is entirely to their credit. That is the difference
between India and China.

from:  Kerala Varma
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 20:45 IST

There is no much substance in this article to publish it in OP Ed apart from criticizing Rahual Gandi a leader too reluctant to lead, knowing his ability. When ever he says anything the hyper intellectuals in this country find humpty number of fault. But the truth is he is the only plain speaking poltitician in this country. Most of the other politicians just playing to gallery. The most important truth is India need a high calibre leader and as on today no one seems to be around.

from:  D Sivaprahasam
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 20:34 IST

My suggestion to my friends are please refrain from destructive
criticism. We are always blaming somebody for what we are not by
comparing China's progress. In India's case, we had Pakistan from 1948
onwards trying to destroy our economy with the help of Western
powers. Never under estimate others, there are countries who want
India to be weak and powerless. We are on the way up and we must try
to fasten the progress by constructive process. Both China & India
were great powers. The people & media has to be constructive so that
we can regain our lost position in the world.

from:  Thomas Abraham
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 20:00 IST

Yes! Krishnan is right in challenging Rahul to come down to Indian earth and try to objectively understand what ticks or doesn't tick the subcontinent and its growth and factor development,since 1947.

As an old student of the subcontinent, and its 1962 border war or conflict with mainland China, I'd suggest, for a really serious understanding of the Dragon, it is more significant to observe why Soviet Union broke-up while Mao's vision of Chinese Tiger survived.

Human development factors are not only relevant but absolutely critical to an understanding of why India is (now) objectively going backwards - while its Plutocracy is enjoying the all the benefits.

Rahul is a poor caricature of a cartoon, if he really thinks China's growth and development is essentially a factor of centralism. That's not only simplistic but deceiving, me thinks.

from:  dr. hari naidu
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 19:15 IST

No. of people who not are aware of Rahul Gandhi's IQ < No. of people who
haven't heard of Ra.One. Apparently, the author seems to be in minority,
else he would not expect anything insightful from Rahul Gandhi.

from:  Harsh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 19:01 IST

A brilliant analysis. There are a number of Indian companies doing very well in China. Corruption is not so rampant in China. Look at NIIT, they are thriving in China.

from:  Nathan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 18:51 IST

Rahul Gandhi is right and wrong.He is right when he says that India's deep rooted democracy always slows own the pace and structure of reforms unlike China that can steamroll over any opposition.He is wrong when he says that more powers and authority should be delegated to Panchayat level.This rural romance is the root cause of all Indian ills,social as well as political.People living in villages do not see the larger picture and are constrained with their lack of understanding the finer economic nuances.It can also be argued that China may have created so much underutilized infrastructure that for the next ten years all that it needs to do is to utilize it, but that is an option the leaders cannot take because they continuously have to keep dissidence under control.Even India's worse social indicators can be called better than China's because here at least people can vent their anger during polls and hence feel powerful despite all their miseries.

from:  Ajay Singh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 16:38 IST

Dear Sir,Comparing China, India has a lot of merits to be proud of. India - a greatest grass root democracy in the world and has every kind of resources to out perform other nations. There is no other country in the world that is so open and culturally and religiously as multifarious as India. And indeed an ‘Indian power’ is out there. But something has always put a bridle on her march. The patriots have yet to realize the underlying cause of India’s lagging in every social indicator. Whereas a large section of people in Indian has been always condemned to unending social injustice. The cultural fabric of our country has been woven with Eugenics. A majority of people’s religious thought has been remained subservient to this idea. This explains why China continuous to outperform India in every social indicator, even though India has more prowess.

from:  N E Haque
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 15:34 IST

India lags behind because Indian leaders like Rahul Gandhi and his ancestors of same Royal lineage thinks that appeasing and populism will keep them in power. By giving free goodies to poor/not so poor people near election. Wasting public money of wasteful schemes like PDS, Cash transfer,reservations and NREGA which itself promotes lethargy in common man but yes creates a good will because a man gets free food and job without any hardwork. While BJP did hard reforms which usually displeases people like removing a slum, removing encroachment for highways but in the end improves infrastructure and promote good trade. On these reforms UPA survived high growth but their same old agenda of free goodies for power didn't go away. It is still the old bogus Bottom up approach is still here along with corruption, lethargy, bogus schemes and inactive police.

from:  harshvardhan Sharma
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 14:44 IST

Excellent analysis by the author. I wish he had appreciated Rahul on parts of the speech that he liked. Why? In that case, Rahul might've taken note of this excellent piece.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 14:36 IST

The Hindu seems to have taken it upon itself to criticize everything Rahul G has to say.My
point is , what does Narendra. Modi have to offer.His so called Gujarat model of
development is a myth, built by the band of businessman sponsoring his candidature for
PM.He preaches to the central government, what he does not practise in his own state
government, but your newspaper has nothing to say about this hypocrisy.

from:  Grenville
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 13:42 IST

He must have checked his facts before he commented about China. China is becoming a super power They have grown leaps and bounds in all the sectors. Soon, China will change the world order. Rahul must not make the same mistake his Grandfather ( Nehru) had made.

from:  SOUNDIRARAJAN KALYANARAMAN
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 13:41 IST

Rahul Gandhi have no ideas that can change India. In last 9 years his
government have created only an environment of scams and policy
paralysis. He should answer why UPA I and II had failed miserably in
good governance, rather to speak like a NSU member.

from:  Hariprasad
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:59 IST

It is true that "Mr. Gandhi has, as yet, not put forward any concrete vision for addressing India’s many domestic challenges, let alone those on the external front". But how can he even understand the multifarious problems the country faces when he does not have the necessary academic attainments or sufficiently long experience in governance? There are no born administators or managers. They have to work themselves up to that position through academic preparation and gaining experience thrugh years of hard work at lower levels of administration, It is only after getting high academic qualifications and passing with high honours the stiff IAS examination and interview does a person become even a senior district administrator.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:55 IST

He decends from Nehru, one of the greatest statesmen -philosopher-politician India can ever see. His grasp of International and National politics is astounding. I am sorry, Congress can never produce any one like him ever again.

from:  Aswin
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:29 IST

There is no question of comparison between India and China.They are as
different as day and night.Responsibility comes first in the way of a
democratic country ,authority comes later.There are a few challenges
before India but we cannot tackle our problems as the way China does.We
cannot adopt china model.For example,we cannot run Family Planning
Policy of China in Our country.
we first need to tackle the problem of corruption,black money and
illiteracy. Afterall development is the end result of hardwork.

from:  nikhil nandan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:00 IST

For all those who love/praise China I have a simple request. I live in Hyderabad. Here every street has a temple / mosque / cremation ground / houses right in the middle of it. Can anyone of your columnists / comments givers tell how to remove these? Hint: Consider that you are living in that house for two three generations. And the land given in lieu will be about 20 kms from where you stay.

from:  C. Nandkishore
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:56 IST

In this article, writer has pointed out rightly that inspite of the fact that UPA has been at the helm for almost 10 years now, but has not been able to demonstrate the same effect, which according to Mr. Gandhi, China has demonstrated ostensibly due to the one party rule. If that were the case,UPA government should have made an impact in a positive sense on the country's economic front rather than be in the limelight for its corrupt front.
It has been 65 years since independence and congress has been at the helm for more than 40 years. If that were the case about one party rule which Mr.Gndhi was talking about, then India should have been somewhere close to China in GDP growth front!

from:  Sahil Bhatia
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:51 IST

The direct&blatant answer is irrespective of ideology chinese politicians are true patriots whereas here all visible political parties practice pseudo patriotism to loot for their personal gains.

from:  ramachandrasekaran
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:28 IST

I must say though that it wasn't just about his views on China that
reflected naivety, his entire speech was an epitome of immaturity. I am not sure about of him
becoming the PM but he can certainly champion the cause of creating
insensible and laughable political statements. The credit, however,
must go to Digvijay Singh, his mentor who has done a brilliant job in
shaping him, and therefore he can now ask for a promotion from the
high command.

from:  Neeraj Jha
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 11:24 IST

Freedom without discipline is Chaos and Discipline without freedom is Tyranny. Yes it is Chaotic in India - A beehive is Chaotic - but we enjoy freedom unlike our Authoratarian neighbour. Can the writer even imagine writing an article like this in China and get it published.

from:  Joseph Raja Samuel
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:59 IST

Don't understand why The Hindu has to publish everything Rahul has to say . This is open secret that his knowledge of India and Indian culture / social issues is just second hand. Is it possible for The hindu to stop giving him too much space than he really deserves.

from:  Avinash Baranwal
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:50 IST

For RG its would have been better is he had called in sick instead of giving the speech.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:49 IST

Such a meaningful analysis! Thank you Ananth Krishnan.

from:  Ajay Mishra
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:36 IST

Comparing Indian and Chinese social and economic development indices points up
one clear indicator: India grapples with "democratic" tugs-of-war at every turn,
every proposed project. China, on the other hand, works by decree from the
Communist Party policies. India is often (not always) deterred by public dissent.
China practices "Tiananmen Square" on dissenters. Mega -projects just develop
overnight.
Both have large "Parliaments". India has innumerable political parties to TRY to force
its governments at all levels to heel. China just rules by dictat.
Dictatorships,(even of the proletariat), are efficient. Lumbering democracies are slow.
I don't want to live under a dictatorship, but history is replete with accounts of
dictatorships: ruthless, but efficient.
Democracies , as practised, are not necessarily all benevolent, but they their gears
grind slowly.
Dictatorships work--- until they meet sudden and violent extermination.

from:  nanda kumaran
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:34 IST

We forget History. China is/ was a great country - culture,
civilisation, hard working people. Today they are No1 in hardware/
manufacturing / skilled labour.Every product you see have their name.
No 1 in population, area. Such a country has to be our friend , not
enemy - then most of our external problems will be solved. US - Canada
model.We do not have threat from US, European, such distant
countries. Only the neighbours. China should be the key for our
external problems. British have rewritten the boundaries of many
countries under their rule for their own reasons / convenience. We
should not too much harp on them.India was a big nation, one country
from which century? A friendly China could ultimately benefit India
and our people. An unfriendly neighbour cannot do anything good to
individuals or nations - that too a powerful neighbour. Old landlord
mentality, let us change. Anybody, who think, China has to be
neglected,is doing disservice to the nation.

from:  Gopalan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:25 IST

A timely article from you AK. Some one with good knowledge about China and India when presenting the contrasting story of India and China is more convincing than the layman shallow talk of this political novice. I am concerned what will be the state of our growth if accidentally such people become the PM of this country! We need people from the grass roots who have gone through the rumble and tumble of harsh life in India to lead us. Only then the citizens can dream to achive high standards of life. There are tens if not hundreds of such capable people in every political party. Sadly, none dare even to dream to become the party leader. Leadership is not given it is grasped. If no one attempt at it then it become a very easy dynastic rule for some.

from:  Ayyappa
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 10:14 IST

Rahul has to realise that until the death of Mao, China was closed shop and no information was available. After Mao, Deng-Tsio-Ping was a supreme leader for a few years and opened up the country's economic system. After Deng the leader elected by the Central Committee has a tenure of only 10 years. Deng's reforms led to the booming economy, near full employment, Olympics, Asian Games, massive structures, roads etc. Corruption has been very low key and the corrupt are punished swiftly. Labour reforms, healh and welfare measures, emancipation of women, human rights and democracy has been put in the back burner not to be looked at before 2050.
In India, we are dependent on one family to pull us out of the pits, while the family (4 generations and now the fifth) has been instrumental to a great extent to dig the pits for the country. It is not the family at fault here but the country.
Corruption is encouraged and the corrupt are protected here.

Verdict - Don't compare.

from:  Mani Sandilya
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 09:58 IST

Ananth Krishnan is right in advising our leaders that they should pay greater heed to Chinese economists like Huang than to the lazy cliches of China watchers. However, it should be remembered that Chinese intellectuals offer opinions according to the prevailing political wind. It is the political fashion in China today to pretend that their modern history started only in the Deng period, just as it was the fashion in the Mao days to pretend that everything had changed after 1949. The great economic upsurge of the 1980s in China could not have happened without the process of 'latent development' in the previous period when the rural masses were empowered to think, plan, and protest, and learn by making mistakes, though many of these involved costly sacrifices. It is this process of bottom-up empowerment that Indian leaders have hesitated to support despite the existence of the 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution which explicitly demands it.

from:  vithal rajan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 09:52 IST

China has made rapid economic transformation ever since it adopted market principles in its economic system. While India squanders funds in the name of employment guarantee schemes, PDS, subsidies on diesel and so on China make concrete investments in infrastructure development, education and health sectors. The result is there for everyone to see. Both Congress and BJP has to learn from this.

from:  P V Rajeev
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 09:46 IST

This article is right on the point. We need a more articulate and thinking leader, not the one who generalizes everything into a too simple concept, to face the "unstoppable" Modi, who relishes to speak about everything with a flavor of fascist pride. If China is a centralized one-part ruled state, at best, India can be called a centralized democracy, and it would do well to decentralize its power from boulevards of Delhi to its people.

from:  Kusy
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 09:43 IST

Again treating rahul with kid gloves. the writer had to write this for Rahul " Mr. Gandhi, correctly, mounted a passionate defence of India’s pluralistic and democratic political system. But implicit in his comments was the troubling suggestion that the expectations of people in decentralised, “beehive” India could not be held to the same levels as those in centralised, authoritarian China".
I dont see the other side being represented in editorials, op-ed's when hindu writes about modi..why no other view on modi, now that is a million dollar question.

from:  aniket
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 09:42 IST

The author forgot to mention the sweat shops, deplorable working conditions of
workers and tyranny of the communist regime in China. Do you think the quality of
life for a common man in China is better than that of a common man in India? There
is hardly any free press there. Well, even though many news agencies are chamchas
of Congress govt in India, there still is some freedom of information left and
exhibited by honest citizens on social media. Mr.Krishnan do you mean to say that
dictatorship is better than democracy? Sure there are politicians who are corrupt in
India but don't you think these opportunists would thrive even under a dictator and
quality of life in India would become even worse if it is under a suppressive and
ruthless communist dictatorial regime?

from:  Baburao
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 07:47 IST

Did Mao's son and grandson lead China after Mao's death? Well that's a factor in comparing the two countries.

from:  s.s.verma
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 07:36 IST

Chinese expressed their patriotism in developing and projecting their country with great pride to the envy of others, while the Indian political class were busy lining theirs and their cronies' pockets with little regard for the nation. The nation for them has been a place to enrich themselves at any cost! One does not need to be Dr. Livingstone to make the diagnosis of the problem but the cure is a long wait, unfortunately. The uninformed and fatalistic voters take it as their 'Karma' and forgive the rotten lot and vote them back in office to continue the business as usual!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 07:21 IST

Rahul Gandhi is a confused man. Regrettably, his exalted position in
the dynasty and the party prevents him from realising this and
sycophants do the rest. His classification of life in China as
simple, in apparent contradistinction to that in India, based on the
anecdote is a revelation. If dragging and leaving an accident victim
by the roadside and proceeding merrily on is a "simple" solution, then
by those parameters, it is India that is simple, as the drivers here
are more prone to keep running than stop and do even that. It is
obvious he has to do a lot of learning on life. No one could have
forgotten the recent incident in a city in China where an accident
victim was lying at the accident spot crying for relief and hundreds
of pedestrians and vehicles passed closely by without any one lifting
a finger to help. More than his appalling lack of knowledge on China,
the choice of illustration starkly shows ignorance.

from:  N.S.Rajan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 07:08 IST

Politicians often speak in metaphors and innuendos for self-serving
purpose. Rahul Gandhi is smart enough to know the underlying causes of
India's backwardness. India has been a victim of corruption and
social-injustice unlike any large democracy. Why doesn't he address
this? Anna Hazare and his followers have come to the right conclusions
but the corrupt political oligarchy is not going to give-up any time
soon. The best thing to happen to India is its democracy. One can only
hope that a new political order emerges soon when political parties
derive their strength from the grass-roots political processes rather
than from political dynasties and big money. India's enjoys huge
advantages vis-a-vis China given its younger population, wide use of
English language, and a thriving democracy. But a system based on
corrupt political machinery, divisive politics, and entrenched
political dynasties would remain a drag on India's aspirations.

from:  Bijay Jayaswal
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 06:44 IST

Rahul's speech was much more than what being projected here. The article
is biased one, it doesn't reflect the balanced approach.

from:  rajesh chauhan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 06:35 IST

Based on his vast tours in rural India Shree Rahul should have first concern for the poor and firm commitment to ameliorate their lives through implementation of social welfare programs with transparency and good governance and accountability to the people of this country. He must initiate full review of our constitution and election system and introduce changes to suit our socio-economic conditions after studying constitution and election systems of other countries, in particular the USA and Germany. India has plethora of reports of innumberable expert committees, working groups, commissions relating to education, health, agriculture, credit, infrastructure, transport, communication, among others. Why committeess after committees appointed and no concrete actions are initiated to help alleviate poverty, improve employment generation through asset creation and capacity building rather than rural-urban divide and rich becoming richer and poor becoming poorer?

from:  Dr Amrit Patel
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 06:03 IST

The magnitude of ignorance portrayed is such that there is no merit in
even writing an article to discuss it.

from:  Anand Ramachandran
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 04:31 IST

People make gaffes, and when a PM-candidate, without a strong track
record, makes too many gaffes in public, it does not advance his
candidature - that message is coming out loud and clear.

But what worries the citizens more is that, the above is against a
background of performance-shortfalls in every govt dept, particularly
the economy, alongside mind-boggling national plunder and unbearable
corruption, which have seriously eroded human values and damaged
society.

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 04:23 IST

I think if RAHUL GANDHI reads this article he will not be able to apprehend, about what the article is referring to. The actual problem lies here.We are keen to impose the central power and responsibility to someone who is least bothered about the issues at hand.He was inconclusive about the defeat in UP election as to why despite his glamorous appearance he was not able to garner enough confidence of masses.His speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on April 4, 2013 was similar to the speeches he usually delivered at UP on elections

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 03:17 IST

A great example of India lacking quality leadership at the top. We are not even hoping for visionaries who will imagine the impossible and try to take us there, we need leaders with basic intelligence where they don't throw away what we have learned during this growth period and comeup with a completely ridiculous utopian idea. We have a lot to learn from the China's growth story which include the good and the bad. Government should be the enabler for higher growth with business friendly policies, building quality infrastructure, easing the financing, etc. What we have unfortunately is a government spending the higher revenues on populous schemes and pampering to some sections of the population. We don't have much to show after a decade of high GDP growth? I don't know if the story would have been any different had it been any other party ruling the country. I think we deserve better than these mediocre politicians!!

from:  Sridhar Reddy
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 03:08 IST
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