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IND,PAK,CHN: A perspective in differences

August 23, 2008

It is a cliched statement, that only generalisation one can make of India is that no generalisation can be made.
I like this statement.

But I think something absolutely fascinating is there in the water of this place, that makes this entire South Eastern Mainland a mish mash of contradictions and fascination. Three nations neighbours to each other, perhaps never made so much of an impact on the history of the world like the way they are doing today. And of course, this impact is powered by their inherent deeply ingrained differences among  them and between them. Which perhaps makes the jobs of historians and analysts a tad difficult.

Sample this: Pakistan’s constitution claims to be a secular state, but unfortunately the human rights of minorities has a dismal record. India claims to be a secular state and yet has fared particularly better than the rest of the world would claim to. And of course which brings us to China. Well, China is a secular state[not in the way that it is religion neutral but in the way that it is anti-religion], yet there are more inherent religious tensions going in China than China would like to admit.

And in these ways it is extremely difficult to gauge the needs and desires of these three nations which account for nearly 45% of the world population.

Pakistan: A country with almost no political or economic freedom

Pakistan has always been a very puzzling land. Before 9/11, it received a total of $1million per year from US. Yet, nothing much came up, on the forefront of industrialization or  human resource development. But what did come up was a lot of madrasas. And in the absence of a strong political clout, the power vacuum grew.

Economy very strangely, didn’t show any impetus of growth, though Pak was close to US. Very few renowned companies have set up their bases and almost none of them are Pak based. Intellectual higher middle class families chose emigration in favour of staying back. Job growth was low. Yet 911 happened to be almost a boon for its pathetic economy. Bush government put a lot of cards on Musharraf, around $11billion dollar worth of it, and the effect was visible. It registered a healthy growth. But Bush is gonna leave and the challenge is in keeping the continued growth it showed during these years. But in may ways I am not comfortable with this growth. It almost looks cosmetic to me, a bit hollow a tad celebrated. Well, Pak literally has no economic freedom. Monetary policy is also not something to be envious of. Especially when its riding on a falling horse-the dollar.

Political freedom. The less spoken the better. Common man, is indeed sidelined in politics than anywhere else. Its a story of two camps. Almost. Religious vs Secular. Military vs Civil. Corrupt vs Honest[and non existent].

There is an adage that, only those with money, fame and clout can pick up politics.Pakistan truly serves a perfect example of this.

India:A lot of Political freedom, very less economic

India is an exercise in futility. At one hand we have so much of political freedom, that anybody can start out a party and hope to garner some support. Be it filmstars[Chiranjeev, anyone?], students, honest politicians, corrupt politicians, quislings, oppurtunits. You have it. Perhaps so much of freedom is not good. I mean, look at it, its like there is a party for every single man, but none for an issue.

But economic freedom, well… thats another story. We do have some reforms here and there. A piece of freebie reform thrown here, thrown there, but largely India remains in the clutch of bureucracy and red tapism. Yes, some of them have been done away with, but a lot of it remains to be done. And I am pretty happy, that, we have done something out of it. Yet, it does look lame, when we are still fighting for issues which makes us look foolish. Take N-Deal for example. Take monetary reforms for example. I think the only proud thing for UPA govt was the Direct Market Access and Currency Futures. But by and large still we have a lot of things to do.

China: No Political Freedom, A lot of economic freedom

And when India comes into picture how can China stay away. [I think we are more obsessed about China than Chinese are] No, absolutely none of political freedom. One party vote. And yeah, you got to vote. Nothing much to talk about, other than quoting some strategic in house reports claiming the future of Chinese political system.

Well, economic freedom definitely much more than us and Pak combined. Reforms started by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, it has around a decade and a half of lead. Yuan futures being actively pushed forward while we just now started working on it. But yes, because of absent political freedom, the state ideal of communism has not been totally done away with. Startup activities are low, but exsitent. Industrilization is still done with quite a bit of help from Beijing’s supervision. Etcetra Etcetra Etcetra.

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