What’s right with India
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)
Whenever I pick up a newspaper or a magazine — especially The Economist — I keep reading pieces about whatâ€™s wrong with India. Corruption is rampant, the infrastructure, what there is of it, is falling to bits, the government is senile and feeble and the economy is flagging — and so on. All of which may be true — but it rather depends on your perspective.
I live in Europe. Well, I live in Britain. Â Thatâ€™s not quite right either. I live in London. And I can tell you that the perspective on India from Europe or Britain, or even London, doesnâ€™t look all that bad. In fact, from where Iâ€™m standing, it looks quite good.
Look at us.
The Euro? Donâ€™t ask. Indebtedness? Everywhere. Growth? Forget it. Itâ€™s negative. In other words, weâ€™re going backwards. Corruption and incompetence? Look at the banking sector. Morale? Dreadful. Leadership? There isnâ€™t any. Yes, Iâ€™m talking about Europe, the worldâ€™s biggest and richest trading area — still.
India manages to have fourteen, or is it sixteen, major languages, and it still sticks together; Europe has about the same number, maybe a few more, but itâ€™s starting to fall apart.
In India, most people know that the sum is greater than the parts. In Europe, we donâ€™t seem to know that. Itâ€™s a lesson we still have to learn.
Yes, Europe is still the most diverse and diverting place on earth. Yes, Britain is Great, at least thatâ€™s what the governmentâ€™s current advertising campaign tells us.
And, yes, London truly is having a wonderful year — culturally rich, creatively amazing. And, yes, we have the Olympics — a mixed blessing — although the weatherâ€™s foul.
But I can tell you that, from where Iâ€™m standing, under an umbrella in London, thereâ€™s a lot more right than wrong with India.