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 what’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. That’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, doesn’t look all that bad. In fact, from where I’m standing, it looks quite good.
Look at us.
The Euro? Don’t ask. Indebtedness? Everywhere. Growth? Forget it. It’s negative. In other words, we’re going backwards. Corruption and incompetence? Look at the banking sector. Morale? Dreadful. Leadership? There isn’t any. Yes, I’m talking about Europe, the world’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 it’s starting to fall apart.
In India, most people know that the sum is greater than the parts. In Europe, we don’t seem to know that. It’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 that’s what the government’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 weather’s foul.
But I can tell you that, from where I’m standing, under an umbrella in London, there’s a lot more right than wrong with India.