Comments on: Going global in India’s chaotic way Perspectives on South Asian politics Thu, 02 Jun 2016 08:03:22 +0000 hourly 1 By: DaraIndia Mon, 18 Oct 2010 13:10:27 +0000 Over 30 years ago I did an 11 month training course where about 20% of the trainees were foreigners. While the Asians understood and accepted what they saw it was those from the West who kept telling us how because of wide disparities, India would be wiped out when the social revolution took place in the very near future. They are still waiting and anticipating that event. Only the tone is slightly different. Now there is a touch of envy, previously there was only scorn and condescension.

Yes there is abject poverty but what the author didn’t see in those villages was scooters, cell phones and motorbikes where even bicycles were a luxury earlier. There is much, too much in fact, that is wrong in India. Yet in spite of that lives are improving. When poverty and illiteracy exist in such large numbers, progress will always seem tardy and slow. The problem is that so many commentators unfortunately simply miss out on noticing the progress. How come we don’t have anyone telling us that in $ terms India has more millionaires than all of Europe combined? There are none so blind as those who have eyes but will not see.

By: abhigupta90 Fri, 15 Oct 2010 09:26:22 +0000 as we say ‘suni sunaiye batein’, these are exactly what they are. a gud matter to fill up the spaces and attract comments, and of-course to please the white folklore, but what it is, is far from reality. Its not that, u r unaware of the reality, its that u want to shy away from the increasing popularity of India in world ranks. U r professional need to cover India in one of article shows exactly that. And as u said – we r hardly bothered but not of development but of written matter like this and of course people like you who in read ten articles, copy and edit the stuff and make it one. Best of luck for next time.

By: Avyukta Thu, 14 Oct 2010 12:31:21 +0000 jferdy5,
Talking about generating text with a computer program. your comments pass the test with flying colours. No relevance to the statements in the article, just a typical, generalized demur.
You comment on the nature of ‘such’ people with your personal biases against them, not acknowledging the points in the article. When you do so, you do it in a context conjured by yourself, again not relevant to the article.
To give an example, nowhere in the article does the author mention corruption as the biggest problem of the country, but it is indeed is among the seven major evil that plagues India. It is you who is making a big deal of it yourself. To get your records straight, I would like to mention that CPI is just one of many measures of corruption. There are other measures where India ranks worse.
For your comment on the Lawrence Haddard’s statements; It is not about money/wealth. Haddard’s reference is the lack of inclusive growth in India-the country is growing while a lot of people are still suffering. That remains a fact, shameful one at that.

The paragraphs about Indian reporters complaining about other countries is a good reply to the general western reporters who you are referring to, here, and Alistair does not seem to fit that bill with this article.

By: grey_on_all Thu, 14 Oct 2010 07:15:03 +0000 Alistair,

Keep enjoying your last days of India bashing before you are replaced by a Mr. Singh or a Mr. Patel or a Mr. Subramnaian.

I understand the levels of bad sportmanship that were in play here while you wrote these lines not for any one else but just for youself when even the strongest of the scotches couldnt get you sleep at night. Thats understandeable ofcourse, after a walk through the games village during the day, with the athletes praising every single thing about the event. Not quite what you had aspired for , was it?

Westerners have always been like this to Asia. Even with China it was the same. In the earlier dys of China’s development, ‘Chinese goods’ was a matter of joke.

Chinese had become your palyword for low quality. Then you said : “China will never be US/Europe”.

Soon you will be saying this about some other Asian country that it will never be India.
The fact of the matter is, how much vere you fool yourself. Asia is taking back from you what you snatched from it centuries ago. You cant stop it.

By: jferdy5 Wed, 13 Oct 2010 20:50:53 +0000 Alistair,

I think someone should just write a computer program that produces these columns, they’re complete nonsense and utterly predictable. I think many Western reporters just pander to preconceptions about India and bring, bring their own biases, and see what they want to see.

Consider the following:

“I’ve never seen a country with such fast economic growth with such pathetic levels of nutrition,” Lawrence Haddad, director of the UK-based Institute of Development Studies, told me.

India has had high growth for the past 6-7 years. Even after that, it’s per-capita income, PPP adjusted per-capita income, and per capita GNI (as reported by the World bank and IMF, the CIA factbook is NOT a reliable source of information) are BELOW that of many sub-Saharan African countries. “Rate of growth” and “wealth” are not the same thing, as implied by Mr. Haddad.

One of the comments above also make reference to corruption. According to Transparency International, the CPI (2009) for India, China, and Brazil are approximately the same (consider these BRIC countries: India = 3.4 rank=84, China = 3.6 (rank=79), and Brazil = 3.7 (rank=75) Russia is the worst with 2.2 (rank 146)). Western reporters like to reference the CPI a lot but don’t use the CPI when talking about corruption in India because it debunks their simplistic stereotyping. One should note that anecdotal reports from a few disgruntled Western “reporters” does not trump the thousands of observations, reports, and statistical analyses that underpin these values. According to the CPI, corruption is a problem, but not the principle one at the heart of India’s malnutrition, economic under-performance, and educational issues.

Another good example of where Western journalists’ biases and pandering to stereotypes about India are at odds with reality is AIDS. About 5 years ago when revised AIDS rates for India were released, many newspapers simply refused to accept them, after all, reporters visited clinics and saw dark-skinned people with AIDS! And the surrounding streets were filthy! And Indians like filth! So AIDS must be out of control, right? How cares about epidemiology. Even now, you’ll find the occasional Western reporter who refused to believe that India, with all of its dark skin, southern inhabitants, could have an AIDS RATE (not to be confused with absolute numbers, which will obviously be high for a country of over a billion people) comparable to most Western countries, and lower than countries like Russia. Search PubMed and you’ll find new studies confirming this, showing the relationship has construct validity.

In short, Alistair, just because you can find a few locals whose ignorant comments happen to dovetail with your prejudices doesn’t make them right. That’s bad reporting. In a few years Indian reporters will be scouring Bradford UK reporting on institutional racial and ethnic bias in the UK government against Muslims, or how Canada treats First Nations worse than Blacks were treated under Apartheid. It’ll shock Indians, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and others. I think the real question will be how Reuters, and yourself, will deal with this loss of rhetorical power.

I, frankly, welcome it.

By: Windturner Wed, 13 Oct 2010 14:36:40 +0000 Well said. Last line says it all.
If you want to prove that high growth rate does not result in better life for (most) people, you can never find a better example then India. We are fixated on our growth rate and find it convenient to forget the other more important social priorities like infrastructure, credible universal health care, judicial and police reforms, Agricultural reforms etc. which are needed to make a real positive difference to the life of the people. But these things don’t excite FIIs