India is one of my ‘must visit’ countries bacause it is a truly interesting country. It is a land of great contrast of colours and traditions, of immense humanity and spiritualism. Many people believe that India with its immense population will be a superpower of the future.
Following is YouTube of Taiwanese TV talk show where the commentators talked about their experiences in incredible India. The show is entertaining and informative. Some of the facts presented like the opulent residence ( a 27 storey apartment for a family of 6) of the one of India’s riches tycoon in contrast to the nearby slum housing where large majority of Indian in Bombay live do put Indian in really bad light. Many Indians seem to accept that they are fated to live in poverty and are powerless to change their destinies. Thus a person is poor because of his ‘karma’, and is well to-do also because of his ‘karma’ or past deeds. Hence the idea of extreme wealth and poverty existing side-by-side is acceptable to psyche many Indians.
My own view is that it is an old civilization that is forced upon to become a nation state of 1.2 billion people. Today it is still hardly a modern state, despite few centuries of Western colonisation. The elite of India may belief that by adopting democratic or Western system of government, India has becomes ‘modern’. But in the country where majority do not have flush toilets, and people relieving themselves openly in the street, the India elites are just deluding themselves. India needs to have postive aspects of modernity, particularly modern amenities and infrastructures, permeate into all strata of societies. I don’t pretend to have knowledge and solutions to the ills of India, but I dare to say that India need to get rid of the caste system and the self-serving politicians in its quest for modernity.
I am particularly critical of the system of government. India can ill afford the expensive baggage of adorning Western style democracy to legitimise themselves in the eyes of the West. With self-serving politicians bickering and engaging in endless quagmires, the road to modernisation seems far ahead indeed. I know many Indian will argue they have a superior system to China – rather it is the Chinese that are envious of their superior democratic system. Many Indian elites even believe that the economic development may be slower than China initially, but would eventually overtake China in years to come.
Another issue that is seldom discussed is the brain drain problem. It is the dream of the cream of Indian professionals to work and live in the West. Entrance into top colleges in India is highly competitive and the major portion of cost of education is borned by Indian government. However, after graduation , the best amongst the best would then migrate to West. While the best universities in US and UK are filled with cream of India’s talent, those institutions in India are manned with second-rate professionals. This is a situation that was observed by an astute Taiwanese commentator, when he talked about Indian medical service – those good doctors on Indian origin are in Britain, while those remaining in India are usually second-rate.