Readings on India after Independence, and beyond . . . (Feb 9/10)

India and surrounding nations

These are the only readings you are responsible for this week. I will put the interlude readings in another week, and revise the syllabus.

India- After Independence This reading clearly addresses the “aftermath” of decolonization in India.

India in the 21st Century Decolonization occurred six decades. How have things changed for India in the new century?

India’s Democratic Challenge This reading is by a highly venerated Indian political scientist who I read and loved in graduate school. In addition, India is the most populous democracy in the world, and like the US, it is very diverse. How is that working out?

~WMB

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16 Responses to Readings on India after Independence, and beyond . . . (Feb 9/10)

  1. Andrea says:

    When President Clinton came to visit this past weekend, he briefly spoke about the postcolonial struggles India still faces in terms development. This article touches on this same issue. The author states that during the Congress Party’s post-colonial shaping of domestic policies, there were no land reforms, a lack of investment in human development, and the use of the Soviet-model of large public sector industries. During this time, the rate of population growth exceeded predictions, and India became a country with an excessive amount of impoverished citizens. The author then suggests that Indian culture is “change-resistant” and modernization and development will happen only at a moderate pace in the 21st century. In summary, according to Gupta, a mix of policies, poverty, and culture seem to be limiting factors in India’s postcolonial development, but economic globalization and liberalization will be key to India’s success in the 21st century.

    The author also suggests that India’s administrative institutions stymied social change. He writes, “In the absence of internal decolonization, democracy did not proceed from representation to participation for the masses of poor people.” Under Congress Party rule, the people in power were changed through votes, but “obsolete and exploitive institutions” stayed in place and a true “civic society remained elusive.” Voting is a major aspect of a democracy, but it does not always translate to social change. Social change on a large scale is nearly impossible if there are not policy changes. Policy changes also tend to be impossible if administrators all agree and their worldviews or interest don’t vary. The inclusion of the intermediate caste and use of panchayat helped permeate the once impermeable administrative institutions.

    The author did a good job making predictions about India in the 21st century. India’s caste system, extreme poverty, extreme wealth, true slums, booming industries/economy, globalization, policies, and location, for example, all factors that are relevant in the 21st century.

  2. Britney Sink says:

    In “India’s Democratic Challenge,” the author explains how certain reforms in India have been limited due to the political and economic landscape since independence. Part of this is due to the vast differences between India and western countries at the time of its democratic birth. Some of the elements mentioned are its achievement of universal suffrage before it became a rich nation, lack of an extensive welfare system, and that poor people vote more than the upper classes. The article asserts that lower classes are aware of the issues and call for reforms that politicians are hesitant to enact, yet “higher level” reforms affecting middle and upper classes have progressed. According to the article, politicians do not push reforms that would affect the poor because they will bring short-term pain that could result in losing an election because the poor vote more than others. This brings several questions to mind, including how the article seems to conflict itself by stating that poor people have called for reforms, thereby implying that they are aware of the issues and want change, yet that they would not understand the concept of short term pain for long term gain. In addition, although poor people call for reforms, politicians do not enact them to ensure that the poor people vote for them in the next election? So inaction ensures reelection and addressing reforms that poor people call for (yet may not understand the complexities of) leads to losing?

    It may seem odd to us that the least educated and affluent members of the society vote the most, but it kind of makes sense. There is an overarching theme that the reforms have “made the rich richer” while leaving poor people in the dust. So if middle and upper classes are fine with, even benefitting, from the status quo, why would they care to change it? As long as things are going their way, there is no need to vote. However, for the poor, who see everyone but themselves benefitting from reforms, voting is a chance to change the way things are. This all speaks to the inherent dichotomy between rich and poor, urban, technological growth and traditional village life. With India’s ever increasing wealth and middle class, yet abysmal progression in reducing poverty, the country still has a challenge to address issues that relate to its diverse population across incomes, religions, and regions.

  3. Veena says:

    One of the things I noticed in this week’s readings was how limited they were by the time period in which they were written. The first article, INDIA AFTER INDEPENDENCE, was written in 1967, not long after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru and at a time when India was still finding its footing as an independent nation. Its focus on history, while saying that more time was needed before the history could be written, was interesting. I was originally intrigued by the prevalence of well-educated Indians from Bengal over any other state until the mention of the port cities [primarily Bombay, Bengal, and Madras] being the places that modernized at the fastest rate.

    I couldn’t help but be amused that the INDIA IN THE 21ST CENTURY article was in fact written in 1997 and was purely speculation. It is true that in 1997, India was steadily rising in terms of its economy and international relations, but that very well could have begun to decline before the 21st century even began. The touch on the emergence of the regional parties brought to light an important point: because of the power of the regional parties, it is becoming more and more difficult for the federal government to have full control over the country. Many people, particularly the lower and middle classes, are more likely to vote in regional elections than in national ones, as they see local legislators as being more in tune with their needs.

    Because of this emergence of regional parties, there has been a rise in the number of lower and middle class citizens who vote, as noted in INDIA’S DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGE. I agree with Britney’s point that the wealthy are indifferent to changing the status quo as they are benefitting the most with things the way they are.

  4. Leslie H. says:

    Two things stuck out for me in the India in the Twenty-First Century article.

    First, the author says “The Hindu (that is, Indian) psyche is a hard mix of individualism and collectivism; individual enterprise is valued only as long as it does not violate social mores.” The phrase itself did not strike me as much as the equation of being Hindu to being Indian. The author plainly states that being Hindu is the same thing as being Indian and vice versa. From our readings and class discussions, I know that the debate of what it means to be Indian is one that has been going on for years in India. Colonialism certainly did not help answer this question and served to further divide India’s citizens by defining them based on religion and caste. Then Pakistan was created as a home for India’s Muslim population. But I was still surprised that being Hindu was so nonchalantly equated with being Indian in a modern scholastic article. I understand that Hindus are the vast majority of India’s population, but surely they cannot be the total population. What does this statement say about what it means to be Indian today? Do Indians feel the same as the author?

    Second, the author says that social reform in India does not seek to change or reject hierarchical institutions but to remove the people leading that institution. I never considered this point of view before, so I found this very interesting. To me, this ties in well to the Varshney article, which talks about the very high voter turnout among India’s poor population. So basically we have a cycle where changing the authority figures is seen as the solution and a strong voting base that will turn out to make such a change. However, real institutional change is not happening because the systems are staying the same. As India’s middle class continues to grow and become more educated, I’m curious to see if and when this cycle might change.

  5. “After Independence”, by Sibnarayan Ray, portrays a scholar’s view of India’s history, from a native “radical humanist” perspective.
    It is clear from this review, that the author questions the efficacy of a democracy overrun by party politics, as well as his ferocious critique of the traditional Indian social arrangements, like religion that, according to him, stifle rational questioning and free thinking.
    As a senior research fellow at the Indian Council of Historic Research, in the sixties, Ray was very well positioned, at the time that he wrote this article, in 1967, to address what he perceived as the qualitative and legitimate difference between true identity reconstructive action and political opportunism.
    He compares both the pre and post-modern eras of Indian historiography and particularly how until then the absence of a critical and systematic “intelligentsia” voided research findings of any purpose. But he admits that such stagnation also launched the foundations for a rapid British settlement that eventually introduced the empirical discipline of inquiry and methodology, soon adopted in urban India. Ray calls it the Indian Renaissance that marked the beginning of empirical practices, such as anti-colonial scholarship. But reform also entailed reaction from the middle class against alienation and resentment not just against the British but amidst indigenous too.
    The author does not seem so affected by the political ideology in Indian academic research, in as much as he was dismayed by the prejudices and idolatrous affluence of the writings.
    Ray uses the words “dispassionate” and “demotivated” to describe the research period before independence. Scholars had to face the pressure of their sponsors and face their own biases throughout the process of debunking nationalism. Before independence, it was easier for historians to resist to British political pressures than to restrain from internal political biases and prejudices, whilst later the issue became how to justify the revolution against the British after partition. Or even how to justify national unity in face of “regional patriotism” and a realignment of the system of classes and social groups.
    Many historians realistically adopted a new social outlook towards the true origins of India’s independence movement, indirect British capitalism, western social prototypes, as well as the role of intelligentsia on the Indian Renaissance reforms.
    The author finally categorizes the three dominant currents of thought, including the liberal-reformist, who were challenged at the turn of the century by militant revivalists and revolutionary nationalists.
    The former also later challenged by Gandhi in the 30s and by Socialism. Both Hindu revivalists and “Gandhism” against Muslim communalism continued to be upfront on academic doctrine.
    Considering Indian historiography ramifications branching from regional patriotism, Hindu nationalism and Communism dogmatism, its not surprising that the greater objectivism of analysis maybe coming by anthropologists, sociologists and economists.

  6. Dylan P. says:

    India’s Democratic Challenge by Ashutosh Varshney presented an interesting set of problems that arise when a country is founded with the scales of democracy and industry tipped toward the former. It seems that more truly democratic principles—at least during a period of economic infrastructure building—is not conducive to a productive, industrial economic model. This makes sense when one considers that it is really not in the conscious interests—although perhaps in the long term interests—of the poor majority to create policy that will build wealth in the hands of a few. However it is exactly this concentration of capital that is needed to start companies, which will be competitive in the global marketplace. I do not mean to suggest that neoliberalism is good, only that it is the order of the day, and a country need liberalize somewhat to play ball in the global economy. What is perhaps more interesting and reflected in all three of the readings is the contributing factors to the aforementioned dynamism between the extremes of liberalism and democracy. Sibnarayan Ray’s work about the evolution of historiography in India serves as a great meta-narrative to the other pieces. The changing ways in which Indians have thought about how history works in general–and how Indian history has worked more specifically–gives an interesting picture of possible influences on the ways in which the economic and government modes of operation have shifted. The increasing empiricism in Indian historiography may be an indication of changes toward more liberal market policies and decreased democratization; however, I think it is more likely that the increase in empirical and linear historiography (read: westernization) influenced Indian society to liberalize toward the ends of economic development.

  7. Nathan says:

    One of the more interesting parts of the article on Indian democracy after their independence was that those in the lower classes and castes are more active voters than the wealthy and educated. The article talks about the impact that it has on politics and policy, but not the causes. In my discussion group we delved into this matter somewhat, and after some outside research found that one of the popular beliefs for lower class participation was bribery. In particular political parties would go out on Election Day and buy liquor for those that agreed to vote for them. This explains higher turnout among the poor, but does not explain the degree to which they influence elections. Parties pay attention to the issues of the poor, according to Varshney it is playing a large part in slowing the economic progress India could be making. And if their votes were simply being bought with alcohol, the poor shouldn’t be able to have such an influential voice on policy, no more so than the dead had in Louisiana elections when Huey Long was governor. Trying to figure out the cause of such peculiar, unconventional voting patterns is not easy, but another reason could be that it is merely self-perpetuating. By catering to the lower classes on issues important to them, they are more likely to vote. The politicians see that the lower classes have high turnout, so they cater to them on the issues. And so on and so forth. In reality there is probably a degree of truth in each of these ideas, as well as some factors that have yet to be discovered or explored. Elections in Uttar Pradesh are taking place this week, and it will be interesting to see whether these trends continue. Early signs are indicating that they are, with turnout higher than normal, and Uttar Pradesh has more lower class and caste voters than typical of an Indian state.

  8. Mitchell Adams says:

    India in the 21st century:

    This reading attempts to explain the state of India economically and politically as it moves into the Twenty-first century. The authors argument, at it’s most basic, is that India is developing out of dysfunction but that it still has key issues that must be considered. One such issue is that of the transition from single party rule to coalition led governance. While the author sees this structural change as an improvement overall, he does recognize that India is likely to continue on a period of relative instability as coalition groups coalesce and become more functional. These coalitions will have to represent an extremely large group of people as India is expected to be the most populated country in the world by the fourth decade of this century. Because of the large percentage of population who are poor, leaders will have to be responsive to the wishes of many Indians who are in favor of less economically competitive policies and this may hinder economic progress to some degree. Another political reality that India will have to deal with this century is the attention focused on their nuclear program. The conflict between India and Pakistan has served as showcase to the tensions created by the threat of nuclear weapons. Accordingly, this century must find a workable relationship created between the two nations. However, India must also focus on relationships outside of their borders. Being a principal recipient of aid from Japan, and having the United States as it largest trade partner, the newly liberalized India must be cognizant of foreign aid and influence. This situation is made more complex by the fact that in the 90’s their traditional patron, the soviet union, crumbled and left India in a state of economic turmoil which caused them to rely on large funding organizations such as the IMF, therefore causing them to restructure many of their national systems. Trying to navigate new relationships and new structures will be central to India’s progress this century. However, this change will be slowed because of the Indian sense of identity which dictates that individual progress is only beneficial to society in that it doesn’t affect larger societal traditions. Appeasing the masses while leading into the future is not going to be an easy process. Also, India has historically been slow to effect large social change because businesses are seen in terms of their leader, so social change is associated with new leadership and not with structural reforms.

  9. Jake says:

    “India’s Democratic Challenge” and “India in the 21st Century” are both guardedly optimistic about India’s future and both mobilize a similar theme about the tension between democracy and market interests. In this tug-of-war between democracy and increasing liberalization, both authors stand firmly on the side of the market. Although written roughly 30 years before either, Ray’s article “India: After Independence” could serve to temper their enthusiasm for the market. Ray describes an Indian historiography that is burdened by its ideological benefactors. Ray cautions historians to avoid the influence of the Soviet system and a narrow-minded nationalism. He points to examples of historians who are less empirically minded, but are motivated by ideology instead. India in the 1960s was fundamentally statist, organized around a protectionist economy, and received ideological and material support from the Soviet Union. The nationalistic influences that gave rise to India’s independence movement were then animating the geopolitical tensions with Pakistan. These were the ideological influences of the day that Ray warns against. However, when the Soviet Union collapsed and India turned to the west and began liberalizing its economy at a spectacular rate, neoliberalism became the new master narrative. I would argue that both “India’s Democratic Challenge” and “India in the 21st Century” are captive to the neoliberal hegemonic project. Ray’s warning that the historian cannot go beyond the conditions of his present experience and the recognition that the historical questions are dictated by the present, might serve to temper the two contemporary article’s Pollyannaish view of neoliberalism.

  10. Stan says:

    India: After Independence
    Sibnarayan Ray

    This article examines the development of traditional histories of India both before and after its independence in 1947. What I found most interesting about the article was how it described the tension between a strong nationalist movement with its inherent biases and omissions and a desire by true scholars to paint a more complete picture of Indian history.

    The article begins by describing how our western interpretation of history was foreign to India prior to the later part of the eighteenth century when it was introduced by western scholars. I found it interesting how, at least from the author’s perspective, those who paid attention to history served more as scribes than researchers. There was very little attention paid to the interpretation of history.

    With the rise of a new urban middle class who possessed a more western education, demand for scholarly and popular publications increased. This fed a growing interest in the undertaking of historical research by Indian scholars.

    The rise of historical study in India also coincided with the strong nationalist movement growing in the country. The author states that during this time a dedication to rationalism and reform gave way to this growing nationalism. Those working in the study and creation of India’s written history were not immune to this strong sense of nationalism, and it has been reflected in many widely accepted interpretations of India’s history. One example given was the 1857 mutiny, and the varying scope and significance assigned to the event by scholars based on their own interpretations.

    For me, this article made me consider the histories and narratives we all subscribe to and the potential biases of those who shaped their initial creation.

  11. Mark Eastham says:

    “India’s Democratic Challenge” Ashutosh Varshney

    Varshney points out a political and economic dilemma in modern day India. He refers to India’s immediate post-independence economy and contradicts it with the reformist, more open market of India today. I found Varshney’s recollection that, in the West, universal suffrage emerged after the Industrial revolution where western societies became relatively rich. In contrast, India adopted universal suffrage immediately after independence, long before its transition to a modern industrialized economy. This could be the reason for significant government control and closed economy evident in post-colonial India and the country’s middle and lower class ability to exert significant political sway and influence Indian politicians. This political scenario, influenced by a different type of administrative development than in the West, is most likely why political identity issues take priority over economic issues. In India there is generally greater participation from the “ plebeian” population than in higher levels of society. From this I saw an immediate difference between India and the United States, where politics are arguably heavily influenced by the upper class. Although India’s economy is growing considerably, there are still divides between the rich and the poor, agricultural growth is limited, and many Indian’s live on very little. Problems having to do with high deficits, resistance to privatization, agriculture issues, and labor laws are still concerns of India’s government. As these issues are of great concern to Indian people and India’s poor hold considerable political sway, it should be interesting to see what action is taken to instill change that appeases both high and low levels of society. Varshney notes that there are three factors that determine whether any particular policy enters the arena of mass politics. These are 1) The number of people affected by the policy 2) How organized those people are and 3) Whether the effect is direct and immediate. From this, it would seem that an organized and outspoken Indian lower and middle class is a necessity to instill lasting progressive change.

  12. Sydney Shearer says:

    Sibnarayan Ray begins his article India After Independence with a quote by Ernst Cassirerthat: “He [the historian] cannot go beyond the conditions of his present experience…” The quote goes on to say that the questions that we seek answers to through the study of history are shaped by “our present intellectual interests and our present moral and social needs.” This idea sets stage for this article, which outlines the development of historical scholarship in India. It is interesting to note that this is a field, which was not fully developed before the independence of India from colonial Britain and even after independence faced a number of struggles. The struggle to create a scholarly historical field in India, I think, parallels the struggle for a post-colonial India to come to terms with its identity. This article notes that Indian history was comprised of primarily snapshots of moments in time rather than continuous stories of which built upon one another and influenced other events. Biographies were also prominent forms of histories. These biographies and histories make sense culturally because their main purpose was to teach a lesson, or a proverb. After independence, however, India had to grapple with a changed national identity, which put an increasing importance on the role of history. History helps create identity . As such a struggle to come to terms with history, as outlined in the article, meant that the struggle to find identity was and still is playing out to some extent.

  13. Billie Jean Thomas says:

    The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    There were several themes in India in the 21st Century that were appealing to me. I enjoyed the very small discussion on The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), because it highlights the fact that a country’s nuclear power or lack thereof can determine whether a country is considered to be powerful and influential, and it is also an indicator of whether a country will be acknowledged as a force to be reckoned with. The fact that the article highlights that India refused to sign the NPT signaled, to me, India’s desire to be the captain of its own destiny. India wanted to make sure that they were able to make, develop and possess nuclear weapons. I learned that The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. I still have questions. I am curious who/what countries were the designated power(s) responsible for making and manufacturing nuclear weapons and how were the laws and regulations enforced in order to promote cooperation and peace. In the reading, the author mentions that India refused to sign the NPT; however, after doing a little research most of the sources that authored works dedicated to discussing the NPT stated that India was excluded from the NPT. I’m a little curious about this discrepancy.
    Equally interesting is the fact that recently India has refused to abide by the UN Security Council resolution asking all non-NPT nations to sign the pact, India commented that it cannot accept the “externally prescribed norms or standards” on issues that are contrary to its national interests or infringe on its sovereignty. This relates to one of the themes that my study group took from the readings: India is growing at a great pace. Contrary to popular belief, India is not a poor raped country that is incapable of making decisions that are healthy for the economy of India. According to economic and military indicators, India seems to be doing great. India’s refusal to blend with other countries has been beneficial for India, and India’s refusal to sign the NPT, again, is an example of their resistance to folding to standards that other countries adhere to.

    Hindu Psyche

    In the India in the 21st Century reading, the author quoted from other scholars who study the psyche of the Hindu: “the Hindu psyche is a hard mix of individualism and collectivism; individual enterprise is valued only as long as it does not violate social mores”… Psychologist Kakar describes social change in India as follows: “Any tendency towards social reform in India moves not to abolish hierarchal institutions nor to reject the values on which they are based but to remove or change the individuals in positions of authority in them…” I think that this was extremely interesting, and it made me consider the psyche of marginalized populations. I thought that it was extremely interesting that the Hindu are simultaneously concerned with the group rather than the individual being the fundamental unit of political, social, and economic concern, and wanting to be autonomous and only be considered as individuals who think and judge independently. I also think that the Hindu psyche includes sentiments that are characteristic of most people; I think that most people want to feel a sense of belonging while having their own thoughts, feelings, and interpretations acknowledged.

    The second quote mentioned above led me to think about how in India the main constituencies of some of the parties are the poor, but the reforms are not impacting their lives- people are still feeling powerless because they are just being used as a vote; and, some people are powerless because they don’t realize what is going on. In turn like in the US, the poor and unaware don’t realize their own self worth- that they are more than just a vote.

  14. Russell Carey says:

    India in the Twenty-First Century – Bhabani Sen Gupta

    This forward-looking article by Bhabani Gupta bases an outlook for the future on the economic and foreign relations developments of the late nineties. Gupta’s predictions for India are alternately encouraging for India’s economic future as a whole, and discouraging for its future in foreign relations. Bhabani predicted that India would be the world’s fourth largest economy by 2020 (p. 305), which it has already surpassed as the third largest by GDP according to the CIA Factbook*. Gupta also saw a future for India which included a peaceful relationship with Pakistan, where “it is to be hoped, the worst of relations with Pakistan are over” (p. 312). The events of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the continued tension over Kashmir, and Pakistan’s strained military system (aggravated by events in and near Afghanistan) leave little hope for the optimism expressed in the article. I recalled former President Pervez Musharraf’s visit to Little Rock last fall, where he expressed continued frustration with India, Kashmir “occupation”, and the need for Pakistan to assert itself militarily along its borders.

    The article was also interesting in its characterization of the Hindu identity and politics of India (which, as Leslie Harris noted in her article response, ignores other religious and secular groups). Despite this narrowed view, Gupta creates an interesting perspective of how and why national officials are elected by a country whose residents are predominantly low income while failing to create an equality of wealth and power for its people. Gupta claims that social change by the vote in India is generally addressed by “a change of authority figures rather than a restructuring of institutions” (p. 302). This doesn’t seem all that different from how American politics operates. Despite this environment, India has managed a respectable above-average score in the world rankings by CIA’s Gini Index at 83rd, demonstrating income inequality below developed powers like Japan (77th) and the United States (40th)**. This is not to say that all is well with India’s poorest citizens, but that it still holds a possibility for an equitable future for its people.

    * https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2001rank.html
    ** https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html

  15. Trish says:

    “India’s Democratic Challenge”- Ashutosh Varshney
    Democracy’s emphasis on individual participation to forward the whole is at odds with capitalism in India, which seems to have moved mostly a small, elite sector to a higher standard of development and living. Varshney argues that India’s democratic prowess since independence has hindered the economic growth of the country because long-term economic reforms, which would have a negative impact on the masses in the short-term, are often unpopular by the majority of voters.
    Universal suffrage, while championed as the backbone of any democracy, is quite possibly what impedes economic progress. India, contrary to the early U.S republic, offered universal suffrage since independence, thereby immediately including the majority, the lower castes. Whereas, in the United States, minorities, like African-Americans and women, were not allowed to participate in the democratic process until the capitalist mechanisms introduced both before and during the Industrial Revolution had been established and yielding economic gains. However, India has struggled between ideology and reality as a highly stratified society, yet ultimately, the convergence of democratic values of shared power and capitalist values of economic gains might position India as a world leader in the coming decades.
    I would critique Varshney’s assumption of what Naomi Klein refers to as the “Shock Doctrine”, that long-term economic reforms must first create short-term “dislocations and resentment” through adjustments for the poor in order to adjust the economy to a global scale. To be sure, the embedded institutions of the caste system and arguably the agricultural methods unable to sustain a burgeoning population will need to evolve and change in order to foster economic development in India. Therefore, my question is, because India’s poor enjoy tremendous political influence over political decisions as evidenced by the slow movement towards privatization and pro-employee labor laws, how will those in favor of “adjustments” and the influential poor find a compromise? The simultaneous economic and political development of India is undoubtedly an exciting and perplex puzzle!

  16. Katie Milligan says:

    India’s Democratic Challenge
    It is an interesting paradox to compare the expansion of the Indian economy and the US economy. Politics very often play directly into the expanding policy of the economy. The history of India’s struggle to implement economic policy post-independence could give some valuable insight into what would happen if China continued to open up economically and politically towards to the West. China has begun to open up economically in the end of the 21st century, which has led to an interesting phenomenon in their political sphere. India’s class struggle and the democratic process undermining economic policy before it could really take hold could become a very real possibility for China. If China were to continue down the road towards an open market in the global system, the move politically could steer away from communism. India did not have the same class struggle with class as the United States post independence. The current economic environment does help the growing middle class, but does not alleviate the extreme poverty in India. In contrast, the economy in the United States does not alleviate the extreme poverty or assist in stabilizing the middle class. The young working age in India could prove to be a huge asset as India grows on the global stage. President Clinton commented on how India has the ability to aggregate huge amounts of capital, but doesn’t know what to do with it. If India can create a stable, growing economy and workforce, it could easily become the front-runner in the race for economic hegemony. It will be interesting to see if/when China’s economy slows or plateaus how India will rise on the global stage. Without long term economic policies and plans, India could very easily fall behind on the global economic stage, which would drastically damage their role in foreign affairs.

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