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RE: Indian power systems as an obstacle to development



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Hi all,
	I am new to this forum. Please bear with my catching up. With
regards to Mr.Richard's mail, I don't quite agree that the Chinese model
has been very successful. It is true that they have managed to reduce
poverty and increase living standards in the coastal regions, but inland
China is still quite backward. This has created a diffusion of labourers
from the inland to the coastal provinces, with an estimated 100 million
who are floating around the country. A continuing disparity in this wealth
distribution may well trigger a new revolution in the country until the
government takes concrete measures to prevent it. Also China's ride to the
top by a "benevolent" dictatorship has not been a smooth one. The great
leap forward and the cultural revolution were periods of great strife and
instability. To it's credit, India did not face such large scale upheavals
and famine. 
	To look at the problem home, however, our primary focus after
independence was skewed towards five year plans of industry and
agriculture, but at the cost of neglecting primary education. While we
attained self-sufficiency in food grains we are still only a semi-literate
country. China scores over us in this one crucial regard. The efficient
functioning of a democracy requires not only a good body of rulers, but
also an enlightened public who can elect them. Reservation policy in
education is ineffective when we don't even have enough schools to teach
in. Democarcy is only as efficient as the people who elect it. By blaming
the rulers as incompetent we are merely skirting the issue. Promotion of
primary education will ensure an efficient democarcy automatically. It is
essential that we take up this very important lesson of Russia and China
in ensuring universal literacy in India. 

regards,
Anand


> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Plase forgive me if anything I say has been discussed previously,or if my 
> comments are inappropriate,as I am new to the debate.
> 
> It seems to me that, although India is a democracy, the centeral obstacle
> to her eradicating poverty is the fact that the political power systems -
> on national and regional levels - are not truly representaitve of the
> voters. For all the rhetoric and waffle about poverty reduction, some
> 300,000,000 Indians are living in absolute poverty. Contrast this with
> China (for all her lack of a fair, democratic system of government), which
> has succeeded, in 50 years, in wiping out the most severe manifestations
> of deprivation. 
> 
> I would argue that the only way forward for India is to elect a government
> with the interest of the masses at heart. China succeeded not through
> socialist economic planning, but because it was governed *for* the people,
> by a leadership that truly wanted a rise in the standard of living of the
> population. 
> 
> There is no point in having a democracy if the people who are elected do not
> 
> represent adequately the electorate. I believe that India cannot hope to 
> develop properly until power really is shifted to the people.
> 
> I would be most interested to recieve any comments on this brief outline of 
> my beliefs.
> 
> rjparr@hotmail.com
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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               !! SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR !!
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