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I am aware that trends forecast a population of 1.6 to 1.8 billion by 2050
surpassing China. But my dearest friends, I say to you, BE NOT AFRAID.
India as of 1991 has a gross sown area of 185.5 million hectares making it
one of the greatest agricultural countries in the world. The potential of
this land is so great that studies indicate that even with existing
technologies, India has the inherent capacity to feed its projected
population of 1.6 to 1.8 billion people. Even more so with the rapid
escalation of technology over the next 50 years. When we eventually  become
the largest race on the face of the planet, there are going more and more
Indians in New York, London, Vancouver, Sydney, Auckland and other far
flung corners of this globe who will help draw the riches of the nations
back to India. I am not boasting. If you see present migratory and
entrepreneurial trends among Indians the forecasts will become reality.
Sanjeev has actually spoken my mind. As I view the situation from
Singapore, right smack in the centre of the S.E. Asian tiger economies, I
can assure you that nothing, I repeat nothing has had a more profound
effect on population growth than a robustly growing economy. Naturally,
poverty has come down. In the 60's Indonesia was among the poorest nations
of the world with poverty at 50%. Today, its poverty rate stands at 15%
(illiteracy has not dropped so dramatically though). If I had limited
resources at my disposal with which to strengthen the country, I would
focus on 3 things:

1. Economy. At the present growth rate of 6%, by 2001 India will have an
upper middle class (by Indian standards) of 150 million and a middle class
of 300 million. This is not far from the population of the US. It is this
middle class that giant foreign multinationals are lustfully eyeing. I
would deregulate INTERNALLY faster than I would deregulate EXTERNALLY.
There is much red tape within India for local companies.This way with the
enhanced competition within India, Indians will be able to repeat their
success story within the country as so many of us have done outside. Do not
get me wrong. I am all for deregulation and competition but if we
deregulate externally at a faster rate, giant companies will establish very
quickly making it difficult for Indian companies. Stand resolute when
western economists scream "protectionism!" and make you feel like an
"unsophisticated thinker from the third world". Between World War 1 and 2
(1911 and 1945), Europe was devasted, Russia was weak, and all of Asia was
extremely poor or colonized or both. Only America had an intact economy.
With an open internal economy even then and with a very high level of
competion among American companies, giant corporations emerged, the likes
of GM, Ford, Merrill Lynch. With virtually no equivalent in size in other
countries, these companies met no resistance around the world and
established footholds in many countries. The Japanese when they emerged
from their devastation, learned the American way of doing business fast and
being a thoroughly united and hardworking nation, they produced cheaper
goods for sale to the world to beat their American counterparts. Yet they
kept in place tariffs and red tape making it close to impossible for
foreign goods to come in. For 40 years while they grew rapidly to become
the 2nd largest economy in the world, Japan remained among the most
protectionist countries around. Only  now that their economy is going no
where are they trying to open up (it remains to be seen how much they do).
Today America is pushing agressively for countries to open up financial
services. Singapore with an extremely strong financial sector ALREADY has
made it quite clear that she will take her time to do so , so that her 6
largest banks (which are already regional giants in S.E Asia ) can prepare
themselves to meet the onslaught from the US and Europe. So I'm not in a
rush to liberalize India for other people. I'm in a rush to do so for her
own people. India has the resources to match the US economy in quality and
quantity practically by herself if she can provide an environment for
Indians that America has provided for Americans.

2. Education. . Improved education does have an effect on population growth
but comes in second, to reduction of poverty that a healthy, growing
economy makes possible. Education,however is terribly important for the
advancement of any civilization and ours is no exception and even more
urgent. I take a broader sense to education. Yes, primary school education
must be universal. Secondary school education must have a large base as
well. Technical education must be expanded. Entreprenuership and a "can do"
spirit must be fostered among school children. Economic education at a
young age is important eg how strikes scare away investors. Retraining for
workers is important. Fostering young geniuses, another Ramanujan, another
Einstein must not be forgotten. No doubt some of these will be carried out
through public and private effort rather than from the top. But a general
awareness and encouragement must also come from the top. 

3. Unity. Are Indians united? This is a contentious issue but it is the
most important issue for the future of our civilization. Foreigners admire
our diversity. If one reads some of the ideas emerging from certain
influential individuals in western think tanks, one might truly feel
frightened. Some of these people are predicting that India will break up in
the future and splinter into smaller states. Of course they have said that
about China too. It is scary to think that some of these people advise
governments in the west. We must be aware of such ideas. We need to foster
a great number of civil institutions and think tanks in all fields,
diplomacy,international affair,defence,the arts,dance,the
media,science,technology, space,history etc,etc. These must not be ivory
towers but must reach into the everyday lives of Indians and draw in their
contributions and ideas. They will also interact with those in other
countries to create greater understanding and trust. These will strengthen
our society. I am going to propose something else even more far reaching. I
propose strengthening our unity by implementing policies to facilitate the
widespread use of Sanskrit in India. In the year 300 BC, a man by the name
of Shi HwangTi ascended the throne and became emperor of a small Chinese
state. In the course of time, he conquered all the other Chinese states and
thereby physically uniting China. He did something else that changed the
course of Chinese history forever. He unified the written script of all the
Chinese dialects present at that time. His legacy lives on today for
although a chinese speaking one dialect may not understand his fellow man
speaking another, he understands the written language. We may not be able
to do the same thing today that the Chinese did centuries ago,but what we
can do is increase the importance of Sanskrit, the root of all Indian
languages, over time till history takes its course. Not only that, we can
proudly say that we use widely the only ancient language still in the world
( Latin went out of widespread use centuries ago)


> From: Sanjeev Sabhlok <sabhlok@almaak.usc.edu>
> To: india_policy@cinenet.net
> Subject: Re: POPULATION
> Date: Friday, May 22, 1998 2:59 PM
> [Note: This is written in the standard tradition of clobbering Srini
> whenever possible, as desired by him]
> On Thu, 21 May 1998, Srinivas Rao wrote:
> > I think education of the masses and the policy makers in a true
> > democratic manner is the best contraceptive. Then, economic success 
> > other things will automatically evolve. 
> Education has a lot of "contraceptive" effects. Sure. But on the other
> assumption, I completely differ. Economic success has NEVER "followed" 
> education in a linear sequence or as an automatic outcome.  The process
> wealth creation is not quite so simple. It requires a vast array of
> institutional and environmental pre-conditions that need to be
> with a lot of care.
> Economic success comes from entrepreneurship and innovation. And these
> things come from things like private property rights, competition,
> markets, regulation, etc., that need to be first established. Many highly
> educated folks (like many of us on this list) are wasted on the task of
> wealth creation. On the other hand, a T-series casette walla can become
> enormously rich through understanding the market demand better and
> competing in the task of production.
> We have already discussed this at length and in fact have captured most
> these points in the Manifesto. So I leave it here, but just to
> that we should not forget our first and foremost task today is the
> revamping of economic policy to encourage wealth creation, and not
> education **per se**. 
> My reason: We already have a SURPLUS of educated manpower, even at these
> low levels of literacy. Educated people are not only unemployed but are
> forced to go outside India for jobs or pick up the gun as in Assam. I
> don't want more education if it means that we create more terrorists in
> India, or we create a huge number of Srinis educated by large amount of
> Indian taxpayer resources, to be simply picked up as "free gifts" by USA
> and other countries because we have no use for them in India. I want to
> make economic opportunities - in India - for all Srinis so that they can
> put their education directly to use for India. 
> > Approach as defined by Mr. Reddy ( i forget his full name - I can get
> > later if you'd like) who did pioneering work on Bio-gas in an AP
> > represents the true meaning of democracy and the true meaning of
> > utilizing education. 
> This sounds promising, but I am not quite sure what you mean here. Please
> propose in exactly one or two sentences a clause/ statement for the
> manifesto which captures what you mean by this and how this can be
> implemented.
> Thanks,
> Sanjeev