Thursday, 9 May 2013

Accumulated Sins: How India lost behind a Malaria Ridden Swamp, Bombed Patch and a Godless Middle Kingdom

Let me start by comparing growth trajectories of 3 nations which started off at more or else same level with regards to the potential to grow. That is India, China and Sri Lanka.

Before starting, would like to state the fact that // Human wellbeing play a major role, in how the massive gains in GDP is translated into further well being hence sustained growth.//

Though many believe that India, China and SriLanka have started from the same point, the decisions they made were quite different.

* China entered the International scene only in early 80s after decades of self imposed isolation.  But the work they did in rural electrification and basic universal health coverage during Mao's era of 1960s enabled them to scale up productivity, when the global demand for manufacturing goods increased.

SriLanka, right from the start worked on universal education and developing excellent primary healthcare facilities. Until today, they have the highest literacy percentage and rank far above other South Asian nations in HDI (Human Development Index). Moreover Sri Lanka greatly benefited from abandoning import-substitution mode of industrialization. In fact when Singapore was just a Malaria ridden swamp land that Malaysia didn't want to have, Sri Lanka was seen as a role model by Singapore.

And the interesting fact is SriLanka and China had started liberalization is late 1970's and made a great leap, 10 years before India even thought of making one.

That made India miss the Era of Manufacturing ( from mid 70's to mid 90's) , hence completely losing out to Thailand and other Asian Tiger Economies like Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore.

In case of South Korea, post-Korean War, the Government overtly encouraged Chaebols (Conglomerates) and hence the capacity builded up exponentially. Moreover the advances they made in Education (Both Primary and higher Education) during Manufacturing boom of 80's and early 90's, enabled them to catch up with the Era of Information Technology and Innovation which came just after Manufacturing boom.

So essentially, Sri Lanka , South Korea and China had a better framework for utilizing the opportunities and hence achieved sustained growth in comparison with India.

And with respect to India, they did a shoddy job in

1. Rural electrification (Incomplete and Still an election plank)

2. Primary Health Care (Health Indicators far worse than Sub-Saharan countries) except in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh

3. Inability to provide quality education through universal compulsory literacy schemes.

4. Popular policies adopted by governments in 1980s after Emergency period, paved way for bankruptcy situation in 1991 which forced India to liberalize in order to receive global financial aid. 

And thus started the Great Liberalization under the able guidance of our Beloved Dr. Manmohan Singh.

And now even after relentless growth in GDP, the fruits have never reached the majority of the population for the simple reason that we had never thought of learning from our mistakes.

The Sad but absolute truth is the fruits will never reach the masses unless our Human Development Index rises and that needs massive investments with implementation at war footing.

If not, the so called Demographic Sweet-spot ( The state were a large proportion of the population would be in working age) would go useless and emerge as a potential time-bomb to the integrity of the nation itself for it's not doing enough to satisfy the aspirations of the youth.

Seems the accumulated sins, from not learning from the mistakes are here to haunt India for a long time.

God Save India !!!!!!!

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