I had always thought of writing my opinion on this but never got to. But yesterday was the last straw. I happened to read or hear India and China being referred to in the same breath 4 times within one hour over TV and Newspapers.
I do agree that there are some similarities like we are both branded as "developing", are fast growing compared to the so-called "developed" countries, are big in terms of size and population. But that's about it. We have: - Different culture: (from my experience)When most Indians meet Chinese they almost have nothing in common. Infact get along better with Westerners than Chinese. - Different political setup: India is a Democracy and is perceived by the world to continue as a Democracy. China never was and no one even expects it to become anytime in the near future. - Different economic setup: India is slowly but surely moving away from a Govt run country to a private enterprise run country. Whatever the goverment runs happens slowly (infrastructure), whatever the private companies run grow fast (telecom). China is largely still a govt run country! But the govt being more dictatorial is much more effective and fast - Different strengths: While both have loads of manpower, China's strength is in manufacturing and India's in services and IT.
(Here I am not referring to differences like religion, Architecture, looks or language because these have lesser imapct on economics than the above.)
This is not to say that either India is better off or China is. Nobody can predict that. Future is unpredictable. But given these differences, though there are some similarities between the two, the differences are STARK! Their futures are going to be VERY VERY different.
Dear Economists, Western businessman, Professors, Book-writers, bloggers and citizens of the world: DO NOT refer to India and China as if they are synonyms! :-) (Smiley is to tone down the whole thing :-) )
Imagine in the 60s when US and USSR where growing together and into similar things like defence and space, there might have been many who talked about them in the same breath! I hope you see the stupidity now. Please do not take this to mean that I am saying that India is like US and China like USSR. The point is that, two countries looking superficially similar, but having deep-rooted differences in culture, politics, economics and strengths can never have the same future. Thursday, October 05, 2006
hey sreekanth, did not know that you are back in blog action. glad to see you online. I met anand some time back.