The Myth of the New India?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by RP578, Jan 23, 2008.

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  1. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Are we being sold a false image of India? Worthy organs such as Foreign Affairs and Economic Times gush with superlatives when describing India's economic and political ascent. For the most part we all seem to have bought into it, witness PM Gordon Brown a few days ago. Have been sold a lemon though?

    Just read this Op Ed piece from the NYT: The Myth of the New India by Pankaj Mishra.

    The author is a bit of a hate figure for Indian Nationalists, but rarely goes beyond highlighting the obvious flaws and contradictions. Makes for interesting reading either way.
  2. Capitalist success usually relies upon paying workers crap wages (not always, usually).

    Both India and China are doing this. They provide the World with cheap goods/services by giving workers pretty bad terms and conditions. This was how "the West" industrialised and the "East" is just doing the same.

    Most people just buy goods as cheap as they can get. This is good short-term thinking but bad for long-term economics. It means that most/all of your countries jobs/manufacturing ability buggers off to other shores.
  3. The exuberant self-confidence of a tiny Indian elite now increasingly infects the news media and foreign policy establishment in the United States.

    That for me says it all. So long as you believe the only measure of a nation's success is it's GDP, you might believe the hype. Otherwise, you might try asking a Dalit farm worker in Anwar Pradesh what he thinks.
  4. With so many clamouring for human rights and paying locals wages equivalent to western ones I find it a bit strange that people (the PM an example) want Indian investment in this country.

    India with its caste system must surely grate against their sensibilities.

    Oh but then again human rights only affects people when they get here not when the money earned on their backs does.

    'said a little tongue in cheek'
  5. I have said for years that India's success is based on 1 Billion on a $ a day or less.
    1 Billion bing nearest figure when rounded up.
  6. The Chinese government can railroad infrastructure projects through where the Indian government has to take at least some account of local/public opinion and the rule of law. India also suffers from the caste system. 1000+ years of this means you've got a super-intellectualised Jainist/Brahmin elite and a vast mass of illiterate peasants.

    I would also add that India is pretty much an 'enclave' economy, it's main strength being the IT sectors of Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. But I know from personal experience that there are only so many IT professionals India can turn out. And many, many of these emigrate to UK/USA/Australia as soon as they can.
  7. My bold: I agree with you there, and if admissions to Masters programmes are anything to go by, only so many of the ones it does produce are up to snuff by Western standards. I suspect the reason why so many outsourced tech support call centres are staffed exclusively by Computing graduates is because that's all many of them are qualifed for. The best ones would be actually working in programming or in the West.
  8. I work out there sometimes, and it can be summarised pretty easily, they are cheap to employ, there are loads of them and the first language of India is English.

    Where I go the Raj has now been replaced with an internationa Raj. I stay in a flash ex Raj hotel but it is now full of foreigners (mostly white) who are often in charge of a department/production line for an international company. Also met engineers out there who had once had a job in say canada and the factory moves to india, but they offer to a handful of the jobs in india to a select few and these guys who are basically running the new factory.

    I found the Indians did have limitations, ie, can only follow a single run of instructions, no left, no right, but they get paid 100 bucks a month and the white guy from Europe/US makes the decisions, in my opinion, like going back to the Raj days.

    To put it into how it is out there, my hotel was 200 dollars a nite, this is a family wage of a semi skilled worker for a month.
  9. One thing I did notice dealing with Indian IT types is that they have absolutely NO concept of company loyalty. Two years out of Uni and most of them had already had 4 employers!
  10. The middle classes have recently fallen foul of their insatiable greed. Traditionally, Indians were renowned for collecting gold as a storage of wealth. However, in the past few months, the middle classes have been off-loading their gold and have bought penny shares on their (immature) stock market. Many are ruined, and realise the duplicity of what the ruling elite have been advising -- sell the ultimate hedge for quick and dramatic profits. The only problem being that the Chinese will be buying the majority of the Au sold in India. He who has the gold has the power...
  11. I have friends who visit India on business regularly.
    One says that is now an Indian Raj running the place, they just took over where the Brits left off.
    A New Zealander I know Likes to tell of when he went to Mumbi on business, he jumped into a taxi and says Mumbi railway station. Taxi does not move, Come on I'm in a hurry, still no movement, Not know shaib.
    The railway station, Bombay Railway station.
    Yes shaib no problem.
  12. Why are we 'giving' India 800+ millions in aid?
  13. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    I have a mate who has recently gone to the US to work, some people have no taste :) but he says 80% of the office is staffed by Indians of which 1 in 5 is of any use. I don't think its an intelligence or ability issue but more an attitude thing. The bare minimum seems to satisfy most of them from what he tells me, but the bare minimum is a worst case scenario rather than the end game for most of the rest of us.

    To be fair all I've met from the sub continent have been hard working and clever guys, with one notable exception, Yagnesh you w@nker if you're reading this. :)

    And the place is full of contradictions, IT wallahs with MBAs and earning a fortune, yet older people are struggling to exist on less than a dollar a day. They have a more advanced space program than the UK and are a nuclear power but people die of malnutrition. Crazy, but whats the answer?
  14. Me too. I read with amazement that a country like India, whose large industrial businesses are taking over British businesses still get over £800million of aid from the hard pressed British tax payer. No wonder when I call my credit card's call centre do I have to talk to a Peter Sellers accent when we are subbing the country. I would rather that the £800million stay in the UK and be swallowed up by the NHS or Trident.
  15. OS - heh! That was the major part of my job, getting UK work permits and US H-1B visas for Indian IT geeks. When I first did it in 1998, the Indians were getting grossly underpaid, by the time I finished in 2002 they were demanding - and getting - the same pay as UK contractors.