Friday, June 02, 2006

The Reservation Debate - the good part

I'm sure all of us have been following the reservation debate, like it or not, for the TV channels are full of it. No doubt, we have our own opinion on it, probably a strong one at that. For most readers of this post, it is not very difficult to guess what that opinion is.

In addition, the same debate has had many political ramifications. Manmohan Singh has a tough job balancing out demands of coalition politics & good governance.

So much for all the bad news, for all that seems wrong & unjust.

However, if this were China, those students protesting on the streets would have been killed. If this were China, you could not see full front-page reports on National newspapers crying themselves hoarse against the Government. There would be no Tehelka, no Jessica Lal investigation. There would be no Supreme courts ordering reinvestigation of Godhra.

We remain a poor country & there is injustice all around.

But hey, we have a voice.



Huckleberry Finn said...

ABSOLUTELY! Only people who don't have a voice seem to realize the enormity of what India has - we should too.

Souvik said...

I'm glad you agree. Though dissent & debate are such integral parts of a democratic process, I still think that though we have the 'necessary' arsenals for a true democracy, we're not doing 'sufficiently' well.

I thought of deleting the post or at least take out the direct refereence to China - it was a ruthless, selective portrayal of the country. China probably will fulfill its tryst with destiny; & if we do not, we'll only have ourselves to blame.


Usha said...

Welcome back! i thought you had completely gone off blogging.
I concur with you. There is room for opinion and dissent here - that is why we seem to move ahead a little slower than a country that can shove its plans down the people's throat and bull doze them into submission. But it is ok. this pace is fine and a growth on these lines is healthier for the morale of the people.
On a similar note,you may find this post interesting:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your note, Usha.

I read the post you suggested. I agree that there is no shying away from the pseudo-dictatorial rulers of China. The question of freedom is a HUGE question mark, & there is not much to be said about it.

However, we have to be alive to the whole situation. Chinese state-owned enterprises are running huge losses & the banks that were forced to loan to them face bankruptcy. Everybody knows how the right to information is suppressed. Everybody knows there is no law above the politburo.

Yet, Chinese investments in infrastructure are something we'll do well to emulate. Infact, India's liberalization in 1991 was influenced by the Chinese reforms starting 1978. Plenty of people have predicted the bursting of the Chinese bubble for a while; however, it has not happened.

I feel that the development of our region cannot be looked upon as politically isolated policy decisions. It is obvious that SAARC's limited success at improving trade in its member countries is because of factors primarily political & ethnocentric - with few of its member states still fighting for a national identity (Burma, Pakistan). I believe that India & China have much to learn from each other & we should put our differences behind us.

In a world of new choices & possibilities, old differences can be ignored for mutual benefit.