Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thoughts About India

Some links which are in tune with what's on my mind...

1. India's Costly Culture of Corruption [Steven Pearlstein in Washington Post]

"These are all reminders that, for all its progress in recent years, India’s economy remains very much an insider’s game. A recent study by two American business school professors confirmed that much of the formal economy continues to be run by a couple dozen family-controlled groups that seem to be in just about every major industry — manufacturing, retail, energy, infrastructure, shipping, construction and telecom."

2. India Inc is not a small crony club [Swaminathan A Aiyer in Times of India]

This is a serious and common criticism, but is mostly wrong. Consider the sensex between 1990 (just before economic liberalization) and today. The sensex comprises the 30 top stock market companies, and the Bombay Stock Exchange keeps changing companies in the list as old giants decline and new ones emerge. If indeed India was dominated by a few oligarchs, the sensex would contain much the same companies today as it did 20 years ago.

3. New India story is about flight of capital [Swapan Dasgupta in Times of India]

From sweetheart deals in telecom and offshore exploration to the ouster of reluctant farmers from their lands, corporate India is being painted the root of all evil. It has become the new juju man—the puppeteer controlling a range of subordinate players ranging from bent bureaucrats to pliant politicians.

The first story above tells what is on mind of everybody in India. Second is a repudiation of the first argument - though a flawed one in my view. The third one, like the second tries to defend big coroporates in India from the recent public outcry - again a meek attempt.

The truth is that India has become a corrupt society. Everyboy knows this. The rich and powerful benefit from it. Everybody else suffers - the biggest loss being the that of opportunity.

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