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SAM recommends …’India: The Next Superpower?’ March 21, 2012

Posted by southasiamasala in : Gordon, Sandy, India, South Asia Masala Recommends , trackback

Two recent works are of great interest to those of us who have traced India’s rise to power over the years.  The pieces question whether India will ever become a superpower, and even if it should aspire to that role.  One is a single authored article by the eminent Indian historian, Ramachandra Guha, titled ‘Democratic to a fault’, and the other a more in-depth analysis by a team put together by the London School of Economics and including Guha, on the subject: ‘India: the next superpower?’.

The pieces argue that India should concentrate on its manifest internal problems of governance and related issues before it can hope to rise as a world power.  These problems have recently been highlighted by the massive 2G scam and other cases of mega-corruption.  Such pathology and corruption is, in turn, closely connected to the social dislocation engendered by poor performance in areas such as nutrition, health and education at the grass-roots.  Failure to share the benefits of development, not so much through lack of policy but more because of issues of governance, has  in its turn been a significant factor in the Maoist insurgency – to take one of a number of available examples – now troubling nearly a third of India’s districts.  And development itself is leading to substantial  environmental problems, which will need to be addressed before India can advance on a sustainable basis.

SAM leaves the reader to judge for herself.  And we would also welcome any opinion or commentary.  For references, see below:

Guha, Ramachandran, 2012, ‘Democratic to a Fault?’, Prospect Magazine, 25 January 2012, as at  http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2012/01/democratic-to-a-fault-ramachandra-guha-indias-future/.

LSE Team: ‘India: The Next Superpower’, as at http://www2.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/SR010.aspx and follow the links.


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