India Vs China – What Price Democracy?

I keep reading comparisons between the progress of China and India. Some say it is quite telling. It has been said that for all the advice of the ‘west’ it is the world’s largest democracy that has lagged. The recent release of health statistics makes for uncomfortable reading. Per 10,000 of population India has 6 doctors and 9 hospitable beds; China has 14 and 30 respectively. Indian GDP per capita is US$2800 and China US$5970 (OECD, 2008). Maybe democracy does have a price – but is it one worth paying? Let me first discuss about the conclusion that a dictatorship will grow faster than a democracy. I think there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that all conditions being same, a dictatorship will definitely grow faster than a democracy. This is intuitive and can be derived from natural laws. A democracy is like a chariot with 100 horses, each of whom has an opinion and thinking about the direction that they would like to take. So what happens is that each of the horses or a set of horses with same ideas will pull the chariot in their desired direction. The result is that the chariot is acted upon by forces that are pulling it in different directions. The final direction and the speed of movement will be determined by the resultant force which is the vector sum of all the different forces. On the other hand, a dictatorship is like a chariot with 100 horses out of which only one will make the decision about the direction the chariot has to move in and all the other...

Will Guest Control At Parties Reduce Food Shortage?

Yesterday I read one of the most hilarious pieces of news which said that to reduce food wastage the government could look into the Guest Control Order of the 1960s, which limits number of guests at marriages and other events. It seems that the government has woken up to the fact that there is a food shortage and they have arrived at a brilliant realization that the food wastage at weddings and social gatherings is ”criminal” and must be curbed to ensure food security. Is there really a relationship between food shortage and the number of guests Today, however, I would like to limit my thoughts to the possibility of a curb on the number of guests at a party and like to explore if a party with large number of guests results in food shortage. My thinking is that it does not. And my case is given below: When I go for a dinner party, I eat at the party. On coming back, I do not have dinner again at home. I somehow get this feeling that is the case with all others as well. Therefore, if hypothetically speaking, I invited the entire population of Delhi (about 17 million strong) for the reception of my son’s wedding (a dinner party can’t get bigger than this), that night dinner will not be cooked at any other dwelling except mine. It therefore means that irrespective of the number of guests at a party, the same numbers of “man-dinners” are consumed. So there is no wastage. Corollary to the argument being that attending parties does not contribute to food shortage. At...

Should The World Invest In India?

These are the best of times for India – watch her growing economy, her people winning laurels the world over, her contributions to the world peace, her growing friendship and influence with other countries, her flight to the moon, her ambitions, her…. These are the worst of times for India – watch her attacked by terrorists, her plunder and division by politicians, her looting by a few corporate czars, her growing inability to quench the growing hunger and thirst of her people, her increased enmity with her neighbors, her… Using the above facts about India, it is possible to make a case, both for and against her future. I am however extremely optimistic about India’s future. It could be because I am an optimist by birth. It could also be because I am an Indian by birth. I am expected to believe that the motherland that has given me birth is better than heaven. Didn’t some of my ancestors said so long ago – “jan-a-ni janam-bhoomi-sch, swar-ga-dapi gari-yasi”. All this may be true. However, I believe that even if I was not an Indian by birth or descent, I would have still believed in the future of India. There are many reasons for it. Why invest in India? One, they say old is gold. India has been around for a long time. Longer than most people can remember. The culture of India, history of India and the people of India have survived every possible catastrophe – natural or man-made. Two, India has been a great teacher. Many may not agree, but I think India has been an equally good...

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