OPINION | India & its ‘3Ps’: Horrible past, pretentious present, bleak prospect
~~By Gaurav Tyagi
India is over-sensitive about China's engagement in South Asia. China's defense minister visiting Sri-Lanka and Nepal was hyped up a lot in Indian media during March.
Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang holding talks with his Nepali counterpart last month also made India quite anxious. This is an assertion of India's underlying tribal and collectivist culture.
Indian subcontinent was characterized by various kingdoms, which used to fight with each other for domination.
Muslim invaders subjugated most of the Indian kings and established their rule in the medieval periods. They were followed by the East India Company and then the British rule.
Britishers shrewdly founded a political party in India during 1885. This party Congress was formed by A.O. Hume (a retired British govt. employee). The main purpose of Congress party was to enlist Indians sympathetic to the cause of the Britishers in India.
Congress served the cause of British Empire well during the pre-independence era by keeping in check real freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh.
When the British left India, all leaders had been selected and nudged into their positions by them.
DEMOCRACY JUST IN NAME
India was a democracy just in name. In reality the country remained under a dynasty rule for a long time.
First Nehru, then his daughter; Indira, who was followed by her son; Rajiv and then Rajiv's wife, Sonia ruling India through a proxy, Manmohan Singh.
That's why Modi's advent onto the national scene in 2014 was widely cheered all over India because he didn't belong to any political family however, even Modi with an absolute majority in the Indian Parliament hasn't been able to reform the Indian bureaucracy.
British colonists converted India from a geographical concept into a political entity. Indian policy makers unfortunately adopted Britishers colonial logic in India's diplomatic practices.
They failed to distinguish between a sovereign India and the former British ruled India.
The first Prime Minister of India and a Congress party leader Jawaharlal Nehru was in awe of the Britishers. He was a megalomaniac, womanizer.
Most of Nehru's ideas like 'Planning Commission' and 5 year plans were borrowed from Soviet Union, while he falsely preached nonalignment towards both U.S.S.R and U.S.A.
In the name of this 'fake' socialism, scarcity of everything was created in India. One had to turn to the govt. for license and permits. This laid the foundation of crony capitalism in India, whereby a few resourceful individuals with contacts in the 'corridors of power' managed to corner all lucrative contracts and deals while ordinary Indians were made to wait in lines for everything.
BUREAUCRACY: THE ROOT OF ALL PROBLEMS
This turned Indian bureaucracy very 'elitist' and made Indian bureaucrats arrogant, rude and 'change resistant'.
India's bureaucracy is still based on the British colonial model. British officers were in control of administration, when India was a British Colony. For easing their workload they hired Indians at the clerical level.
Indians who served the British Empire were quite rude and arrogant. They regarded their fellow Indians with contempt.
Indian bureaucracy thus inherited an inflexible functioning style from its colonial masters. These bureaucrats change their dress code and behavior like a chameleon depending on the political party in power.
They are sycophants of the first order towards politicians in power while being scornful towards general public. They remain satisfied in their comfort zone of antiquated theories.
A retired IPS (Indian Police Officer) Julio Ribeiro, who held top positions like Bombay Police Commissioner, Director General Police (DGP) of Gujarat and Punjab Provinces besides serving as an Indian Ambassador to Romania said that the Police in India is not expected to uphold the rule of law.
He stated that as soon as officers enter into the system, they quickly learn that all they are required to do is to uphold the rule of the political party holding power in the province.
According to Mr. Ribeiro, politicians of all parties and ideologies treat the bureaucracy and the Police as private fiefdoms that will bow to their wishes as and when demanded.
Indian bureaucracy is largely responsible in feeding useless narratives to the politicians and media about China.
BI-LATERAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INDIA AND HER NEIGHBOURS
Relations between nations are not like a marriage, where marital fidelity is important. Every nation can deal with any country for mutually beneficial deals.
Sri-Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan can easily maintain cordial relations with both China as well as India. This immature behavior of Indian bureaucracy eyeing everything what China does with suspicion is highly immature.
It is a result of their Congress era Nehruvian infused lethargy, a misplaced sense of self- importance and inflated egos.
The author spent many years in The Netherlands and closely interacted with a lot of Nepalis and Bangladeshis there.
Nepal has always received a favorable treatment from India. Nepalis can come, work and easily settle in India. Inspite of this Nepalis don't like India and Indians.
Bangladesh owes its existence to India without India's help this nation would not have came into being. Majority of Bangladeshis also do not carry a positive image of India.
So, why should India bother about these countries? Let them do whatever they wish.
According to a survey released by the Transparency International (TI) in March 2017, India is the most corrupt country in Asia with very high prevalence of bribery in the public sector of the country.
TI is a Berlin, Germany based anti-corruption global civil society watchdog.
INDIA – OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE?
The inequality between the haves and have not's is rising rapidly in India according to India Exclusion Report 2016 by the Centre for Equity Studies.
Development can be seen at close quarters by the poor but remains out of their reach. More than 38 percent of children in India are stunted, while 29 percent of them are underweight, as per the Global Hunger Index 2016.
The World Bank states that India has the largest number of people in the world living below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. 30 percent of Indian population comes under this category.
As per the Census of India, six million children in the country aged 6-13 have never been to school.
The Annual Status of Education Report carried out in rural areas by the Non Government Organization, 'Pratham' reveals that after about three years in a government school about 60% of the students still cannot read anything except their names.
This poor quality of education in the government schools of India threatens the future of millions of children in the country.
The public spending on Healthcare as per the World Health Organization in India was only 1.4% of the country's GDP in 2014.
In the commitment to Reducing Inequality Index, 2017; India's commitment to reducing inequality was ranked 132 out of 152 countries.
INDIA – PLAGUED BY DOMESTIC COMPLICATIONS
India should forget about becoming a global power. It cannot even become a regional one, unless it puts its own house in order first by addressing the aforesaid serious domestic concerns of corruption, income-disparity and misuse of political power.
There are more internal challenges in the form of casteism, religious- fanaticism, over-population to name a few.
Indian establishment must focus on the internal issues facing the country instead of meddling with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri-Lanka and day dreaming about a military confrontation with China.
The author is a Master Degree holder in International Tourism & Leisure Studies from Netherlands and is based in China.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the writer's own and TNT -The Northeast Today may or may not subscribe to the same views)