Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Saga folks on Das

Arun Venugopal says:

  • “There was a time--quite a long period, actually--when Westerners liked to refer to the "Hindu rate of growth" in India, i.e., the slow growth of the nation's economy (compared to other Asian countries) and its apparent basis in Hindu fatalism (Whaat to do, we're like that only). The term was supposedly coined by economist Raj Krishna but popularized by Robert McNamara. 
  • Atanu Dey thinks it should've been called "the Nehru rate of growth," to reflect its roots in socialist policies, but Arun Shourie had another idea in a column he wrote a year ago: simply re-brand "the Hindu rate of growth" as shorthand for high growth, and give credit to India's Hindus.
  • A couple days ago, "India Unbound" author Gurcharan Das wrote an op-ed in the New York Times. It's ostensibly about whether India or China will end up occupying the "top rung on the ladder of world power." Generally, I find these India vs. China discussions more a parlor game than anything else, but Das' larger point is that India manages to succeed despite its government, while China grows because of its government.
  • While he's at it, though, he can't help toss up a couple "Hindu" theories, explaining its economic growth as well as its democratic strengths.
  • The column has been received with some skepticism, namely the Vaishya theory, in an ongoing discussion on the SAJA discussion list (which is separate from this blog). But read Gurcharan Das' entire piece and let us know what you think”.

 Comments posted:

  • “It sounds ugly but Gurusharan das belongs to Khatri community, sub caste of Vaishya .He is some what right, when he claims -Indian economy is being ruled by Vaishya community.
  • when one community is identifiably superior to another in generating wealth (as you so APTLY point out) the heirarchy of caste must be reconfigured to give credit where it is due”.

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