India and its various avatars

India: there are many facets to the country, and in this post we present a slice of how India is perceived by different people. Each writer is looking at India from a different angle and sees a different avatar of the country. Some look at India from a comparative perspective and as the next big emerging market, while others look at rural India, an agrarian India that is struggling to keep pace, and then there are IT folks who look at India differently, this is India with its strong IT and technology hub.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis of is a blog about India and China, the two fastest growing economies in the world. In this post titled Comparing Governments Approach to FDI Devonshire-Ellis compares the two countries strategy to Foreign Direct Investment and writes:

Yes, both governments are on the right track and will continue to move ahead. These are significant developing countries and they will forge the way the next century looks and behaves. The US needs to adapt it’s economy, while the Brits need to get out of their shorts and into grown-up trousers when dealing with such markets.,

While Devonshire-Ellis talks about the new India and the future of India, Mr. Venkatesh looks at the agrarian crisis and wonders if there is a grand design to keep the farmers poor in India.

MR Venkatesh of Indian Agrarian Crisis writes about the lack of food productivity in India and also makes that inevitable comparison to China. Why has the food capita not increased? And, why are farmers still poor in India?  Mr. Vekatesh elaborates:

The net per capita food availability in India in 1971 was 394 gm per day. This was just after the onset of Green Revolution in India. Exactly 30 years later, in 2001, the net per capita of foodgrain availability was 396 gm per day: a princely rise of 2 gm! In effect, for over 30 years our farm growth has barely kept pace with our population growth.

And why are farmers poor? He explains:

If farmers were to succeed, it would mean the failure of our politicians and the brand of politics practiced in this country since 1947 by the Left and the Right.

And that explains why the government is keen on a failed farm sector: the idea is to merely keep it on a life support system, allow it neither to die nor to bloom. And that ensures that India remains poor, while its politicians are rich.

Sujai, an entrepreneur and a blogger in Bangalore writes about Barcamp3 recently held in Bangalore and shares his observations of what needs to be done in India from and IT and technical perspective. Again, there is that comparison to China when he writes:

We don’t sit down solving the barriers and then go about doing it. We just do it and in the process hope the barriers go down. We are already late according to me (and Savita and few others). While Indians celebrate the fact that we are going to be the services hub the way China is now the manufacturing, thereby implicitly shrugging off the responsibility to foster other industries, China is already transforming itself into a global product making player.

Sujai also makes a telling point about the nature of the job that are left incomplete in India and wonders how this endemic problem can be resolved. He writes:

Not finishing up the job to its absolute completion is something like a disease that is all pervading. Half done, incomplete and shoddy jobs are seen everywhere. I call this the last-meter problem. We don’t go all the way; we seem to run out of gas during that last meter.

And, Steve Erat, who works for Adobe in the US captured an interesting video clip of his commute in Bangalore and presents a different perspective of India. Steve writes: 

This is my first visit to India and Bangalore, and although I didn't warm up to the unfamiliarity of the local culture at first, its definitely growing on me. The people here are very polite and friendly, much more so than New England I think. I had been warned of the food here and to eat at American food chains, but my Indian colleagues have helped introduce me to local dishes and I'm really enjoying them now.

What or where is the real India? I guess it depends upon your perception.


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