Sunday, June 18, 2006

Time Magazine's Cover Story In Their Current Issue

An excerpt from their web site.
You may not be aware of it, living in the United States, but your world is increasingly being shaped by India.

Even if you've never been to India, eaten its food or watched its movies, there is a good chance you interact with it every day of your life.

It might be the place on the other end of that call you call you make if your luggage is lost on a connecting flight, or the guys to whom your company has outsourced its data processing. Every night, young radiologists in Bangalore read CT scans e-mailed to them by emergency-room doctors in the U.S.

Few Americans are surprised today to learn that their dentist or lawyer is of Indian origin, and the centrality of Indian brainpower to California's high-tech industry has long been documented.

In ways big and small, Indians are changing the world, and may become even more influential in the decades ahead.

That's because India -- the second most populous nation in the world, and projected to be by 2015 the most populous -- is itself being transformed. In the tradition of writers citing Asia's "tiger" economies and the Chinese "dragon," now comes the elephant.

India's economy is growing more than 8 percent a year, and the country is modernizing so fast that old friends are bewildered by the changes that occur between visits.

The economic boom is taking place at a time when the U.S. and India are forging new ties.

During the Cold War, relations were frosty at best, as India cozied up to the Soviet Union while successive U.S. administrations armed and supported India's regional rival, Pakistan.

But in its wake, relations grew steadily closer and in 2004, the Bush administration declared India a strategic partner and proposed a bilateral deal (presently stalled in Congress) to share nuclear know-how. After decades when it hardly registered in the political or public consciousness, India looms large on Washington's world map.

Among U.S. policymakers, the new approach can be explained simply: India is the un-China. One Asian giant is run by a Communist Party that increasingly appeals to nationalism as a way of legitimating its power. The other is the world's largest democracy.

The U.S. will always have to deal with China, but it has learned that doing so is never easy with a country bristling with old resentments at the hands of the West.

India is no pushover either, but democrats are easier to talk to than communist apparatchiks. Making friends with India is a good way for the U.S. to hedge its Asia bet.

Democracy aside, there is a second way in which India is the un-China -- and it's not to India's credit. In most measures of modernization, China is way ahead.

Last year per capita income in India was $3,300; in China it was $6,800. Prosperity and progress haven't touched many of the nearly 650,000 villages where more than two-thirds of India's population lives.

Backbreaking, empty-stomach poverty, which China has been tackling successfully for decades, is still all too common in India. Education for women -- the key driver of China's rise to become the workshop of the world -- lags terribly in India.

The nation has more people with HIV/AIDS than any other in the world, but until recently the Indian government was in a disgraceful state of denial about the epidemic. Transportation networks and electrical grids, which are crucial to industrial development and job creation, are so dilapidated that it will take many years to modernize them.

Yet the litany of India's comparative shortcomings omits a fundamental truth: China started first. China's key economic reforms took shape in the late 1970s, India's not until the early 1990s.

But India is younger and freer than China. Many of its companies are already innovative world beaters. India is playing catch-up, for sure, but it has the skills, the people and the sort of hustle and dynamism that Americans respect, to do so. It deserves the new notice it has got in the U.S.

We're all about to discover: that elephant can dance.

I don't subscribe to Time (not a fan of theirs really), but I might buy this issue out of curiosity. If any of you folks subscribe and have access to the full article, here is your chance to blog about it.
Economics aside (cheap source for outsourcing, huge middle class, functional democracy) some here (self included) believe that the US would also like to cultivate India as a sort of a counter to China. India is a raucous democracy and it's alignment with the US may not always be predictable. China and India after us Americans are also the next biggest contributors to global warming. Should be interesting to see how it all develops.

And on a completely unrelated note,

Cargo Overload ...


Enyur said...

Man! Where do you get these pics from? lol! Anyway, about India's role in the world...I agree! When I bought my wireless router and couldn't get it to work, I called the company's tech support line and guess who pics up? Some desi in India! The next time I called again and this time too, it was an Indian somewhere in Goa!

Shitrint said...

hey jay thats a really nice article man!
thnx for posting it here. i have it bookmarked.

Keshi said...

yup even the Aussies r employing Indians for almost any tech job now. Good on India!

Who knows, they might even outsource Santa from India lol!


Aditi said...

For a moment I thought that truck was carrying giant tomatoes

Dadoji said...

All US really needs to do is respect India and treat her on merit instead of expecting her to be a whore like Pakistan. India will do what she needs to do. US will - as a friend - get what US needs naturally and without the need to pull strings. It will be better to let things take their natural course instead of force changes. Just keep holding hands. China is not the biggest worry for the west.

Harjee Kapur said...

reminds me of the punjab roadways buses :P

no matter what the reasons are, or what they chose to state, the fact remains that the world cannot ignore India.
anyone(political or economic) who has any interest in Asia, needs to take India into he loop.
we have our share of bad eggs. we need to get rid of a majority of the politicians, bureaucrats and police officers. but we have taken he mahatma gandhi route towards them.
we shall wait for them to die a natural death. and see things get better 'over time'.
If you want an overnight change, you need a mutiny.

but then, things are getting better. atleast the media has put the fear of god into them...
earlier people didn’t you make one slip, and the eyes of the nation and the world are on you.

will get an issue right away :-)

karmic_jay said...

@Enyur.. lol my wanderings on the web have helped me come up with some interesting sites not all of them tasteful. I remember calling up my wireless router support up once. It was in India, but I had the hardest time following the guy. The connection was not good and he had a strong South Indian accent. Heh imagine other Americans having to deal with this?

@shitrint cool :)

@keshi.. outsourcing Santa? lol

@Aditi.. yep giant mutant tomoatoes.. :)

@Dadoji, I agree that the US will get better things out of India and the other way round if they treat each other well and pragmatically.

@harjee., Yep they are the 600 lb elephant in the room so to say.

chandni said...


I notice that the US media has taken a lot of interest in India...verey second mag has Indian on the cover page!!!

As you said, lets see how it all develops..

On a side note, I alsway notice that u write of urself as an American. But you're Indian too right? How do u see it?

karmic_jay said...

@Chandni..The answer to your question should itself be a subject of a post not sure if anyone is interested in reading that? :)
I am an American and my Indian roots will always be a part of me. While I am glad to see India do well, I am first and foremost an American (might sound silly, but I take my responsibilities as a citizen very seriously). Some of this progress is happening at the cost of American jobs so I am saddened by it. I have put down roots here and will sink or swim here. So naturally I want my adopted homeland the US to do well.
So that in a nutshell is where I am at. Also a more detailed point of view might be possible once I read the entire article. :) Hope I made some sense.

Eli said...

I, for one, *welcome* our Indian overlords, and hope that I end up working for jay.

This Hindu Claus idea may be going a bit too far, though...

karmic_jay said...

lol@Eli such delicious snark.. maan trust me you do not want to work for me and if you did you would only work for another murikan. ;-)

lol @hindu Claus. That would so make the "war on christmas" thingy that Faux news keep talking about so believable.

chandni said...

were u born and brought up in the US?

Also, I think it would be nice to write a full post..I will, for sure, be interested!

opinionatedinjerzee said...

lol!! those pics are hillarious!! as for the time magazine issue.. i was thinking about picking it up too just to see what they have to say.. everytime any magazine does a story on pakistan they show the crappiest areas.. i bet it will be the same with india.. they make the american public think that we are all village people back in Asia!

spocko said...

I, for one, *welcome* our Indian overlords, and hope that I end up working for jay.


Me? I want to work for Jay's wife, he said she was the brains of the outfit when I met you folks at Eschacon!

When I saw that cover I instantly went to your website, you being my go-to guy on all things left and Indian. I think Time SUCKS as a publication. Too much currying (get it? Currying? But I digress) of favor with the Bush Admin. Screw 'em.

And of course no comment on India from me would be complete with out a reference to my favorite Bollywood clip from Ghostworld.
The clip is from the
1965 Bollywood film Gumnann (Lost One). The song is Jan Pahechan Ho.
I have a link to the video here.

karmic_jay said...

@Chandni.. No I am naturalized. :)

@Spocko. Yep you got that right. Mrs.J is the brains of the outfit and I am amazed at your memory and that you remember that.

I agree with you that time sucks. My wife questions my sanity in having as my home page on the browser. I always tell her, I have to know what the stupid media is running with at the moment.

The link to the video got cut, will look around at your place to find it. :)

karmic_jay said...

@Opin. I will probably decide once I read what they have to say. I hope people in both India and Pakistan realize that they are both better off getting their economies grow and not fight one another. Enough bloodshed already.

Enyur said...

lol! Funny that I had to call them again today, because my router wasn't working for some reason. And yes, the accents can be a bit of a problem...I keep having them repeat what they're saying and so far I've talked to at least 4 different desi men...but BOY do they have an attitude problem!!

karmic_jay said...

Enyur, I had the same problem. I had to havethe guy repeat himself. All he had to tell me was to reset the router to the factory defaults.
Sigh! How hard could that be?
And the guys are not supposed to have an attitude problem. Did you complain to their supervisor?