Thursday, July 21, 2005
Everything else is secondary
In a characteristically sharp piece of analysis, Ashok Malik writes:
What does America want of India in return for nuclear fuel, and the slew of agreements from space to agriculture to defence?Dead right. As I've written before, we haven't liberalised nearly enough, and much much more needs to be done. The reforms need to be far more wide-ranging, and they need to enable all of India to enjoy the fruits of personal and economic freedom. There's a long, long way to go. Anyway, read Malik's full piece.
The answer is simple enough: India has to keep its reforms going and its economy growing. Everything else is secondary. Nothing — not weapons systems, not nuclear plants — can make India a global power and an alternative role model to China if it reverts to being a slowcoach economy, if liberalisation doesn’t continue, if retail and banking don’t open up, if infrastructure is not seriously upgraded, if leading cities are allowed to waste away and die.
These are the nuts and bolts of great power status; the nuclear-tipped missiles are only the gleaming showpieces.