Friedman and India
There's great positivity in the academic circle over the potential of India when it comes to growth, with the most respected ones harping on and on about the potential that lies in the country.
Maybe it's the fact that I hail from a godforsaken state where all the fruits of economic growth disappear into the pockets of the wealthiest; or that I studied development studies in a leftist oriented college.. I have great scepticism about the translation of this much talked about potential into actual ground level development..
I read a rather compelling article by Thomas Friedman in which he compared India with China and Egypt. According to him, India enjoys the advantage of having a strong civil society and she would beat the other two with ease if she were to rectify the issues of governance and corruption, and convert her 560 million strong youth population to what he calls a demographic dividend.
Getting this 'Demographic dividend', it seems entails the provision of education and jobs by the government.
Friedman goes on to describe the issue of failure of the governance system leading to "unemployable frustrated youth" and sparking off of Maoist movements.
I found myself agreeing to his hypothesis, having witnessed it first hand in my own state. Failure of education system? Check. Unemployment and frustrated youth? Check. Deplorable governance? Check.
Reaching such a conclusion however leaves an emotional case such as myself with despair.. so much potential, all washed away by the failure of the system and in whose reins the power lies..