Friday, November 25, 2016

Singapore model or India model ?

There is a thought going around - can and should India follow the Singapore growth model ? Possibly Modi with his limited thinking and exposure is pegging at putting India in the same growth trajectory as Singapore. 

Is democracy a drag on development in India ? I recently happened to read the RSS mouthpiece magazine Swarajya article on this topic praising how Lee Kuan Yew transformed   a small marshy land, 720 sq km area into a leading trading post of the world in under 30 years. Will Singapore be able to sustain it's growth now with the demise of Lee ?

Singapore is a nascent very small country, just area of 720 sq km, (27km x 27 km across) which came out of a fishing community with zero natural resources. It presently has a  population of 5.7 million.

Though on per capita GDP at PPP it stands #3 globallya0 at $85,000.00, it's total GDP (PPP) is only about $480 billion ..

Controlling a country as small as Singapore with an iron fist, single party, no democracy is easy and the country may perform exceedingly well in the short run. In the long run, will it survive ? After Lee Kuan Yew as PM, can his legacy of openness and uncorrupted development be sustained by his followers ?

Lee went on a big gamble and kept material economic development and prosperity as primary goals in a country with no culture and history.

Could India, one of the oldest civilizations of the world, and a population 240 times have been governed equally well ? Great doubts persist in a country culturally and ethnically diverse as India. In fact the multi-ethnicity is its greatest strong point too.

India and it's many kingdoms of yore have been very liberal and tolerant over millenia. Trying to contain it all overnight by a single beneficent ruler may not be an acceptable idea at all.

US' federalistic structure of administration has stood the test of time for more than 240 years and is helping in its growth.

India's federalistic structure as a union of states loosely held with enough freedom of executive, legislative and judiciary in the states, at the same time tied together for national goals and objectives (Federalism as propounded in Part XI of Indian Constitution) as of now remains India's best foot foward for Indian, Asian and global development.

George

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