Asia's Giants: Comparing China and India by E. Friedman, B. Gilley

By E. Friedman, B. Gilley

This edited quantity reconsiders the traditional knowledge that argues that the comparative functionality of China has been more advantageous to that of India, bringing jointly new paradigms for comparing international locations when it comes to economics, social coverage, politics, and international relations. Essays express that if now not outright fallacious, traditional knowledge has confirmed to be overly simplified. The ebook brings out the complexity and richness of the India-China comparability.

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The coalition led by the BJP represented a poor people’s movement fearful of reforms. Yet when it came into office, the BJP sensibly continued reforms as the best hope for the poor. Two Passages to Modernity 39 Thereafter, India’s reforms moved forward by embracing opposition, not bulldozing it (as documented by Manor elsewhere in this volume). The fact that the BJP was criticized not only by business groups for its slow reforms but also by left-wing intellectuals for selling out to “neo-liberalism” shows just how successfully it walked the middle way.

Even if China had achieved some sort of short-term “developmental miracle” compared to India since 1975, there would be real reasons to doubt its long-term feasibility. In the event, it has done nothing of Two Passages to Modernity 45 the sort. The idea that China took a better route to modernity by delaying political reforms contains two falsehoods: one is that it has outperformed democratic India so far, something that we have seen earlier is untrue, judged in terms of welfare, freedoms, and procedural justice.

Kennedy himself repeated the widespread misconception that China’s Great Leap Forward of the late 1950s was propelling the country into the ranks of the industrialized nations, while India, he said, was beset by uncertainty, political instability, and commodity rationing. Selig Harrison warned in 1960 that in India “anarchy, fascism, and totalitarian small nationalities will each torture this body politic at one time or another in the decades ahead” bringing it finally to disintegration (Harrison 1960).

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