‘ “India is a nice house on a bad street” – This is not a blog post by me. It is a simply brilliant. five-minute introductory speech given in London at an event, by a young professional of Indian origin.
His name, Dhritiman Biswas. He spoke extempore and the points are reproduced here. The topic was a round table on: ‘India – is it a gigantic success or a colossal failure?’ This is what he said:
“Ladies and Gentleman, I am glad I am merely introducing the debate and not participating as in my humble opinion the question itself is wrong.
India, unlike, many western paradigms cannot be analysed in black and white, in linear equations or algorithms such as this.
- We hate test cricket yet are the No.1 test ranked country;
- our ranking in gender diversity is 134, yet the majority of our bank CEOs, the most misogynist yet of industries are women;
- our health services creak and crumble, yet 36 pct of all National Healt Service (UK) consultants are Indians;
- we love Bollywood tamasha, yet New York philharmonic sold out in 5 mnts in Calcutta in 1984;
- we struggle with illiteracy, yet are the largest English speaking country in the world;
- we riot, fight and squabble, yet remain a thriving democracy whilst Russia, Arabia, Brazil, Pakistan fall to authoritarianism..
India is a concept devised by the British and therefore in many ways a contradiction, a process , a work in progress.
Our poverty index suggests we are a hopeless failure, our mobile usage however may allude to resounding success.
Our private sector defaults diabolically like Kingfisher but spectacularly turnaround JLR like the Tatas.
This question cannot be answered because it is the wrong question to ask. The right question is –CAN INDIA BE ALLOWED TO FAIL? JP Morgan elegantly points to the ruins of emerging markets and says India is a nice house in a bad street!
I would add further… The Western world is founded on the principles of liberal, free market, democracy. Outside the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and the western (oAnglo Saxon Protestant) world, literally in the entire globe, there is one other example of this experiment — and that is IndIa.
We are the West’s and England’s most natural ally… We speak the language, sing Beatles songs, read Wodehouse and want to grow up to be Sherlock. Despite our many failings we are a giant and a colossus and for the sake of the world let’s hope we succeed.”