V Raj
  • V Raj
  • New Delhi , Delhi
  • India

Project Co-ordinator / Manager, UNICET - IEE

This conversation is closed.


With the global meltdown; European economy on the brink of a collapse, euro-zone fighting to save one another from collapsing!

USA the Big Brother - Watch Dog of the World struggling to survive with the highest ever Un-employed population in its history and mounting DEBT Problems, with the FED reserve refusing to bail it out once again.

India with a population of 1+ Billion People, number that forms the largest base of Consumers & Producers simultaneously! With the largest group of people under 40 in the world, with the highest number of English Speaking Population willing to Work to live rather than live on the benefits (A Major cause of Europe’s Bleak Situation Today)!

Fiscal Policy that looks promising – though it does require some tweaking to increase Public Private Partnerships, increase opportunities for Manufacturing!
And, most importantly in space of Taxes, needs major tweaking e.g. CUTS in Tax Structure at various levels to encourage corporate & individuals to pay taxes more honestly & regularly.

Yet with all its shortcomings beside being plagued with problems of Caste & Quota System...


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    Dec 7 2011: I think that while India is a land of opportunities, it has to ensure opportunities to its own people first!
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    Dec 7 2011: Corruption, and the caste system... basically, you have the same two problems as the US... just replace caste with class... Overall though, that puts you at about par for the course. Keep foreign investment out, they just extract future profits, it's a short term win, for a long term loss. Build Indian small business, and you will definately be one of the fastest growing economies in the world. I've been betting on India growing into the number 1 economy in the world for about a decade, infinite human potential, and a relatively healthy democracy (that always needs work of course). Just remember, you're not supposed to be number 1, you're supposed to be 4 times number 1, you have four times as many people as US, and Japan... So you have a lot of room to grow.

    I will suggest strangely enough however, you'll never be the "land of opportunity", in the way America was, and still is in some ways. We were the land of opportunity, for everyone else. People from any country in the world could come here and buy land, become a citizen, and start a family, almost instantly... I think India probably wants to keep it's population in control as opposed to supporting a huge wave of immigration. So India will be a land with great opportunities for it's people, but the "land of opportunity", was symbolic more of our being a beacon for the poor and disenfranchised, all over the world.

    We don't have the market cornered or anything... but we still have some open land here in the South... I hope we stay the land of opportunity for poor people from wartorn lands, to start a new life for themselves. You're welcome to join us though. I'd love to see a wave of poor unemployed Americans moving to India, lots of them actually have usefull degrees and can make a decent living in India nowadays : p
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    V Raj

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    I value your comments, I fully agree with what you say about The Black Money Stashed Abroad and how that Black Money can be used to eradicate Poverty, provide free Medicare, Education etc to not just one but all or should I say the next Two Generations of the Human Race altogether! Having said that let me stress on the fact that The People be it Indians, Americans, Russians, Chinese; who’s successfully Hidden Black Money Abroad are not but people like you and me and they too have the same vices as you and me. They too have the similar aspirations and desires as you and me – maybe for people like U and me – personal growth – wealth starts and end at a Good House, Decent Car, Enough to Educate Ourselves & Our Kids, A Sizeable savings in the personal savings account for our retirement.

    And, we must never overlook the fact that POWER Corrupts People! And, maybe for these people (the corrupt ones that U have pointed) the desire is to just make money.. as much as they can and without giving a second thought about the rest of the world but then if they are in that position – then it’s also because as a Concerned – Educated – Sincere Citizens people like U and Me have failed in our duty by not exercising our right to VOTE.. An, opportunity given to all Citizens (barring a few countries) to weed out such people from the System!

    Going back to my earlier words, I would again say that with the change in the mindset that’s gripped the present day INDIA lately – where ‘It’s OK, Not My Problem, How does it matter to me etc. is no more the NORM of a normal life. Where there’s this new desire to be responsible, where accountability of not just others but SELF first is becoming the Norm, a pro-active environment for Business surely nudges India up the ladder when the list of Next Land Of Opportunities are discussed!
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    Dec 16 2011: Great thread.

    Since I am Indian I had to speak out for my fellow Indians.

    You are seeing India from the far far place and it’s easy to comment from there.
    Please come to our home land.
    Stay in one of our homes.
    Live like us.
    Then Comment.

    It’s true that we are not perfect in every way.
    It’s true that we are learning English Accent to mimic like you to earn few bucks.
    It’s true that our politicians are corrupt
    It’s true that we still have caste issues.

    We are a land of Billion.
    Everything will be big here.
    Even the Scandals or the corruption or the Caste fights or whatever,
    It WILL BE BIG compared to other countries.

    My fore fathers some 3000 years back were teaching the other world on what art is, what trade is, what language is.
    While MEN elsewhere were still roaming in Caves.
    But it was somewhere in the last two centuries we lost our touch. We know where we stand and we will bounce back.

    We are maturing daily and waking up daily with a dream.
    Dream to make INDIA the superior nation in the world.
    It’s just a dream may get realized or may not.
    Time will judge that.

    There’s a saying that the finest sword comes out of hottest furnace.
    We Indians are there in those furnace right now.
    Please wait for a while and comment when we get out from there.

    If value is considered as the Nation to be superior we already are,
    but if economy decides a country to be superior.. Hmm.. Just wait.
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    V Raj

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    Dec 16 2011: Mr. TONY, it seems that you have just landed on Earth from Pluto or MARS as the shortfalls or the pitfalls that U have pointed about INDIA such as Corrupt Politicians etc., they are just not here in INDIA. The 'ills' that you so eloquently point out and so convincingly say that would remain an integral part of the Indian System and Society in India exist in every other country! It’s just the degree of it that differs

    This breed of people is found in each and every country. And, if I can be a little more candid then I would suggest that you please have a look at the history of Human Evolution which stems from en-cashing on our Weakness i.e. Sex, Drinking, Gambling, Money, Power. May I suggest that you look at the history of SINGAPORE, you may fall off the chair that the country was built on the basis of en-cashing the Human Weakness i.e. Sex, Drinking, Gambling!

    For the rest of my reply to your thoughts may I humbly suggest that you read my earlier reply in which I have very clearly stated that this seems to be the time... INDIA today has the largest population of people below 40, largest group of people who speak – understand – read & write a minimum of Two Languages including English and most importantly India also offers the biggest group of Skilled & Unskilled Labour. And this is also the group of people that believes in not just living for today but also in leaving behind a country which is free of most of the ills of society that hinders its growth. This is a generation that believes in leaving behind a legacy for the coming generations!

    The pertinent question remains the same... Is INDIA The Next Land of Opportunity? With the changing dynamics of the World, I believe it is! It takes vision to build – change! And please don't forget Change just doesn't happen Overnight!

    Please read ‘The Singapore Story – Memoirs of Lee Kuan, Vol 1 And, From Third World to First By Kuan Yew Lee and you would know what I am referring to!
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      Dec 15 2011: What a vivid verbal picture you portray of India, Mr. Francis. Are you speaking from experience as a resident there?
      It occurs to me that I could substitute "The U.S." for "India" throughout your statement except for the part about reaching maturity and leaving the country.
      So, do you think India is the next land of opportunity?
      Also, regarding your response to my post one hour ago, you will not get much argument about the pompous attitude of superiority in the U.S. I think it comes from too much prosperity. We are going to school on that subject right now.
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          Dec 16 2011: The items you mention do not represent the fullness of the idea of prosperity I intended, although they serve well as lesser examples. Mark Twain said it best I believe: "Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know."
          Once more, back to Mr. Raj's question. Do you believe India is the next land of opportunity?
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    V Raj

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    Dec 14 2011: Question: - Isn’t that the idea of a Debate... Discussing Solutions to a Problem from Various Perspectives and seeking a consensus though not all the times!

    Having said that allow me to start this by saying that I am not saying this because I am an Indian. I believe that every country has positive and negative things about it. INDIA with its equal share of problems i.e. Caste Politics, Religion, Corruption and most importantly Policy Paralysis still seems like a better bet compared to the rest of the World. BRAZIL, RUSSIA, CHINA & INDIA are the countries that I feel would be the fastest growing Economies and would actually be the next land of opportunities... but in all the countries mentioned above, INDIA is the only country with a Federal – Democratically Elected Government Rules, where ‘Law Of The Land Is Supreme’.

    However, it’s always a good idea to know more about country as and when possible- its opportunities, its barriers, its resources, its problems and most of all -its people! Together India – China could be a power that’s unbeatable... after all close to 2.7 Billion People; Do U need any other market to sell Ur Products? But then that is something that would never happen thanks to geo-political situation and most importantly CHINA trying to play the role of Big Brother in ASIA, a role that has been long played by USA for most of the world! The power dynamics between India – China doesn’t even point towards a time in the horizon when India – China would join hands leave alone play a major role jointly in the changing global economic situation!

    Having said that one must not overlook the fact that INDIA today has the largest population of people below 40, largest group of people who speak – understand – read & write a minimum of Two Languages including English and most importantly India also offers the biggest group of Skilled & Unskilled Labour.
  • Dec 11 2011: India was always the land of oppertunity ever since the reconnection of the bhagavadgita every spark of exsistence is from the rjetoric of the vedas so in india it is very difficult for one to be allured by inferior human limitations and any activity performed in devotional service is perferct execution hare krisna google deadpoolmak90s
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    Dec 9 2011: The most surprising thing I get to hear from most of our young generation and even from some old horses that "If britishers didn't leave India, it would had been a far better place by now". and I have actually started believing in it after years of brain storming. The major problem created by dynastic rule, initially leaders never wanted to masses to get education, so that they remain illiterate and follow same voting patter year after year. Not to mention, in India caste is an issue, and people are so adamant over this in rural areas, You get to hear many cases of honor killing. I feel this thing can change once educational reforms and connection will global world comes to picture, a person, a moral story or anything like that can not change their perceptions that humans are above these religious views. As David mentioned, keep foreign investment out, every sane Indian agrees to it we have enough manpower and resources to fulfill our own requirements and can progress.

    There is huge disparity in terms of wages also in government sector, there is very less acknowledgement and monetary rewards, this propel people to choose way of easy money through corruption. There is very recent news, in which a class 4 employee year was raided by income tax department (Whose monthly wages are approx 300-400$) was found with owner of property more than Million dollar! Now anybody can imagine how much the top class politicians will be making. Scams have taken the toll on Indian economy, but still we are surviving because generally Indians have a habit of saving more than they earn. People in rural areas complain about very basic things, Roads, electricity and food security. They do not ask for more.

    This is not surprising, because this is how people get richer quickly, by hook or crook. The current young brigade can be considered an exception to this. Thinking that India will become a Land of opportunities is the biggest myth of this time we can think of.It may take a century.
  • Dec 9 2011: I hate to throw this in, but is china not currently the land of oppertunity? More people than India, more land than India. Obviously India will overtake China as far as population goes in a few years, but how valuable is an untrained workforce?

    And is it not the undeveloped countries that are the lands of oppertunity? I am just mentioning this as it is not the US , Europe or Japan that you should compare to, but the undeveloped countries in Asia, Africa and South America. Im pretty sure the US lost the title 'Land of Oppertunity' long ago (if there was ever a title given).

    Whether this new land will be India, well I have my doubts. There will be a sharp increase in investment in the future, but whether it will just be the already rich getting richer or whether the wealth will work its way down is the question. As you mentioned, there is a Caste and Quota system, and cultural differences like that can hinder investment.
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      Dec 11 2011: Democracy > Dictatorship... Now... Always... And forever. India > China, the Chinese people just don't know it yet. Expect short term growth in China that dies either when the American dollar collapses, or starts refusing to trade with China, and one of those things is inevitable if they don't start paying manufacturers better than 5 dollars a day. China is going to get "dodgy" as I believe the Brits call it. The people there are already waking up, asking for salary negotiations in interviews, researching pay outside their region online.

      India's already a bit dodgy... but that's because it's a democracy, we're all a bit of a crazy hodgepodge... As long as India keeps forging its own path, and Chinese people keep finding out that the government is forging a path for it, and that path goes off a cliff... I don't think India has threat from China, as the new land of economic opportunity...

      I still say though, America is THE "land of opportunity", for refugees, muslims, and artistic intellectuals worldwide.
      If you want to say something crazy, or stupid, and let your energies out with a megaphone... this is the place to be. If you want to make an expensive, beautiful, cinematic opus, that challenges conventional religion, or politics... this is the place the to be. If you're from a place where the minority is literally spat on, and imprisoned, where women get mutilated, or men get guns at age 9... and you want to escape... Get to our beaches, and this is the place to be.

      Everyone's always talking about how predjudice we are against muslims... except muslims who live here. Most of them will tell you it's the place to be. We have economic injustice, slurs, and assholes, but so does everyone else, and we still let 2 million people people in every year, and give them a decent chance at life. There's no one else that can say that, and we don't just take the smart and rich ones either, though I admit we do that too often nowadays.
      • Dec 12 2011: I see what you mean, but I think America is still seen as the 'land of oppertunity', but I dont think it is. I mean when the facts change, it takes time for peoples opinion to change. As in, people still think americas number 1, when it is'nt.

        There is no US city in the Forbes top 10 cities to live. Vienna, Austria is no1, and Zurich, Switzerland is no2. True you dont get a gun at 9 in the US, but you do at 12 (legal hunting age in michigan). In most of Europe you would be hard pressed to get a gun at all. True, the Euro may crash (may just be media hype), but still the Dollar drops faster than the Euro! Anything you have listed that one can do in America, one can do in any country in the EU, but Europe has signed the Human Rights Agreement, and has not introduced a 'Patriot Act'.

        The influx of refugees in the US has to be compared with Europe as a whole, just because of the sheer size of population and the country. In Europe, there were 144000 claims for asylum during the first 6 months of 2011, compared with 36400 in America.
        Stats from http://www.unhcr.org/4e9beaa19.html
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          Dec 14 2011: We still make over 1 million people, full fledged voting citizens every year... Europe isn't even close to that. It's illegal to wear a burkha or hajib in a few EU countries. Also, the treatment of immigrants in Europe is nothing compared to those in America, how many people granted asylum will become full voting citizens that can own land in their new European nation? Isn't it actually still illegal to own land in a couple of the smaller EU countries?

          America is still the greatest country in the world, for several reasons, and it's kind of funny for me to hear people even in my own country forget this... they're not economic reasons... they're not cultural reasons... They're not land reasons... We're great for the same reason Rome was great when it started, we are THE nation of the world. We'll take anyone. How many citizens emmigrated successfully to the EU and became voters last year? I'll bet it was less than 1.5 million.

          We're not the best because of something special we are... We're the best because all the other countries of the world are here, making more money than they would in their homeland, and often, sending it back. There's over a million Irish people here, there's over a million Chinese people here, there's over a million Japanese people here, there's over a million arabs here, and there's at least 5 million latin American's here... and I'm not talking about America... I'm talking about Los Angeles, the city I live in... No one has anything on us for cultural or genetic diversity. That's why we're so creative.

          It's always funny for me to hear about how well people in Europe work together, and how they have shared goals... You're all white people from the same 500 square mile block, lol... and you still go to war more than anyone else... Europe sux... America, FUCK YA! Flying around to save the motherfuckin day, ya!

          I'm joking... of course, I love Europe, I've been all over, it's beautiful... but we play different ballgames.
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          Dec 14 2011: I will admit that the last decade of American history is a decade of embarrassment, greed, and anti intellectual sentiment that is very dangerous. The Patriot Act, not only erased important parts of the US Constitution, it expanded us into an empire in foreign territory as well. Given the historical treatment of the Irish I wouldn't be surprised if The Patriot Act doesn't in fact give the US the right to warrantlessly wiretap you. They can tap Assange, and the EU courts will stay out of it. This has all been negotiated.

          They won't extradite him... Thank god... But The Patriot Act, actually revealed a level of international cooperation in the violation of human rights that may surpise you, and was agreed to by several EU countries, under the guise of "law enforcement and anti terrorism support from the US". Also, in Germany I still believe they've made it illegal to directly criticize the government. The US still has as good a freedom of speech policy as most countries...

          It's just not good enough, our parents had a better policy, and we need to fix it. If we keep going down this path, our diversity, and university system won't save us... It's just the "land of opportunity" title will always hold true, because there will always be some places worse off than the US, and we'll still be a land of opportunity for them... We'll lose our number 1 status soon, but gdp doesn't matter, if anything mattered about gdp it would be per capita, China and India should be 1 and 2, the've got a billion people. Europe will pass us, because it's easier to govern homogeneous societies, that speak the same language... We'll lag a bit, but we'll still be awesome.

          Unless global warming kills us all... Then we'll be the scapegoat, though everyone knows if Henry Ford happened to pop up in their country, they would have bought just as many cars as us... Human error, and a love of big fast thinks may have doomed mankind... but hopefully not.
  • Dec 7 2011: V Raj,
    I have never been to India so my knowledge is not firsthand. The following is my opinion solely as an analyst.

    The greatest barrier to India fulfilling it's potential as the 'next land of opportunity' is the overwhelming bureaucratic regulation. India ranks 132nd in 'ease of doing business'. That should be embarassing. The government ought to be begging foreign capital to come into the country as well as encouraging it's own citizens to make investments yet it chokes its economy with onerous bureaucracy.

    Another barrier is the labor allocation. Two thirds of the population lives in rural areas and a half of the labor force works in agriculture. A systemic effort to connect city potential with rural labor, as well as to train said rural population, will be essential to economic development.

    The catch is that, as Krisztian noted, such an effort cannot simply be mandated by the government because public debt is already over 70% of GDP and inflation is damn near ten percent. The only option is to loosen the bureaucratic stranglehold. However, from what I understand, the bureaucracy is so entrenched that any serious reforms are ten to fifteen years away at best and by then who knows if capital investment could save the rupees in time to turn India into a legitimate 'land of opportunity.'

    Moreover, India's main export partner is the US. What is your outlook on America's economy and the dollar? And as the dollar weakens it buys less goods from... India.

    Brazil, anyone?

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    Dec 6 2011: Can a country without a constitution which recognizes, and guarantees, the equality of all its citizens become a land of opportunity? Sure, for some.
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        Dec 6 2011: Uh oh! Is it time for this old dog to learn a new trick?
        I was making an assumption based on evidence that India actually runs on a caste system.
        I will look at the link, thank you. I will be very surprised to learn there is liberty and equality for all Indian citizens.
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        Dec 6 2011: I read the words "Equality for all citizens" in your link. However, I also found this:
        Modern status of the caste system
        **NFHS Survey estimated only Hindu OBC population. Total OBC population derived by assuming Muslim OBC population in same proportion as Hindu OBC population)
        The massive 2006 Indian anti-reservation protests by higher-caste HindusThe caste system is still socially relevant in India, even when the topic is avoided by general rhetoric. Caste has become (see Caste politics in India) an important factor in the politics of rural India, although elections in the first decade of the 21st century seem to have diminished a hold that was very much evident in the previous few decades.

        The Government of India has officially documented castes and sub-castes, primarily to determine those deserving reservation (positive discrimination in education and jobs) through the census. The Indian reservation system, though limited in scope, relies entirely on quotas. The Government lists consist of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes:
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          Dec 6 2011: yeah, but you were talking about the constitution. the US has one of the best constitutions on this globe. but also has the patriot act.
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          Dec 7 2011: I am not saying this because I am an Indian, but I believe that every country has positive and negative things about it. However, its always a good idea to know more about country as and when possible- its opportunities, its barriers, its resources, its problems and most of all -its people! Think about India and China together and see whats happening to the power dynamics and economic opportunities in the world.
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    Dec 6 2011: looking forward for it. but beware. as the state gets more powerful, it might follow the european way. the inflation is already too high. public debt could be less too. and you need to solve the problem of corruption.