Books / India / Politics

India the Next SuperPOWER? Perhaps

Washington, D.C. – Daniel Lak hits the nerve of India’s success in his new book “India Express – The Future of the New Superpower”. Without any fanfare, he spells out the transformation of a nation from colony to independence, from extreme poverty to global phenomena.

Beyond the known poverty, HIV epidemic and sea of contradictions, India is at the forefront of setting an example of how business and democracy can work internally and be in position to be the next global leader. Lak, who worked in India for the BBC, shares countless stories of Indian successes obtained through hard work, ingenuity, quality services, education and the curiosity to learn. One anecdote in his book merits special attention. A tea server at Infosys had stock options and was able to use them to purchase a home mortgage. Not only did the tea server have access to the financial success of the company; but also he would clearly be invested in the company’s continued success.

According to Lak, India, a socialist nation in nature, flourishes today because of lowered tariffs and eased import restrictions and business regulations breaking the restrictive trade barriers in the 1990s. Market success has been balanced by national traits of ‘problem solving’ and ‘multitasking’.

But, the elephant in the room is the Indian inclusion of spirituality. Though a secular nation, India is a nation of many diverse religions and is the origin of Buddhism and Hinduism. The vast array of Indian spiritual traditions supports the community as each navigates through the existing chaos of living and working among over a billion people.

Keeping the faith and the vote are part of the secret of the Indian transformation to a world superpower. Lak writes “Democracy is one of India’s greatest accomplishments, perhaps still its greatest triumph as a nation.” He continues with, “Voter turnout is almost always high, and the intensity of tea-shop debate over the political crisis of the day has to be experienced to be believed.” Voting and debating are Indian pastimes but so are hungry investigative reporters uncovering any fraud or corruption. Each keeps the overall system in balance. Wisely Lak shares, “People who are denied the freedom to despise and critize their government can be expected to revolt.”

India does have lessons to share with other nations. Lak writes, “Daily life is a constant process of negotiation, reassessment and acceptance of hardship that makes people tough, resilient and focused. Indians succeed because there is no safety net to catch them. There is no second chance.” Now, the question is how will India be as a global leader.

Recently, Lak spoke at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. promoting his book. When asked what lessons could the US learn today from India – especially in areas of politics, finances and culture. He ducked the question and said so because he had positively commented on India’s rapid humanitarian responses during natural disasters, which were – in his opinion – more successful than the US response during Hurricane Katrina. But, after reading his book, all he needed to say was – read my book.

By Keri Douglas, Principle, NM International provides strategic communications connecting the global village and is freelance writer in DC. She can be reached at keridouglas@mac.com.

Copyright 2008 Keri Douglas

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