Friday, December 16, 2005

A Shift In the Indian Paradigm

I think the recent spurt of economic growth in India that started over 12 years ago and that precipitated ever since is due to an undercurrent of capitalist and individualist philosophy gaining influence in the minds of the Indian people. I have been reading a spade of articles recently in Indian newspaper editorials that are criticizing public sector economics and pushing for more privatization of Indian assets. A more direct evidence of this shift in paradigm is the prominence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy in the popular culture. Those Indians who can speak and read English fluently (typically, the affluent, educated, and younger generation Indians) have been devouring Ayn Rand books and discussing her ideas openly. I recently read an editorial online by an Indian Administrative Services officer – the equivalent of a top-level employee of the Federal executive branch bureaucracy – who pitted Ayn Rand’s ideas favorably against the collectivist/communist ideas of our first Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. As an Indian myself, I perceive discussions like these astonishing because personalities like Nehru have mostly been revered among the Indian masses, and to even imply in the public media that he might have been wrong – and devastatingly wrong – for the entire country its economy, is a radical concept, and certainly an act of some courage. I think India is finally rising from the oppression of its communist/socialist policies that plagued the Indian eco-political system for more than 50 years. Finally, I believe that the intellectuals who wield the requisite power and influence in Indian society are propelling a rapid growth in the modern Indian economy with increased privatization and capitalism. And I am very happy to discover that the Indian intellectuals – unlike their American counterparts – are increasingly getting their ideas from the “Fountainhead” of reason – Ayn Rand.

3 Comments:

Blogger Gazoo said...

Do you really attribute India's move toward's capitalism and individualism to Ayn Rand?

12/16/2005 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

No... not to Ayn Rand fully and completely... but certainly to the gaining ground of capitalist ideas.
However, you would be surprised at how many Indians and South Asians in general (both, here in America, and in their home countries) are familiar with Rand's works, and agree with her philosophy.

12/16/2005 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

P.S. Rand is mentioned more in the India media than here in the American media - which is sadly ironic, because Rand argued so vociferously for the American ideals, which seem to have gained a larger adherence in a socialist/communist country.

12/16/2005 03:04:00 PM  

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