Can India match China and dominate the world? This question comes to the mind of any discerning student of history as the two Asian giants set course, each in its own way. China under Mao achieved independence from General Chiang kai Shek in 1949.Chang was not a foreigner, thus it was only a change of government and ideology. But India is different as the Hindus have not been masters in their own land for close to a thousand years. Ever since the Muslim invaders swept into India around 1000AD the Hindus the main components of India were subjugated and conquered. No worthwhile Hindu rule existed and at the end of the Muslim rule (except for a very brief domination by the Maharattas and the Sikhs) the British took over. Thus when India achieved freedom in 1947 it was freedom in the literal sense as the Hindus after 1000 years became masters in their own land.
China was 2 years behind India and at that time India was economically the bigger power. But in a very short time the Chinese overtook India in almost all spheres of industry and world polity. In 1962 the Chinese also played a dirty game and reduced a naïve Indian leadership under Nehru to their knees with the Indian army routed all across the Himalayan border. In addition China consolidated its hold on Tibet and stepped up a diplomatic offensive to isolate India. Presently China has only Japan (separated by the Sea of China) and Formosa to contend with, while India is slowly getting ringed by hostile elements like Pakistan in the west, Bangladesh in the east and the Maoists in the north in Nepal.
One of the reasons for all this perhaps lies in the psyche of the Hindu, wherein he lacks aggressiveness. Thus we have a relevant myth of the meek and mild Hindu.The Chinese on the other hand have been aggressive and articulate. In addition the Chinese have followed Mao’s dictum ‘power comes out of the barrel of a gun’ and put it into telling effect with a massive army backed by a nuclear arsenal. India on the other hand has followed the centuries old policy of appeasement and lack of a proactive approach. Perhaps this is ingrained into Hindu thought that aggressiveness is just not there.
The result is that at all times India is reacting to the Chinese moves and rarely has any coherent policy existed except the dictum ‘let us live in peace’. But power politics is not like that where domination is the name of the game. A weak government has also allowed fissiparous tendencies to flourish with the Naxalites controlling almost 25% of Indian Territory and yet the Indian reactions are neither decisive nor proactive. In addition the government by perpetuating the biggest ill of Hinduism the caste system by constitutional guarantees has divided Indian society as never before.
Industrially also the Indians are lagging behind China and the GNP is less than half of China.We talk of democracy in a moralistic tone, but to what avail when thousands of farmers commit suicides even after 60 years of independence. As things stand India need a Bismarck to lead.The present prime Minister a career banker cannot be the man to lead the Indian resurgence. In the mean time India cannot think big and must confine itself to parity with Pakistan. The Chinese will be laughing up their sleeve.