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India will be number two economy in the world by 2050

January 24, 2007

Goldman Sachs, the world’s largest investment bank has confirmed the research findings of the BRICs report – that India’s growth will be sustained as predicted, and India could become the second largest economy in the world after the United States China by 2050! This is according to a TOI report.
What is BRIC?
BRIC stands for four countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – and it was as far back as 2003 that Goldman Sachs mapped out the GDP growth, per capita income and currency movements for these four countries. But the 2003 BRICs report had given India the number 3 place, but now this has been revised to number 2 just a few days ago in a review by Goldman Sachs.
Reasons why India will rise:
1) Manufacturing productivity will drive growth. It’s performance will improve due to globalisation and increased competition.
2) India’s economic reforms are the reasons for this astounding predicted growth. India’s “increased openness to trade, investment in information and communication technology, and greater financial deepening.”
The fact that the previous chairman of Goldman Sachs Henry Paulson is today the treasury secretary in the Bush administration is also significant.
Some more important points from this report:
1) Growth for BRIC countries will slow at the end of this period.
2) Individuals in the BRIC countries will still be poorer on an average than individuals from the G6 countries, with the exception of Russia. China’s per capita is expected to be $30,000, approximately what it is for the developed nations today.
3) Local spending patterns will change and this will impact the demand and pricing of various commodities and products.
4) Companies who do business globally will benefit.
5) BRICs economies in the next 40 years will be larger than the G6 in US dollar terms! Currently they are worth less than 15%.
6) Russia could overtake UK, Germany, France and Italy.
7) China could overtake Japan, Germany and lastly by 2039 – the US.
8. Of the current G6 countries, only two may remain in the G6 – US and Japan.

If the report is correct, then the BRICs countries will straddle the world in less than 50 years and Europe will be left behind.

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The increasing list of Indian Forbes billionnaires is a sign
Highest salaries in India in 2007
People’s world view has altered
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Street children are deprived of an education
Outsourcing moving to smaller cities in India, like Kolkata

158 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2007 11:45 am

    What about the distribution system?
    What about the digital and financial divide??
    What about the problem of reservation???
    What about the question of environmental balance????
    Unless we get solutions for this, there is no possibility of Indians economy to be the #1 or #2.

  2. January 24, 2007 12:47 pm

    2050 is a long way away! These findings are perforce extrapolations of current trends – and so many unexpected factors can disturb the system. I won’t disagree with the BRIC grouping; population and a strong government count for a lot in economic growth, but to pick a winner?

    ggw

  3. January 24, 2007 1:40 pm

    Yes, the policies of reservation have not been accounted for. Those could pull us down. India needs to have a merit-based system.
    However nothing is going to stop India…I believe that it will be in the top 10 by 2050, even if it is not in the top 5. But no doubt, Russia and China are on their way up. Europe is on it’s way down. The balance of power will shift.

  4. nathanpage permalink
    January 24, 2007 2:39 pm

    Yes we are used to hearing this for the past 5 years now…what about Chinas shift to a representative democracy???will it be smooth??…isnt there a distinct possibility that this change will have an adverse affect on the country much like the fall of the Soviet Union??

  5. Ranjeet permalink
    January 24, 2007 10:00 pm

    This report is baloney, its like saying that we will be living on the moon by 2020.
    What about the infrastructure? India does not even have proper Healthcare, Sanitation, Roads, Airports……to name a few. Dont tell me these will all be fixed in this time.
    What about the caste system & the millions of illiterate people living in the rural areas?
    At the end of the day, “It all depends”.

  6. January 25, 2007 1:48 pm

    TOI rarely conjures any kind of reality. Goldman Sachs has been churning out so many predictions. Same was the rhetoric when Latin America adopted the American “forced” neo-liberal adjustments. Structural adjustments and jargons of that kind brazed the ebullient media. It did help a niche of the society but it avoided a vast majority in a disgusting manner. This prompted the revival of moderate left governments that are popping up there. The trickle down economics don’t work. I am not the one to speak about it; there is none better than Joseph Stiglitz to speak about it. He told “… trickle-down economics doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked anywhere. It hasn’t worked in the United States.”
    A better look at this will give you a ground reality; it for sure is better than Goldman Sachs!

    So what does Being No: 1 mean?
    That you only have 260 millions who are below poverty line?
    You have only few odd farmers suiciding?
    You have only few Dalits being lynched?
    You have only few Nandigram and Singur happening (China had a lot of them by now. They “opened up” a little early than us”

    Now on the contrary you will only have:
    A Bharati Mittal, a Vijay Mallya, a Ruia…. May be the list will go on for a few more pages; but they wont be accountable to the 260 million; But for sure they will hold 90% of Indian wealth. That is for sure a commendable achievement; which only the Role-Model or the apostle- America could achieve or have already achieved.
    By no means; this system offers parity!!
    It wrenches the basic needs like water, shelter, Education and energy from the state control; price it exorbitantly and alienate it more from the poor; you can see it around.
    Now, if this is the gist of being No: 1. Then Go ahead and gobble Goldman Sachs Report!

  7. January 25, 2007 3:22 pm

    A better look at this will give you a ground reality; it for sure is better than Goldman Sachs!

    The missing link is here..

    http://www.hindu.com/2006/12/28/stories/2006122802701100.htm

  8. January 25, 2007 4:02 pm

    That is a very interesting article Clash and definitely the guy knows what he is talking about.
    However, I firmly believe that there is a rising middle-class. The time when we had the rich and the poor is gone. Slowly more and more poor people are getting into the middle class…I believe a time will come when poverty will decrease…and the problems that have been outlined by you all will slowly disappear. Fifty years is a long time.
    I remember how it was 30 years ago. India was nothing! I remember that India very clearly. No one had anything. Why, this city I am living in right now was completely different just 10 years ago! Flyovers, new buildings, malls etc. The other problems will be sorted out, slowly but surely. I am an optimist at heart!

  9. March 16, 2007 10:30 am

    Nita,

    The first comment “Goldman Sachs, the world’s largest investment bank has confirmed the research findings of the BRICs report – that India’s growth will be sustained as predicted, and India could become the second largest economy in the world after the United States by 2050!”

    Here as i am aware that by 2050, India would become the second largest economy after CHINA and not United States. United States would be no. 3 in Purchasing Power Parity terms after China and India. Please correct me if i am wrong.

  10. Phantom permalink
    March 28, 2007 2:16 pm

    I tend to view such pro-India reports with a mixture of nationalistic pride, optimism and cynical realsim driven by an awareness of the stark reality of India’s current economic condition.

    So what if the country’s GDP is the 4th or 3d or 2nd largest in the world. I’m more concerned about other factors such as:

    Income equality >> right now the income inequality is very stark. So what if the poor become the new middle class….with the rate of inflation the way it is today’s middle class cannot afford any more than yesterday’s poor. Purchasing power parity of a standardised basket of goods and services needs to be the benchmark for evaluating income equality. It is not enough to judge income distribution on the bais of absolute earnings.

    Avaliability of bare minimum acceptable levels of public and private infratructure (roading, public transportation, utilities, sanitation, water, food) – EVERY indian citizen deserves to have access to minimum acceptable level quality of basic infrastructure. The avialability of such resources in the rural sector is especially poor.

    Decent quality and range of primary, secondary and tertiary education – for all. Give up the dynastic, idolatory fascination that Indians have traditionally had with single pieces of success. We idolise a handful of elite universities (IIT, IIM, Bits Pilani etc)….and lose sight of the fact that only a fraction of the approximate 1.3m graduate pool every year actually can avail of this world class education. What about the huge majority of graduates who have to survive with mediocre education and infrastructure. we shoudl realise that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Instead of being a team of champions, we shoudl aim to be a chanpion team (similar to the difference I suppose between the Indian cricket team that is heavily dependent on a few star performers, as opposed to the Australian team where every player pulls his weight and is at a sufficiently high level of competency to ensure that the team together represents more than just the sum of the components).

    Finally – life in india needs to be as close to a true meritocracy as possible – where all have equal opportunities to pursue a reqarding life. The existing class/caste structure is a social evil. It is not enough saying that a slum dweller’s child does have the choice to take up a meaninful life, study and become something….that perosn needs to be given the opportunities and the infrastructure to enable that change.

    A bit of a wish list I admit, however, i believe that progress should be made simultaneously on all these fronts for the country to truly evolve financially, emotionally, socially and culturally. The economic progress we’ve enjoyed over the past decade is an awesome start….but we have a long long way to go. Our only and best competetion is and should be ourselves….not China, not Russia, not anyone….cos no other country has the unique mix of social, economic and cultural issues that we have.

  11. July 21, 2007 6:59 pm

    The key challenges that India currently facing is about by an appreciating currency, upcoming taxes that is put in at the latest budget, severe manpower crunch which is already impacting the country and visa restrictions. http://askwiki.blogspot.com/2007/07/key-issues-and-challenges-for-indian.html Have tried to highlight the these issue here, hope the govenrment and the Indusries would necessary steps to resolve them.

  12. Sahil permalink
    December 22, 2007 2:28 pm

    While I don’t dispute Goldman Sach’s figures for India’s estimated economic prowess in 2050 (and possibly earlier than that), it’s not good to sit back and relax in our perceived future glory -it’s a long road ahead and there is a lot we need to do!

    Still this is an impressive read and we don’t exactly need Goldman Sach’s to tell us whether we’re on the right track or not. It can be self-assessed.

    To all those who don’t agree with these figures (sounds unbelievable too good to be true)-I would advice you to pick up your scientific calculator (on your PC), -India’s GDP in 2007 is $ 1 trillion (approx.) – at a GDP growth rate of 8-10% per year, for a time period of 43 years (2050-2007), all you need to do is put the figures in a Compund Interest Equation:
    A = 1 trillion X (1 +8 or 10/100)^43 =

    and we get a figure like $ 30-50 trillion which will make India the second largest economy on Earth, right after China and slightly ahead of the US.

    Most of EU, the UK and most countries in the world are stuck at a GDP of 1-3% (and even that they can’t maintain without immigrant labour) so indeed, none of them would catch India and China in the longer run.

    However a few things can ruin the party for our country and we should be prepared for the worst. It’s always good not to be over-confident.

    1. Political instability – We need more astute Prime Ministers like A.B.Vajpayee or Manmohan Singh to run this country. Another inefficient Prime Minister like V.P. Singh or HD Deve Gowda would lack the foresight and practical know-how to pursue development objectives (Gowda’s 11 month rule had actually put a slump on the revived liberalized economy back then).

    2. Terrorism/Internal disturbances: At least 20% of India is currently under Naxal control; Kashmir and most North-Eastern states are still a no-go region for the average Indian tourist. True, development in these regions can somehow change the situation. It should be kept in mind that development policies in these regions should not be half-hearted as it was all these years.

    3. Uneven development: Development is not even in this country; wealth disparities are increasing between cities and villages, and also between regions. While some regions such as Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are rapidly progressing, Orissa, Jharkhand and the North-Eastern states are lagging behind. Cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Bombay are becoming magnets for the rich and elites in our society – they are keen on segregating themselves from the masses. End result? Our society is going to be bifurcated along economic class lines. This is not good for national unity – by extension any working class resentment is not good for our economic growth.

    4. External influences/War – Considering India is sandwiched in a highly problematic neighbourhood consisting of rogue states such as Pakistan and Communist China, drug trafficking holes like Myanamar and Afghanistan; Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are permanent problems on our periphery.

    Just imagine if the US goes to war againt Iran one day? Russia is slowly disintegrating due to rapidly falling demographics (China is estimated to take over that country).

    Moreover China is an expansionist country and the single biggest threat to India’s future ambitions. There is a huge possibility of war with China when resources (energy, water, trade routes) become scarce. India will have to be extremely cautious in fending off such a possibility in future.

  13. December 23, 2007 8:24 am

    @ Sahil:

    Thanks. I agree with a lot of your points and while I feel optimistic as well, I also feel apprehensive. I think the next 5 years are critical. We need to quickly develop infrastructure, and get our people educated. The economy’s health hinges on these two things, infrastructure (which includes availibility of people).

  14. Sahil permalink
    December 23, 2007 12:31 pm

    @Nita

    “Thanks. I agree with a LOT of your points”

    I basically mentioned 5 points. Is there any point (or a part of it) that you disagree with? I’m just curious to know. Thanks.

    Or was it just a general sentence?

  15. December 23, 2007 12:58 pm

    Sahil, well, what I felt was that while your points are not wrong, if we do not follow the right path, it will just delay progress, not stall it. If we have to grow fast we need to take proactive measures.
    I am not sure I share your views on China/Russia though. And about China, while I agree there is need to be careful, the weak always form alliances and this will always hold China back.
    Anyway, I don’t want to argue with you on this as it’s a very speculative! That was the reason for the ‘general’ statement.

  16. December 23, 2007 1:25 pm

    @ Sahil:

    The sustainability of growth depends on how many people are participating in both the process of creating that growth and enjoying its fruit.

    The EU and to a lesser extent, US share their spoils with a much smaller population base than India or China. In China, I do not know how much the uneven distribution of growth matters; but in India, I see disparity as one of the key spoilers for the party (your point 4).

    @ Nita:

    You say: “…the weak always form alliances and this will always hold China back.”

    Did you mean China is not weak or something else? I did not understand what you meant.

  17. December 23, 2007 1:34 pm

    @ Shefaly:

    I mean India will form strategic alliances to protect itself.

  18. Brian DeFrancesco permalink
    March 4, 2008 9:58 am

    Such predictions never take into account some rather sizeable geopolitical elephants in the drawing room. To wit:
    Nuclear war between India and Pakistan is far from far-fetched.
    The assumption that China will survive the next 40 years without civil war and possible subsequent disintegration is likewise on shaky ground.
    Brazil could fall prey to the socialist nightmare taking shape in South America, which will could put the brakes on its economic train.
    Indonesia may come apart at the fault lines!
    None of these are the remote stuff of disaster movies. They are omnipresent threats.

  19. Brian DeFrancesco permalink
    March 4, 2008 9:59 am

    One other thing–Russia. don’t make me laugh. without its natural gas and oil, it would barely qualify as second world. The Russians are a hardy, brave and stoic people. They are not nor will they ever be an economic colossus in this world

  20. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    March 4, 2008 11:00 am

    Brian DeFrancesco,

    //None of these are the remote stuff of disaster movies. They are omnipresent threats.//

    …as is the scenario of the US being drowned by its own economic and environmental excesses (and most of the “connected” world being sucked in by the vortex). Just like what happens to small vessels in close vicinity of a giant ocean liner sinking.

    //The Russians are a hardy, brave and stoic people. They are not nor will they ever be an economic colossus in this world//

    So they have, in those three qualities, the perfect shield against the Global Policeman. I’m using capital letters to prevent confusion with Interpol. It is similarly customary to capitalise the word “God”. 🙂

  21. krenim permalink
    March 4, 2008 2:23 pm

    You actually think the west is just going to sit there and let this happen specially with China ? 🙂

  22. krenim permalink
    March 4, 2008 2:33 pm

    Quote:
    The Russians are a hardy, brave and stoic people. They are not nor will they ever be an economic colossus in this world

    There are by far the most technically competent country outside the west with a first rate space and nuclear program and brilliant physicists and mathematicians and the like.If there is one country that will become a developed country it is Russia,the GS report says as much.

  23. March 4, 2008 3:33 pm

    Nita,

    This is a good post.It is something that is close to my heart-the BRIC countries,maybe we can add Mexico and South Africa to make it BRIMCS.

    And yes,my money would be on Russia as well.One can never keep the Russians down.It is in their nature to bounce back after the greatest of setbacks.They suffered the most in World War I,yet they managed to become a superpower after that.They again took the greatest hit from Nazi Germany in World War II yet they turned the tables on them,broke the back of the Nazis and freed Europe from their clutches.The Battle of Stalingrad was the most decisive turning point in WW II.Had it not been for the Soviets,the Axis forces would have overrun the world.The collapse of the USSR was bad for the world as a whole.A resurgent Russia may surprise some people but not me.And Russia does not depend only on oil or natural gas as people believe.It is their investment in human resources that is going to benefit them in the long run.

    And Europe is not a declining power at all.The Europeans know that they have to unite to safeguard their interests.That is what they are doing.

  24. March 4, 2008 4:03 pm

    When it comes to countries and their citizens,QUALITY and EQUALITY count . . . and NOT quantity !

  25. Ravi permalink
    March 4, 2008 6:54 pm

    Energy problem seems to cripple india from reaching any of other BRIC countries in development. China is exploring oil in other poor african countries and middle east. Russia has both nuclear and natural gas reserves. Brazil just included this exorbitant plan to meet their energy needs with ethanol. Ethanol is produced from sugar cane and brazil happens to be leading producer of sugar cane. Every country is aware of energy problem in future and india has no clue to solve this problem.

    Politically india is unpredictable. Russia and china are communist and have similar principles and they can become friends any time since world politics are always unpredictable. What is india’s foreign policy? Is india a communist or capiltalist country? Double standards are always dangerous and leaves india alone. India is in no position to counter attack china if it does. US is very concerned about the military developments in china and indian fleet is outdated and not even to current requirements. Brazil and US support each other economically and politically which explains that india has no powerful friends. China is going crazy and I guess they will attack india anytime.

    A consistent 9% growth rate is not enough to reach any of other BRIC countries in terms of development. They are more advanced and everyone has some support and I strongly think we should take either communist or capitalist side otherwise india has to fight on its own.

  26. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    March 4, 2008 8:11 pm

    Ravi:

    Russia communist? You’re way back in history, man! And even China had to come up with sophistry-laden slogans like “One Nation, Two Systems” after they regained control of Hong Kong and Macau.

  27. Guqin permalink
    March 5, 2008 1:34 am

    Why Indians think of China this way is still a puzzle and a disappointment to me even assumming all border conflicts between Inida and China were China’s faluts, the reaction seems out of proportion. We don’t even talk about Japan that way in China. If China were like that, China has already taken most of the world long before the westerners were even aware of the possibilities.

  28. Guqin permalink
    March 5, 2008 1:43 am

    One can not predict the world the way we are carring this discussion. The surface events are only expressions of the nature and conditions of the peoples. One can only be successful by being truthful to oneself. If one achieves prosperity by westernizing oneself, one’s status can not endure since it fails to produce a meaning to the growth, hence the growth will not be integrated into the national charecter. Look at Japan, I have seen how the white men treated Japanese girls in US and how the Japanese girls viewed themselves. Being enconomy number 2 doesn’t help one’s self esteem.

    Speaking of growth, there are two types, that is self renewal and that is not. The western capitalist way is of the second type, it is like inventing a machine (techical and idealogical) to chop down the apple trees and eat all apples at once, and hence is very immpressing at first glance (Indeed they rised to power and prosperity in an un-imaginable speed out of the nowhere), but look at the traces and the ruins they have left in the world of nature and the world of human psychy… undermined and even suicidal in both cases.

    In contrast, the later since Song dynasty, China has been praticing capitalism in a sense that the economy could benefit the nation “spiritually” (lacking a more neutral term) (one can see that through the artifacts) without damaging the enviroment (of course, still not a perfect record). This type of “economics” can create a self-renewal (ie. perpetual growth) economic system. And it have been proven workable, if my information is reliable, China had been the economically most developed for some 1500 or 2000 years. I think China will re-invent it.

    Some reflections on points made by commentators above:

    China is Chinese, not Communist. Communism come and go. China is always there.

    China’s scientists will invent clean energy. It isn’t hard to believe that given the intelligence of them and China’s tradition of invention. The politcal wrestle over energy will be meaningless.

    Regarding the west’s will in bringing China down: I think the “Middle Kingdom” alone can handle the whole west combined in 20 years. Given my experience in the west, in long run, in most cultural dimensions and natural talents, the west is not our equal. I think Chinese people are naturally intelligent, but traditionally, sciences were treated with contempt. But when they decide to do science, they can still outform the competiters. However, the lack of will and interest may be a problem since science plays a decisive role in the strength of a nation today.

    Russians are stronge but not creative, one can see this in Russian arts and leterature, especially in their lack of original philosophy. Russia can rise to great power, not great cilvilization. Peter the Great was Russia’s westernizer. Also, remember, it was Communism (invented outside Russia) that has made a difference in Russia first, then Russia has made a difference in the world with Communism. Russia is only a vihecle. I have a feeling that the west never truely feared Russia even when Soviet was at its strongest times, since she was only an echo to the west, it didn’t matter how loud an echo was.

    In fact, Russia is a part of the west. USA is in a similar position. They can only alter the polical map of the world, not the cultural map. They shouldn’t be considered seperate forces in shaping the future of the world.

    But the west fears China even in China’s weakest days for China’s civilizational strength and unbreakable will. But their second fear is the alliance between China and India, since China alone means a likely end of western dominance, but China and India together means a sure end of western dominance.

  29. Ravi permalink
    March 5, 2008 3:04 am

    Why did China wage wars with india? Why are they supporting pakistan and north korea?

    Guqin,
    Your analogy on japan and their women just doesn’t make sense to me. I m curious how white men treated japanese girls in US. No japanese wants to stay in US after they graduate. They will go back because japan is a powerful economy. I guess you might have mistaken chinese girls to japanese.

    I didn’t know about song dynasty, self renewal growth of china but I m pretty sure that chinese economy will collapse if automobile industry moves to other developing countries. South america is giving a tough competition to china in terms of FDI. One day china will be the most powerful economy but that will be the end of this world. Because they are dumb and do war for no reason. No body can understand what they are talking and their thoughts are. Its really unfortunate that china is becoming powerful. But I appreciate their research skills.

    US is cautious about china due to their research prowess. Chinese universities and national labs are superior to US establishments. They are inventing everything US does from alternate fuels to space sciences. Chinese are hard workers and research need hard workers with patience.

    Looks like you have this notion that russians are not creative. Who cares about literature, philosophy and civilization. Anyhow how does literature and civilization contribute to development and to built a strong nation. India had rich culture and great civilization. But current india is pathetic.

    India will be totally screwed if it becomes an ally of communist countries. Look at the morons in india who oppose nuclear deal with US. US has give and take policy. We should be smart while dealing with US.

  30. Ravi permalink
    March 5, 2008 3:21 am

    Guqin,

    We don’t appreciate china being a regional super power. I wish Japan could take that place because china is a potential threat. What could be the reason for china to invade india and occupy its territory. China two to three folds bigger than india yet it eyed arunachal pradesh and kashmir.

    I m not opposing china’s progress actually I admire it but I m afraid it is not even like USA who wants to control the world never created trouble to democratic countries. But look at china it always fights with india (democratic country) and encourages terrorist countries like pakistan. Well US also did the same thing but it will never wage war against india like china does.

    Maybe China needs to know the meaning of democracy. Though india doesn’t represent the true democracy but it is to a certain extent where people have the freedom to earn money and express themselves through media. We have this privilege of questioning our govt for their policies.

    India is struggling with bad policy makers and illiterate leaders. Bombay is in no comparison to Shanghai but our leaders are deceiving us by comparing them. Unfortunately people are believing it and thinking that india is progressing. We have these problems and china is like pain in ass. Our leaders are smart enough to shift the focus from china to pakistan by citing terrorism. Threat from pakistan to india is nothing compared to that of from china.

  31. Ravi permalink
    March 5, 2008 3:26 am

    Guqin

    P.S. I have seen so many chinese researchers desperate not to go back to china and I was also told that you have to pay money to govt for having kids. I have a chinese friend and he told me that he paid 20000 in chinese currency (whatever it is) to have second kid. Please correct me if I m wrong.
    It looks like chinese govt do not give a shit to chinese people.

  32. Guqin permalink
    March 5, 2008 8:55 am

    Ravi,

    Why this tone?

    I don’t want to argue over the border conflicts, each side has its stories. And I don’t know enoght to have conclusions. As well I don’t feel right to point out the other side’s fault. But most immportantly I am here to learn, not to argue.

    Of course, some of what you said of China is true (but definitely NOT all). But aren’t they just more reasons to be careful and critical of future decisions? How does that defy my analysis?

    My point is that both China and India may be in the wrong track by walking the western path since by doing that we may be walking away from our true charecters, and for this reason the achievements won’t endure. As I stated, China needs to re-invent her traditional way (“perpetual growth” as I termed it), and I didn’t pretend I have a suggestion for India. These two countries are too different for comparison. The comparison is in your mind, then you intreprated my commnets that way.

    Regarding creativity in arts, you must know that they are more than symbolic. When people think of the Renaissance, which is the source of the prosperity and power of the modern west, people think of Raphael, Vinci and Michealangelo before they think of anyone else, and they are all as artists. Without the Renaissance, there wouldn’t have been The Great Britain, Peter the Great’s Russia and today’s USA. So you see, creativity in arts (and literature and philosophy) is directly or indirectly related to the strenght of a nation!

  33. Guqin permalink
    March 5, 2008 9:30 am

    Ravi,

    After seeing your comments, I re-read mine at least twice already:

    I didn’t intend to belittle Japanese women. I was relating to observations I had in the US that made me felt uncomfortable as an “Asian”. I shouldn’t have assumed that people without this observation would understand. My apology, if it offended you.

    When I mentioned the Song dynasty, I was only using the example that I was the most familiar with. I was not being boastful. It isn’t a good time for any Chinese to be boastful of his country’s past anyway unless he is ignorant of the deeper problems China has today. I am no such person!

    In no place in my comments, I intended to be disrespectful for your country.

    You also overestimated Chinese researchers’ skills as they are today, at least in average. I was speaking of their potantials when the country as a whole is “in the right track”.

    However, I must addmitt that I do think you have some prejudices over my country. But let it be. Time will tell.

  34. krenim permalink
    March 5, 2008 11:52 am

    China will be contained by West +India + Japan.
    National pride aside in their hearts of heart hindus like britons/Anglos for saving them from Islam and giving them back their country (side effect of 200 years of Empire).

    This containment is statecraft101 “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”

    Indians do not want a super china at their doorstep neither do we and I think we have both realized this “peaceful rise” is B.S. Chinese have always wanted to create a sino centric Asia and have gone out of their way to pin them in South Asia by giving pakistan ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons and cozying up to regimes in Bangladesh and Nepal.I don’t think indians are stupid enough to seriously believe in this sort of ‘friendship’
    Anyway the wheels are in motion the West+India+Japan+Russia(they aren’t very keen on a super china too a 2500 km border in sparsely populated siberia with the world’s most populous nation who double crossed them once in 1964 which is why they never sell top drawer post soviet era arms to china which they do to India)

  35. March 5, 2008 1:46 pm

    Guqin,

    I respect and admire China for her cultural greatness and ancient civilisation.But I am not particularly fond of the People’s Republic of China.

    The reasons are fairly obvious.Every Asian views the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a potential threat to their country.This is because of the fact that the PRC often bullies other countries that are weaker than herself.I believe the ASEAN formed a group to keep the PRC at bay since they know that as individual countries they would not have been able to take on China.Let us face the reality.China has never been on friendly terms with Asian countries except North Korea.Even a country as powerful as Russia (and earlier the USSR) know that China is a threat.India knows this only too well from the experience of 1962.

    And it is quite obvious that China wants to form “a string of pearls” around India to contain her.And China wants to dump inexpensive goods on India,wipe out the Indian manufacturing industry and use Indian raw materials like iron-ore for her own industrial benefit.This is why Chinese leaders are pushing so hard for an India-China free trade area (FTA).If it materialises,that would mean the death of the Indian manufacturing sector.India would be set back by several decades if such an FTA is allowed to go through.Infact the only reason why Chinese made cars have not flooded Indian roads is because of an Indian company called Tata Motors (which I hope will become India’s number one car company in the near future).The Chinese car manufacturers know that they cannot compete with Tata on a quality-for-price or ‘value for money’ basis.Infact,no one in the world will be able to compete with Tata Motors on that aspect.That in short,is the strength of India-‘value for money’ or ‘value engineering’.China cannot wipe out Indian industry however hard she may try.

    Art,culture and literature are very important to a country but only science and technology can ensure a country’s progress.The most advanced countries in the world have a solid science,technology and engineering base.Whether we like it or not,only science,engineering and technology will make a country developed.

  36. March 5, 2008 2:25 pm

    I have been listening in to this very interesting discussion and by no means want to step in but I cannot resist saying that development means different things to different people. To some, a country developed in Art,culture and literature is the true leader of the world. I confess I fall into this minority idealistic view. I am not saying that India is a leader in this category at all…but different countries have been at different times. And nor am I saying that material progress is not important, it is extremely important and these two aspects need to go hand in hand…and often they do.
    I cannot help thinking of some of the greatest kings of the past who were respected so highly not because they conquered, but because they encouraged art and literature. Literature is a kind of consciousness of life. Without good literature and art civilization may as well die.

  37. Guqin permalink
    March 5, 2008 3:22 pm

    Raj,

    Thanks for your response.

    Perhaps it isn’t a good place or a good time for me to defend PRC?

    However, more Indians will visit or even work in China in the comming future. They will have insights to share…

    Regarding science vs. arts/philosophy in strength of a nation:
    Most non-western peoples seem to forget a basic fact of science, that is, it contains a world view. Newton titled his book “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”. Science is only a “principle”, which serves the “philosophy”. That philosophy is culture. The methology of science today reflects this culture. Other nations can copy this methology as a ready-made and produce good results. But as results grow, the adopting nation will loose its control over it. Then native culture (as reflected in the arts, literature and philosophy) sets in as the guidence. In fact, the science monster is so powerful that even authentic western culture that gave its modern form can not contain it. Global warming is the monster’s bite at nature, the atomic bomb is the monster’s bite at humanity. Western thinkers have been put in puzzlement themselves: “we didn’t intend it, why…..”. If China and India walk the western path, we will become the end link at the chain of the collective disaster, and get all the blames. Like China, the west is already finger pointing at her for contributing to global warming though it is them having messed up the world first.

    “Progress” is a very modern idea if I am not mistaken (most pronouncedly from the French?), like Democracy, it still has its cultural settings. In the west, it was coupled with other ideas (“freedom” “equality” etc.) as to protect its healthy growth, and also to give it a meaning. ( I don’t admire “Democrasy” and “Freedom”, but I find “equality” brilliant. But “Equality” is what China and India lack!) China and India suffered humiliations at the hand of the west (plus Japan in the Chinese case), and are desperate for acquiring the hardwares of this “progress” at all cost. This can be very dangerious. Even within the western cultural zone, say USA, a nation with weaker culture, the negatives of this blind progress are still very troubling. It can be much worse if praticed in eastern countries blindly. Unfortunately, poorer eastern countries can see only the surface brilliance of the “develpoed” countries. Not that India and China shouldn’t pick up good things from the west, but I think it should be done in a reversed order, helping the poorest first like tender showers that can benefit the ground grass but a huge storm from the top that creates a few super rich while drowning the ground grass as said by a Chinese woman politian who is very critical of China’s “progress”.

  38. Guqin permalink
    March 5, 2008 3:37 pm

    Nita,

    Full agreement.

    In short, arts are more effective as memories, sciences are more effective at the moment. Therefore the state needs sciences, the civilization needs arts.

  39. Guqin permalink
    March 5, 2008 4:08 pm

    Spelling errors in my second last comment:

    “methodology”, not “methology”.

  40. March 5, 2008 4:18 pm

    Guqin,

    I do not have any kind of dislike for the Chinese people or Chinese culture.What I am worried about is the fact that successive governments in the People’s Republic of China have always believed that China has a right to dominate and bully other coutries in Asia.Any non-Chinese Asian (including Russians in the Far-East of that vast country) will tell you the same thing.Asians view China in the same way as they viewed Japan during World War II.China has become like the country that it so much hated during World War II.Other countries in Asia always feel threatened by the rising power of China.And Chinese goods are only adding to this impression.Inexpensive (I do not want to use the word “cheap”) Chinese goods have wiped out local manufacturing industries in many countries.And China’s huge defence expenditure only makes things worse,not to mention China’s anti-satellite test that is definitely aimed at containing India’s growing space prowess that is intended for peaceful purposes.

    I am sure you respect the rights of people to defend themselves against any kind of aggression.Exhibiting any sign of weakness is sure to invite trouble.Whether we like it or not,only strength respects strength in this imperfect human world.

  41. vish permalink
    March 5, 2008 4:19 pm

    “And China wants to dump inexpensive goods on India,wipe out the Indian manufacturing industry and use Indian raw materials like iron-ore for her own industrial benefit”

    So, who is at fault?

    “China will be contained by West +India + Japan.”

    So, you plundered us for centuries (I dont think China did that to India until you guys landed) …you bombed Japan and killed millions…now you want them to be with you to take on China…

  42. March 5, 2008 4:34 pm

    Vish,

    I know who is at fault.But that is a different topic.And I think that I have given the incorrect impression that I am pro-West.I assure everyone that I am not.I believe that every government in every country of the world is at fault when it comes to human rights,except maybe a very,very,very few.And I firmly believe that absolutely nothing in the world is sacrosanct but human rights.

  43. March 5, 2008 5:17 pm

    Nita,Guqin,

    I apologise if my comments are seen as against art or literature or any other form of culture.I have great respect for art and literature becuase of the humanity contained in them.I feel that science can never match art when it comes to conquering the human heart.

    But conquering the heart is not the only way of peaceful conquest.Conquering the mind is another way and that is where science is better than art.Art is beautiful but science is bold.Art wins hearts but science wins minds.And the mind controls the heart though the heart supplies the mind with life.

    People unfortunately tend to view the domination of the West as the domination of science over art.That is not exactly true.It is the domination of the mind over the heart.Anyone in any corner of the world immediately associates Japan with Japanese technology that comes in the form of cars and other machines.Through science and technology,Japan has managed to beat the West at its own game.Even a child in a remote part of the Sahara desert would have heard of Toyota because of the ubiquitous Landcruiser.But only a few people would have heard of origami.

    Art begins in a broad minded manner but tends to become narrow minded over a period of time which leads to an inevitable collapse.Science begins in a narrow minded manner,recognises its limitations and tends to become broad minded over a period of time,so science can never collapse,it can only advance.

    Art cannot survive without science.And science without art becomes inhuman.Art cannot put food on the table.But science cannot add taste to the food.One cannot survive without the other.A balance is needed between the two.

    And let us leave philosophy out of this battle because I think philosophy is neither art nor science.

  44. Guqin permalink
    March 5, 2008 6:49 pm

    Raj,

    There is no need to apologize. It is just a discussion. I didn’t think you were against the arts at all. You were just talking of priorities in special times.

    Since you mentioned the PRC again in your other post, I should answer a little, but it is going to be limitted, since like I said, it isn’t the right place. However:

    In general, the image of PRC has a lot to do with western media. It isn’t true that all Asian countries view China as Japan of WW2. Japan is probably the only country that is that serious with China that way.

    You seem unaware of that part of Chinese history of the past 200 years. China is a grieved and bittered nation since the defeats and humiliations at the hands of the west, Russia and Japan. . This is why it is so sensitive to loosing lands since it reminds these humiliations (Hong Kong taken by Britain, Taiwan by Japan, etc.). Take the Russian case, when Mao fought Soviet, PRC was no match of the Soviets, but still found that war over that tiny island (less than 1 square km). Russia was one of those nations that exploited China since the Opium war with the British. China may look stronge to you, but is in fact full of fear of repeating humiliating defeats by the west and Japan. It is also for this reason China feels the need to strenghten the military.

    Of course I leave out the border conflicts between India and China as to avoid arguments….

    Regarding backing North Korea, I can’t cite one single event that North Korea have COMMITTED that is nearly as bad as the west has been doing. It is the the US calling North Korea bad names. The Koreans have their stories. We shouldn’t just point at them and say “Communist! Communist!”. In fact, observing WW2 alone shows Communist countries are not always bad and Democratic countries are not always good.

    Regarding the anti-satellite test, that I am sure it had nothing to do with India. If it had a specific purpose at all, it must have been to warn the US as not to back TaiWan to claim independence.

    Regarding Chinese cheap goods, I think the Chinese business people just think of business. It is hard to imagine they carry the intention to undermine India in a broader sense.

    Like I said to Ravi, misunderstandings are common, let it be for now. Time will tell.

  45. March 5, 2008 7:53 pm

    Guqin,

    Thanks for your response.Just a couple of clarifications.

    I do not have anything against the North Korean people.They are victims of severe oppression by their own government.The United States only adds to the woes of the poor North Koreans with its policies.I hate the despicable double standards of the U.S. government,its media and other organisations supported by Uncle Sam.

    I am not fully aware of the humiliation that China suffered at the hands of other countries before the PRC was formed.But I did learn in my history lessons in high school that China was treated very badly by some countries who shamefully called it “the cutting of the Chinese melon”.I apologise for using that phrase but it was exactly what I found in my history textbook.I clearly remember it.

    Sometimes,the helpless prey turns into a deadly predator when conditions change and power shifts from one to another.Just take the case of Israel.The Jews were badly persecuted throughout history and not just by the Nazis.But see what is happening in the Middle-East (West Asia) today.The helpless Palestinians are at the receiving end now.

    India is not a natural ally of the U.S.The two can never be allies just as India and China can never be allies.If India wants to look for allies,it has to look for them in Europe,Africa and Latin America.But it should never abandon its tried and trusted friend Russia.If one country is a natural ally of India,then it has got to be Russia.

    Unless we live in an ideal world,which may never happen,conflicts will always take place.And it is always better to be prepared to face the worst . . . but let us hope for the best . . .

  46. Ravi permalink
    March 5, 2008 8:59 pm

    Guqin

    I m terribly sorry if I my tone seem intimidating in any way. I m aggressive and it usually reflects on the way I respond but I never intended to be rude. I m posting this comment before reading your comment completely. I respect chinese or any other culture but the way chinese govt invading india makes me sad and I really got pissed off with our leaders not taking strategic route to make intruders knee down before they start claiming other state bordering china.

  47. Ravi permalink
    March 5, 2008 9:04 pm

    krenim

    Thats what some leaders are trying to bring japan, US and india together and they are gonna conduct this really big navy fleet in bay of bengal some time later this year. Unfortunately that fleet is facing serious problems from the objections of communists (morons) who will always be there to hamper the progress in india.

  48. Ravi permalink
    March 5, 2008 9:12 pm

    Guqin,

    I m 95% confident that chinese researchers are good enough to make china surpass US by 2030 or 2040. Research is backbone of any country’s technical progress. India seriously lacks in research facilities. Whenever I look up some research article related to my current project most of the articles pops us from research journals published either in english mostly from US and Europe or in chinese published in some chinese journal. It’s like that in any branch of science. I had to look up online source to convert that article in to english. I hope china will dominate world politics as it already shows its significant presence. But I m also of the impression that china will vanish india out of world map. Its unfortunate but can not complain because our people will sacrifice honesty, loyalty for money at the expense of nation’s security. They are so many instances to support my view and its embarrassing to talk about my country like that but its true.

  49. March 5, 2008 11:47 pm

    Ravi,

    I think you have to stop making sweeping statements against Indians.I do not really care about dishonest people in India but you have no right to say that “our people” will sacrifice honesty and loyalty for money at the expense of national security if “our people” refers to all Indians.And to be very frank,I think someone who does not even live in India has absolutely no right whatsoever to question the contribution of those who live here,pay taxes and perform their democratic duties.

  50. Guqin permalink
    March 6, 2008 3:33 am

    Ravi,

    Thanks for letting me hear from you again. I thought it was my first post intriguing your earlier post. I feel better now.

    I will be frank:
    No, China is not going to vanish India. If China is this bad, most of the world should have been conquered by China before the west even had the vision. Far back in the time of Silk Road, China was already exposed to such possibilities. And the latest, Ming dynasty fleet holding 27,000 men and armed with the invention of gun power, already reached Africa (some claim even reaching Americas). But nothing happened. If China were agressive, not just India, most of Asia and Europe and part of Africa etc. should be under China’s control by now.

    This evil image of China is largely forged by the west for two reasons 1. Fear of Communism. 2. Fear of China’s civilizational might may end western dominance.

    The PRC did fight borders wars, but if my impression isn’t just a result of the government’s design, I think the mentality behind these wars is not like what you imagine. There are two elements in understanding this mentality:

    1. China’s humiliation by the west, Russia, Japan etc. in the recent 200 yrs. In fact, the founding of the PRC was a direct consequence of this experience. Sometimes, the teritarial objective of a war is just symbolic, for example the war with Soviet as I mentioned to Raj, it was an island without any actual benefits and was only 0.75 square km in area. Whithout a better reason, there was no way, Mao at that time would have the guts to take on Soviet given China’s condition then.

    2. Chinese people treat their country like a religion since China the civilization (not the PRC in this case) created herself almost single handedly (Buddhism reached China much later), while India, Egypt, Babylone, Greece always learnt from one another. And since 221 BC, China has been united. So in the deeper Chinese Psychy, China equals India’s cultural achievements, surpasses Egypt’s continuity (at least Egypt didn’t last to present day), and equals or surpasses Rome’s might. For ages, a Chinese superiority was considered natural in China. China became too much pride, and takes humiliation very seriously.

    You can see, when #1 and #2 came together since the Opium wars with Britain 170 years ago when humiliated by Britain, Russia, Japan, France, Spain…, how great a blow at the Chinese Psychy. (It was like “Middle Kingdom” turning “Little Kingdom” overnight) It was this motivation that lead Mao to take on the Soviet and later the USA when China wasn’t nearly matching these superpowers. I don’t know about the conflicts with India ( You may not believe, I didn’t even know there was a war with India untill three years ago), (Perhaps they really believe that area is supposed to be China’s?) but in general I am quite certaint that India is not within China’s conscious watch. What is within China’s consciousness is the powers that represent the humiliations done upon China. In this case, Japan is the only Asian country that China truely distrusts in long run.

    #
    Regarding science research talents. I actually hope China surpasses the west AFTER China rediscovers her traditions since only Confucianism and Daoism can tame this monster of science/technology as to avoid its traumatic effects in nature and humanity.

  51. Ravi permalink
    March 6, 2008 6:18 am

    Guqin

    Till yesteryears China’s overnight development is like a bubble but the enormous amount of $$$ china investing into research can convert that bubble into solid foundation for its intrinsic development. Yet china has to depend on USA for investments. US being a truly capitalist country does business even with its enemy thats what it doing with china. China must be careful of US investments. US always puts its own interests above any thing and once it stops investing in china, I believe china would never recover from that death blow. Contrarily india is doing better in this aspect. Indians consume all the goods manufactured by indian industry with very little exports. There is no way india will be in dire straits from activities of any developed country. Yet india has to achieve that status of self sufficient country. Once it reaches that stage india can see the real development and definitely it will reflect in its GDP.

    I think countries like china and india are taking excuses to their lack of development citing culture and heritage. I believe culture has nothing to do for one’s development. Somebody in india/china drew some masterpiece in 500 B.C. and it worths 100 million dollars. Ok! Who cares! I couldn’t understand how art, literature and culture reflects the strength of a nation. If you compare cultures, chinese barely speaks to the person next to them and Indians could never mingle or accept other cultures. We always BELIEVE that we are the superior and others are no better than shit!!!
    I m not advocating west but they are concerned about today and planning for tomorrow whereas countries like india/china or any other country which cites art, literature and culture are not thinking about today and reluctant or do not know what to do for tomorrow.

  52. Ravi permalink
    March 6, 2008 6:44 am

    India can not compete with china so there is no point of building huge military or acquiring WMDs from israel or france.. I think the only option left for india is to gain US trust and allow it to establish a military base in the coast of bay of bengal. That will send a strong message to china “NOT TO MESS WITH DEMOCRACY AND STOP OCCUPYING INDIA”.

    Communists would never realize or understand the value of freedom especially that of people and they always think of waging wars to spread their ideology they believe. It doesn’t work with countries like india and US. Governments are for people and nobody cares for ideology of any political party or group. Communism is a BIG NO in democracy. Russia buried itself in their beliefs and why would someone wants to ally with a loser? Russia needs help so we don’t need them any more.

    India should stop thinking about ideology of individuals or political systems. It should take measures for its own interests and development. It should do anything (even waging a war) for its own benefit. No body develops without some selfishness and it holds good even for a country.

  53. Guqin permalink
    March 6, 2008 7:19 am

    Dear Nita,
    Please do not publish my last comment (under moderation at this moment). I just realized that it was off topic, and would lead to more off topic discussions. And I had already said what I needed to say.

    Thanks a lot.

  54. Guqin permalink
    March 6, 2008 7:21 am

    Too late now. It is OK then

  55. Guqin permalink
    March 6, 2008 7:28 am

    Ravi,

    I agree with you, US and west in general at the end always put their interets first. I try to believe in the sincerity of the west. But always ended up disappointed and frustrated, and sometimes angery.

    China is aware that she needs self-sufficiency. I hope things will work out for India too.

  56. Ravi permalink
    March 6, 2008 8:46 am

    Raj
    Though I do not live in india I paid taxes at an early age still majority of indians couldn’t thought of doing it. So I deserve the right to comment on MY country. People like you or me cannot bring those changes india needs to protect itself from other dominant countries and sustain in this world. We need HONEST LEADERS. Honesty of citizens contributes enormously but not to an extent to impact millions of its citizens. But a leader must be shrewd to make right decisions and put forth the interests of country i.e. people. Don’t be offended for referring to indians as dishonest. I think we rank top in corruption and I can not find a better word to address indians. Please help me to replace the words that offended you and indians around here.

  57. Ravi permalink
    March 6, 2008 8:48 am

    Guqin

    Thanks for providing the valid information on china. I apologize for not buying you logic.

  58. March 6, 2008 10:11 am

    Ravi,

    I did not question your right to comment on our country.But you cannot say that all Indians are corrupt or dishonest.It is offensive to many people like me.I know that you did not mean all Indians but you have to mention it very clearly.You can refer to dishonest or corrupt politicians and bureaucrats if you want.Or you can refer to the attitude of some Indians.Not all Indians are like that.

    And I think India should remain NEUTRAL.As you yourself said,the U.S. government looks after its own interests.So we should NOT trust them.And we should NOT trust the People’s Republic of China becuase they still have not proved that their intentions are peaceful.So we have to look for allies elsewhere,like in Europe,Africa,Latin America.Russia has proved herself to be a very dependable ally and one should never abandon a trusted friend.Russia is NO loser.It does NOT need help from anyone else.Russians are always self-reliant.Every country in the world should learn from them.

    And India does NOT need the help of anyone else to defend herself.Let NO ONE be fooled into thinking that India does not have the strategic weapons to defend herself from China or anyone else.India after 1998 is not the same as the India of 1962.

    India has the ability to fight fire from the fire-breathing dragon with her own fire -‘Agni’,or to be more specific,the Agni-III ! And like the dragon,India has the ability to load huge balls of fire (thermonuclear weapons) at the tip of those ‘Agni’ arrows !

    Both the arrows (Agni,Prithvi,etc.) and the balls of fire (atomic and thermonuclear weapons) and also India’s advanced space program were developed by Indian scientists and engineers WITHOUT any outside help and DESPITE the restrictive sanctions imposed by the U.S.So,as you can see,the U.S. is NOT a friend of India.The U.S. can never be an ally of India just as China can never be an ally of India.Those who want India to ally with either the U.S. or China are simply not aware of history or do not think about India’s interests.

    India can advance only through self-reliance and an independent foreign policy.India would collapse if it becomes a stooge of either the U.S. or China.The Bengal tiger must remain equidistant from both the bald eagle and the dragon ! Everyone can see how desperately both the eagle and the dragon want to woo India.It would be good statecraft if the tiger keeps them guessing as tigers always do and look after her own interests which will be best served by remaining a friend of the Siberian tiger !

    Thanks Raj. 🙂 I too get very offended if anyone says all indians are like this or that, or even all Indians of a particular region are like this or that (bad or good or whatever)… – Nita.

  59. Ravi permalink
    March 6, 2008 12:55 pm

    @Raj, Nita
    Why do we go for sentiments whenever we have to talk about reality? Sincere efforts could never go in vain. Do you think India (its leaders) is sincere about solving its problems?

    Forty percent of our population still cannot afford 3 meals a day. Do you really think a poor country like india have any necessity to spend 100,000 crore rupees on defense every year. India thinks twice to increase its budget for midday meal program from 500 to 600 crores. Just imagine all the money spent on defense diverted to IITs and Universities all over india. Without any decent research facilities indian scientists still able to manage to publish journal articles in science journals. Why doesn’t our government show some encouragement for them? I don’t know how much india benefits from F16 deal with USA or by buying deadly choppers from Israel but by doing encouraging research in universities india can avoid the talent going to off shores for better opportunities.

    US is selfish and everybody knows that including themselves so what. What are our ambassadors doing? It is already granted whoever qualifies for IFS could enjoy their life for the rest of the years without any thoughts. What happened to their intelligence which allowed them to crack IFS? When we have people who got through toughest of the exams then can’t they tackle people who could never solve a simple integral calculus problem?

    Did you know that arjun tanks could have included in our fleet way back but they were delayed by our higher military authorities only to get some commission as bribes while placing orders for military equipment from countries like Israel, Russia, US and France? Our agni III can fly only 7000 miles but china has intercontinental ballistic missiles which can hit any city in USA. India acquired that capability soon after it launched GSLV satellite in 1998. But due to political pressure from USA it has to postpone our plans for conducting further trials. I want you to figure what could be the reason. USA threatened to stop financial aid to india in different welfare programs which are eventually diverted as party funds.

    US know how corrupt our politicians are so they manipulate india in whatever way they can. Even now it’s not late unless we start doing things on our own which needs intellectual minds. But no intellectual wanted to stay in india and serve our country because he is afraid what problems he could face if he happened to surrounded by lethargic people who never contributed two or three straight hours at work. Promotions will be given to people on personal bias. Accolades are for people who claim to born with supernatural powers like speaking some dumb language or belongs to some stupid caste/religion which happens to be a den of superstitions.

    All of the above are common problems that every honest indian is facing in his daily life. Try to ask yourself why somebody would have to face these kinds of problems only for being honest. It’s like you are competing against you to break your personal records but you are being pulled by somebody (fellow Indians) by holding your shirt. Do you think it’s easy to run when somebody is pulling you back? I don’t say smart but pragmatic people usually change the lane and try to start from the beginning where there are no or little obstructions. Try to understand I m not here to humiliate or talk bad about india. I do not like to do that but my habit of reading extensively allows me to see things as they are moreover makes me sick of indian people whose actions or activities hamper our progress. If those kind of people makes a dozen intellectuals dream about accomplishing their personal goals on foreign soil that would be enough to kill our progress. And the normal indians has to keep chanting their achievements form home land and be proud of themselves for just being an indian. Its time to get alarmed and retain our talent pool before its too late to build trust among young kids. Once young kids started to see their future in US or in Europe thats it india will remain like this forever. Please correct me if I do not make sense.

    Ravi, Making sweeping generalisations about any race is not an indication of seeing reality or maturity. Ih ave written many articles on this blog about India’s poverty, and the ways to solve them. Please go through them, that is if you wish. I know you love a good argument 🙂 and I really wish I had the time to answer your queries. But almost all of them have been answered somewhere on this blog. – Nita.

  60. March 6, 2008 9:14 pm

    Ravi,

    I understand that you do not want to humiliate India.You should also understand that I have no intention of questioning the contribution of anyone else.I get offended only when you make sweeping generalisations against all Indians.You yourself know that all Indians are not like that.That is why I wanted you to be very clear when you point people out,and not just Indians as I see from your last comment.People will get offended if you make sweeping statements.

    I am not being sentimental at all.I believe that being sentimental can blind a person to his own faults.And I do not have any caste identity because I do not care about caste.That is why I have stayed away from caste topics.I have a language identity because I am proud of my language and will never ever give up my language for anything else.But I have enough common sense not to impose my language on others.And I will not tolerate it if they impose their regional language on me.I do not have a religious identity because I do not care about religion either.Science is my only religion and I believe in a certain school of Buddhist thought as it does not contradict science.

    I do not want India to buy F-16s or F/A-18s because I want India to develop her own next generation multi-role combat aircraft.That would be the best option.In any case the outdated F-16s and the ridiculously expensive F/A-18s are simply no match for the Typhoons,the Rafales,the Gripens or the best of the bunch-the MiG-35s.The fire-breathing dragon to our North-East is developing its own next generation fighter aircraft and it is going to equip our neighbour to the North-West with that aircraft as well as it has always done as a part of its “string of pearls” strategy.I do not know for how long we are going to keep buying our aircraft from other countries.It puts a huge strain on our limited resources.We would be much better off (and would save a LOT of money) if we build our own fighter aircraft.It would also benefit our growing civil aviation sector.

    I know that it is very difficult to run when someone keeps pulling your shirt.You have chosen to change lanes and start from the beginning.Others have chosen to break the shackles and run.Everyone has his/her own way.Some are pragmatic while others are fighters.

  61. Ravi permalink
    March 7, 2008 2:30 am

    Raj
    Im glad to get to know a person like you because its really rare in india to see someone who abstains from caste politics and practicing religion. But I guess you didn’t become Tom cruise 🙂 Language is personal choice and people with common sense respects that choice one makes. I think MiGs doesn’t suit indian fleet because we have to fight with china or pakistan possibly in himalayas or in kashmir which happens to be a uneven territory i.e. mountains. MiG’s cannot fly at low altitude and I could not figure whats our brilliant policy makers strategy. India lost two MiGs during kargil war and we get to know some basic facts of MIGs after losing two pilots in trial runs during kargil war. They (Generals) could have saved the life of those pilots if they have used some intelligence while getting into MIG deal.

    What one can do if all the cream layer of intellectuals are opting to get out of this country due to lack of opportunities. Please do not blame them. Movie “swades” was BS why would a scientist from NASA comes to bihar/UP to spend rest of his life doing to the society. How could he use his knowledge for the upliftment of the society if he is not doing what he is supposed to do. To be a superpower india must retain its intellectual property i.e. qualified and educated professionals and MUST stop caste/regional politics.

  62. krenim permalink
    March 7, 2008 10:51 am

    Umm as an avid aviation buff mig is not one aircraft but an aviation company which makes lots of different aircraft.To say a mig crashed is the equivalerent of saying a Bae crashed or a lockheed martin crashed.

    Mig-29(designed in 1982) is a perfectly good aircraft a mig-21(designed in 1958) on the other hand is long in the tooth and being phased out everywhere.So….

  63. vish permalink
    March 7, 2008 12:19 pm

    “…as is the scenario of the US being drowned by its own economic and environmental excesses (and most of the “connected” world being sucked in by the vortex). Just like what happens to small vessels in close vicinity of a giant ocean liner sinking.”

    Our business guru’s including our Finance Minister told us that US slowdown will not affect India as the fundamentals are strong….now the FM says the stockmarket crashes are due to US slowdown….then what happened to the ‘stong fundamentals’ in the last one month or so?
    They projected the BSE to hit 25000 soon? Is that projection still valid given the current trend?

    Are we really going to reach No.2 position by 2050?

  64. March 7, 2008 4:39 pm

    Ravi,

    Yes,the problem is not with MiGs as such.As far as I know,the MiGs are very good fighters and they have served India and a lot of countries apart from the USSR/Russia/CIS/Warsaw Pact countries very,very well over the years.

    Unfortunately,the MiG-21 earned the nickname “flying coffin” in India.This is due to several reasons.First,the MiG-21 should have been phased out long ago,but this was not done because of lack of replacements.We have to keep upgrading the MiG-21s till our own LCA is ready for induction.I believe the MiG-21s were not maintained properly due to some reasons.Also the lack of an advanced jet trainer (AJT) caused many of those accidents because our trainee pilots had to switch directly from sub-sonic aircraft to the super-sonic MiG-21.

    The MiG-35 would fit the Indian Air Force like a glove.Our pilots/engineers are well trained in operating MiGs.Also Russia is a generally reliable supplier of spares.And Russia is willing to customise the aircraft to our special requirements as they did with the Su-30 MKI.They are also willing to let us build the aircraft under license and offer upgrades as well.

    But it may take some time for us to get the whole bunch.So we may have to go for two different aircraft if not three.The Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon would be my additional choices in such a scenario.

    We have to avoid the outdated F-16 and the ridiculously expensive F/A-18 at all costs.It would be against our national interests if we decide to go in for either of the two,even as a secondary choice.

  65. Ravi permalink
    March 7, 2008 7:14 pm

    Krenim

    I read that MIGs can not fly at low altitude. I m afraid that I had read it wrong. Please confirm.

  66. March 7, 2008 8:43 pm

    Ravi,

    I am not blaming you or others who chose to look for greener pastures.I can understand the frustration people must have gone through before they decided to leave.Infact,I am also glad to get to know a person like you who does not care about caste and religion.I did not know the real nature of these caste and religion monsters till my mid-teens becuase I was lucky to be born at a time when caste discrimination and religious discrimination was on the wane.(I also refer to racial and religious discrimination in other countries)

    When I read about those two things (and racial discrimination),I thought “Oh,my God ! I am a civilised person.Why should I associate myself with any (organised) religion?” (I never had any caste identity in the first place).From that day,I threw whatever little religious identity I had out of the window.I adopted science as my only religion and began to believe in one particular Buddhist philosophy because it is in almost perfect agreement with science.I give a damn about caste and religion.I am very glad I did that because people still believe in seriously preposterous things to this day.And I am not talking about only the less fortunate people here.People (belonging to different religions) who call themselves “educated”,”modern” and “westernised” still believe in ridiculous non-sense to this day.

    We can never call ourselves a civilised nation,let alone become a developed nation if we believe in certain primitive things.India has already become the laughing stock of the whole world (not just the West) because of our belief in stupid things.

    Science can get rid of these stupid things.Science can make us civilised.Science is the greatest enemy of backwardness and savagery.

    GOD BLESS SCIENCE !!! 🙂

  67. March 7, 2008 9:40 pm

    If India wants to advance,India must take up science (and allied fields) in a big way !

    Modern art and modern literature must be encouraged as well !

    There is no substitute for science ! There can be no substitute for science !

    Science (Greco-Roman science) combined with ethics holds the key to the future !

    A scientific temperament destroys backwardness ! Countries emerged out of the dark ages only by taking up science in a big way ! Science combined with ethics is the light that destroys darkness !

    Science is practical ! Science finds solutions to problems created by ignorance !

    Science is the future ! Science and technology are NOT monsters ! Science and technology destroy the monsters of backwardness and savagery !

    Science is good ! Science is beautiful !

    Necessity is the mother of invention ! Science is the mother of civilisation !

  68. Guqin permalink
    March 7, 2008 10:29 pm

    Raj,

    I think you over-estimate science, especially with its role in civilization and solving human-related problems. I majored in science too when I was in university (didn’t graduate nor continue, but finished the full training in pure mathematics and theoretical physics). My observation is that, science has nothing to do with truth, it has only to do with effectiveness. This is because the general format of science is the following:

    If X is true, then Y is true.

    But truth of X can never be confirmed. To search futher, we find X1 such that if X1 is true, then X is true. But still we can’t confirm the true of X1, then must find X2, X3… etc. At the other end, we find Y1, Y2, … such that if Y is true, then Y1 is truth, then Y2 is true…, So we have the infinite sequence

    …..X3, X2,X1,X,Y,Y1,Y2,Y3……

    There is no end in either ends of the chain of logic. What we have is only the increase in the accuracy of the theoretical and mathematical model. But it remains always a model. Therefore it is always one step behind reality. Which is well illustrated in the barbaric nature of western medicine (unfortunately, my dad is one of its victims). We should not confuse its effectiveness with its truthfulness.

    Science deals with human affair the same way, it forges models and expects human to fit in. This is like making the shoes first and forcing the feet into them and will naturally cause discomfort. Much of the spiritual and mental crisis in the modern west has been resulted from this fact. Capitalistic economics ( I really dislike individuals like John Nash) or Psycho-analysis (though Jung’s version is a little better, but reading Jung will tell you about his appreciation of eastern culture) are such examples. Capitalistic economics have made USAers insane, Psychol-analysis creates more mental illness than it heals.

    We can also observe that many great scientists are not very nice persons, including Newton and many more. This is already a sign of its limmitations if not defects in guiding human affairs.

    I agree with you on Buddhism. Its philosophy is more exhaustive than western science.

  69. Guqin permalink
    March 7, 2008 10:36 pm

    Forgot to mention that, physical experiments don’t comfirm the truth of each term in the sequence either since each experiment is performed under condition control (lad), which is already a model in itself, and the mathematical and logical reasoning limmits its validity too.

  70. March 7, 2008 11:21 pm

    Guqin,

    Yes,I agree with you that science is effective.I never mentioned that science is the truth.The truth cannot be measured.The truth is infinite.

    That is the beauty of science,isn’t it? It always tends to become infinite.So it tends to move closer and closer to the truth !

    Science does assume certain things.But it is perfectly reasonable to assume those things ! And science always tells us that it assumes certain things !

    On the other hand,religion (not philosophy) tells us to believe things ! It leaves no room for questioning.It tries to make a mockery of reasoning !

    Yes,I believe Buddhist philosophy is great because it tells us to question things and arrive at our own conclusions about the truth ! So it is like science,though it also shows the way as well.But it does not even ask us to follow that way ! It wants us to realise the truth through questioning things and arrive at the truth in our own way.Just like science !

    Infact,I believe that science and Buddhist philosophy will converge at some point in the future ! And at that point,humankind will have found the answers that it has been searching for so long ! In short,the day when that happens,humankind will discover the truth !

  71. Guqin permalink
    March 8, 2008 12:03 am

    Cool !

  72. March 8, 2008 12:15 am

    Guqin,

    I am so sorry to hear that your father was a victim of western medicine.I agree that western medicine has a long way to go to become effective.

  73. March 8, 2008 2:49 am

    Science is a tool, just like any other. We should keep in mind that the people wielding that tool are humans – who are not infallible and are likely to make mistakes, or use the tool for good or for bad of others. Blind faith in anything – even science – is not healthy, IMO.

  74. Guqin permalink
    March 8, 2008 3:58 am

    Quote: “The truth cannot be measured.The truth is infinite”

    Well said!

  75. Ravi permalink
    March 8, 2008 7:02 am

    @ Raj

    It looks like the topic of discussion took a drastic turn from Indian Economy (?) to the differences between relativist and a skeptic. I totally agree with you raj which makes two of us anti-relativists or realists whereas people like guqin and amit are relativists. A relativist is one who thinks science is only one way to explore the unknown world and there is nothing like absolute truth. He denies the existence of objective world about which we can made true or false statements.

    @ Guqin

    Your example with X and Y very much gives me an impression that you are more like a relativist. Relativist is more like a scientist with some philosophical thoughts whereas a hard core scientist denies anything that cannot be proved by an experiment importantly that belief must be able to be produced by a real/thought experiment and it is required for that experiment to be replicated and repeatable. That’s why scientists don’t accept astrology as science.
    You made a hypothesis “If X is true, and then Y is true”. There is an interesting way of modifying your argument regarding the truth in the above statement. You are absolutely right in predicting that X can be false but you should also know that majority of groundbreaking discoveries/inventions are made starting from a false hypothesis i.e. “if X is false, and then Y is true”. This is kind of elimination of predictions. The sequence goes like this.
    1. An observation was made like an apple falling from the tree.
    2. A hypothesis was proposed to explain or to find out the possibilities for that observation.
    3. Performing an experiment by proposing predictions (This step doesn’t make sense to relativists).
    4. From the observations predictions/conclusions are drawn.
    5. If the observation comes against the hypothesis then it will be modified until the hypothesis itself doesn’t make any sense to the inventor of that hypothesis.

    Relativists do not believe in physical experiments but they are required for scientists and in scientific world. I agree with you that it’s not possible to control and create ideal experimental conditions in lab. There are three ways of doing experiments and the one you have mentioned is laboratory experiments. But there is another way to get closer to those ideal conditions by performing “natural experiments”.
    There are experiments that today’s scientists follow i.e. Galilean experiments. And there are three more but I remember only two 1) Baconian and 2) Aristotilean (I doubt the spelling).
    Science/technology derived from Galilean experiments can have confidence levels of 99% and above. Currently scientists conduct Galilean way of experiments to support their hypothesis. I m sorry to hear about your dad. He had fallen in that 1% where science couldn’t do anything. 😦

  76. March 8, 2008 8:23 am

    Guqin,

    Yes,the truth cannot be measured.But I am not exactly sure if the truth is infinite or finite.I believe it is more infinite than finite.Or the infinte truth may contain many finite truths in it.

    Whatever,only science can get close to that truth.Philosophy can only imagine that truth but science will become that truth ! Science itself tends to be infallible.Science is self-correcting by nature.And if at all I have to have blind faith in one thing,that thing has got to be science,because science does not blind one to the truth.Science knows that it is not yet the truth and so it moves towards the truth.And more importantly,science makes the truth accessible to all.Science is egalitarian ! Science is freely available to all ! Science IS the future !

  77. Ravi permalink
    March 8, 2008 11:45 am

    Raj

    Somehow my last post is still under moderation. I guess if you could have seen my post it would have answered your questions regarding the truth being infinite or finite.

    From your second paragraph its evident that you are a realist. You are awesome and welcome to the club 🙂

    Ravi, I am sorry, but i was out the whole day and am just back. That post of yours is published now. – Nita.

  78. Ravi permalink
    March 8, 2008 9:13 pm

    Oh please don’t say sorry, It’s ok.

  79. Guqin permalink
    March 8, 2008 10:26 pm

    Ravi,

    Quote “If X is false then Y is true”.

    But we can define X’ as the negation of X, then the sequence becomes

    ……X’3 X’2 X1′ X Y Y1 Y2 Y3……

    still the same.

    The sequence has little to do with the philosophical belief of the scientist but its general method (axiomization).

    Without a background in western philosophy I don’t quite understand the concepts of relativist and realist, but judging from contents, I am guessing the distinction between these two is in the philosophical level but in the scientific. The realist believes there is a final truth which is accessible to human while the relativist does not (?) though he may not deny there is still a final truth (just not for human)(?).

    If this intrepretation is correct, then a realist scientist blieves that science can tell this final truth (like Einstein), and a relativist scientist does not (?). If so, yes I am with the relativist scientist (but with the realist philosopher).

    Thanks for info. on “natural experiments” (is it the same as Goethe’s vision? Who opposed to Newton’s optics?). Let me find out more. Any good books, article or wedsite to recommand on natural experiments?

  80. Guqin permalink
    March 8, 2008 10:29 pm

    My basic view is that science can only provide a model, and a model is never the reality.

  81. Guqin permalink
    March 8, 2008 10:30 pm

    But it does not mean the reality is not there.

  82. March 8, 2008 10:31 pm

    Ravi, please refrain from using labels for me, like “relativist.” (whatever that means) based on one statement I made. Thanks. 🙂

  83. March 8, 2008 11:36 pm

    Ravi,

    Thanks ! Yes,I believe that we must seek the truth for ourselves !

    Seeing and hearing can be deceiving ! But seeking and experiencing is believing !

  84. March 8, 2008 11:51 pm

    Guqin,

    Science can provide models.But those models describe the truth or part thereof.We can trust science because even if the model is not correct initially,it will correct itself.That is the way it works.So the model(s) will move closer and closer to the truth till one day science becomes the truth !

    Science does not believe in seeing and hearing.To see and to hear can be deceiving.To seek and to experience is to realise the truth.

    Why,even one religion asked us to do the same thing :

    Ask and it shall be given to you,
    Seek and you shall find,
    Knock and it shall be opened to you !

  85. Guqin permalink
    March 8, 2008 11:53 pm

    Correction:
    The X in the sequence should be X’

  86. Ravi permalink
    March 9, 2008 12:24 am

    Amit

    I m terribly sorry I did not intended to demean you by labeling or something. But I would like to go into details of relativist if you really care and wanna know what I exactly mean. Unlike racist, sadist I m just kidding 🙂

    Here is the thing people who respect and believe in science are divided into two groups
    1. Relativists
    2. Realists.

    This concept was originated sometime in17th century and still scientific community believes in this classification.

    Realists are like the one who believe “science is the future of any nation and development is proportional to science”

    Relativists are those who thinks that science is only one way to know the things in the nature which has already been there and all we need to do is to pay some attention to explore that. Besides that they believe that philosophical thinking provides much easier and relevant ways to explore that unknown world.

    I tried my best to make the above concepts clear to you. I shouldn’t have labeled you sorry about that. You are an indian and a human being. 🙂 I do not know anything I could add here to make you feel better and relieved you from my terrible mistake. Accept my apology and think about my explanation.

  87. March 9, 2008 12:36 am

    Guqin,

    // it is always one step behind reality //

    That is quite true.But the important thing here is that science RECOGNISES that it is one step behind reality.So it always takes the next step and keeps doing it till it reaches its destination.So science is always in motion.It never stagnates or decays over a period of time.

    But religion(not philosophy) thinks that it is everything ! It does not realise that it is nothing unless it keeps moving !

    “A rolling stone gathers no moss”

    Therefore a stationary stone gathers moss until it becomes covered with moss and becomes unrecognisable.Then someone will have to clean it (renaissance?) till it is recognisable as a stone again.In any case,it will never reach its destination by being stationary.

    Science is like a rolling stone.It never gathers moss and always keeps rolling towards its destination-the truth or reality !

  88. Ravi permalink
    March 9, 2008 1:54 am

    Guqin
    You are correct in quoting X’ as the negation of X. But I m afraid to say that there is slight difference between X’ and the way X is used in the statement “If X is false…”. Like you said there are X1, X2…. But X’ need not necessarily be from the series of X1, X2…. Let me be more specific about this and start with your statement “If X is true then Y is true”. Take a real time hypothesis to replicate your statement “if X is a deadly virus then X killed the deceased”. A relativist sees X as a deadly virus or may be some other thing or reason. And the reasons could be anything like he might be sick for a long time or he ate poison or he committed suicide. Here X’ is not X1, X2, X3 or any from the series of possibilities. Whereas a realist sees the If X is a scientific fact about the virus attacked the deceased then X’ must be something close but it must some other bacteria. He never thinks about the other real reasons that could caused the death of that person in reality. Its ironical that picturing realist as someone who cannot see beyond science.

    For the first time I have re-read my comment before uploading it. Because I have to make this complicated concept of relating science and philosophy to the simplest form so that I could explain it clearly. Why is it so important to understand this variation between science and philosophy? It has to do a lot regarding development. A realist thinks that science alone can solve all the problems of today’s world. He cannot see beyond science and always try to solve the problem in practical ways. Whereas a relativist sees the problem from different aspects and comes up with so many solutions in which science is one of them. Take energy problem. A realist starts with alternate fuels, conservation of gas and modifying automobile mechanism for better mileage etc. A relativist goes into the behavior of people and how they must be educated and make them realize to minimize using automobiles and other aspects related to the behavior and the background of the individuals. He won’t stop there will go all the extent to the race and religion if possible.

    So it’s important for any country that needs to develop technology indigenously must have both realists and relativists as committee members to allocate research funds. A realist does not consider things beyond science and a relativist does everything except to contribute that brilliant idea which is origin for any innovation.

    US is exactly doing the same thing forming a committee(NSF) to allocate research grants to realists on the advice of relativists. By following this procedure emphasis is given to sciences concerned with problems in today’s world.

    Your interpretation of a realist is true but it doesn’t say final truth but relative truth i.e. 99%. And a relativist doesn’t agree science is the only way to find that relative truth it is not correct to give this in terms of percentages since they don’t believe in statistical procedure to prove the truth.

    Newton and Einstein are realists but I m not sure about Goethe. There is an article on experiments by Jared M. Diamond which you can get by using keywords “Jared M Diamond Natural Experiments”. The first thing that pops up is the one we need here. There is one more book I would recommend “the art of scientific investigation by W.I.B. Beveridge” it allows us to know everything about science and research. Surprisingly it talks about the dos and don’ts of scientists and it refers to so many articles that cited the importance of philosophical thoughts in scientists to judge and test the hypothesis they wanted to pursue.

    I think science is a possibility. It shows us different ways of solving our problems in a scientific procedure.

  89. March 9, 2008 7:09 am

    .We can trust science because even if the model is not correct initially,it will correct itself.

    If science is self-correcting, then how do you know that what science is telling you today is the truth? If tomorrow it corrects a mistake, then it means that you had been believing a mistake as truth today and yesterday. How will you know that science has given you the final answer to anything, since new data tomorrow will prove today’s theory wrong? 🙂
    With each new discovery, also come new questions.

  90. Ravi permalink
    March 9, 2008 8:50 am

    Amit

    This is an exception in science. Sometimes it takes time to find that relatively appropriate truth and that time could be more than 100 years. Until then we have to believe that false statement/observation to be true. A simple example is alchemists in medieval times used to think that every metal has mercury and this happens to be longest believed lie in the history of chemistry. It is only in 18th century that the belief on metals regarding mercury was proved to be wrong. But the world has changed a lot during 20th century and its highly improbable to find good number of people who deny that this change was brought by the scientific inventions or discoveries. Techniques like chromatography, diffraction studies, computer simulations ……allowed us to find the truth in relatively good time. A couple of centuries back neither we knew those techniques nor we had that sophisticated equipment to analyze the results in no time. Thanks to scientists for emphasizing on research driven by purpose.

  91. March 9, 2008 9:13 am

    Yes,the important thing is to trust SCIENCE and not the humans behind the science.Humans are humans after all,they are fallible.

    But science is infallible.Humans may come and humans may go but science itself stays on forever advancing by the day,solving problems created by human greed,finding solutions to problems created by believing in ridiculous things,etc.

    Humans will remain humans but science will remain science . . . as solid as ever . . . getting better by the day . . . finding solutions to problems caused by humans !

  92. Guqin permalink
    March 9, 2008 11:57 am

    I am quite surprised that thinkers of Indian background would hold the realist view. If I understood properly, the realist view is the classical Greek view. But if Einstein of Jewish background could hold this view as supposely many Chinese scientists as well, then it may be natural for thinkers from Indian background too? It must be the consequence of the miraculous success of science.

    But I am with Amit. In a certain sense science is always wrong, the more fundamental a science, the more so (such as fundamental physics). For instance, in view of Relativity, Newtonian physics is just wrong (space is flat, time is even, energy and mass are seperate. etc.). The value of Newtonian physics is now in its usefullness when concerning macroscopic objects in low speeds. Same fate will do to Relativity. I see what Raj is saying, he believes there is a qualitative leap with the birth of each new generation of physics, bringing us closer to the final truth. So I guess the difference between the relativist and the realist is in how meaningful they think this leap is.

    Ravi,
    You happened to have mis-intreprated the X Y statement as a statement of formal logic (or in form of a hypothesis). I intended it as a system of axiomization (X as axioms). So with your example, the whole state ” If X is a deadly virus, then it killed all the deceased” is only X, not that “If X is a deadly virus ” as X, and “Then it killed all the deceased” as Y. The Y could have been “Mr. A deceased, therefore he had that deadly virus”.

    But I see your point. And thanks for the Jared Diamond information.

  93. Guqin permalink
    March 9, 2008 12:18 pm

    I guess a way to resolve the argument between the realist and the relativist is to distinguish Truth and Knowledge. The relativist should agree to that science provides Knowledge though they deny that science leads to Truth. For instance, Newtonian physics, though “wrong”, still provides a picture of the solar system.

  94. March 9, 2008 12:51 pm

    Guqin,

    I am surprised to read that you believe people belonging to certain countries should hold some views and others different views and so on.

    Greek or Roman,Indian or Chinese,Egyptian or Mesopotamian,Eastern or Western,the fact is that the human mind is the same.But it only thinks in different ways.That is the beauty of thought.

    Thought is free ! Thought is human ! Thought distinguishes humans from beasts ! Though beasts can also think,they do not think in such broad terms as humans !

    Science is the epitome of thought !
    Science is a tool, Science is cool !
    Blind belief can make one a fool !

  95. March 9, 2008 12:57 pm

    Nothing succeeds like science !
    Nothing can match science !

    A bad workman blames his tools !
    Blind believers may turn into fools !

  96. March 9, 2008 1:01 pm

    Guqin,

    I am sure you must have been indoctrinated with such things when you lived in the People’s Republic of China.I believe that your teachers in school would have asked you to believe in science because they would have told you that religion is poison !

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