Friday, February 24, 2017

Why is Trump silently helping India and China surge ahead ?

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in his famous book "The World is Flat" of 2006 extolled the virtues of globalisation across the world.  In the book he made globalisation a very natural and domestic concept across the world.

Over the past ten years, the world has been going through globalisation and have been benefitted or hurt by globalisation in varying degrees, prompting varying fervours and levels of nationalism across the same countries. Narayana Murthy of Infosys in his book, A better India, a better world also lauds of the benefits of globalisation.

Last year from the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Institutes with the world's toughest entrance examinations, less than 5% of students have gone to US for higher studies. This could be seen as a wave of nationalist sentiments sweeping across the developing nations of the world.

Courtesy -
While US knowing fully well that if only it traps these intelligent students from different parts of the world can it ensure leadership of the world, has failed to convince its own citizens of the benefits of an open immigration policy.

There are number of questions to be asked as regards the effectiveness of the US immigration policy in ensuring foolhardy US leadership of the world. The same immigration policy got tested in the recent 2016 US Presidential elections, which was a vote against globalisation and openness and instead supported an inward looking, conservative, traditional, old-fashioned approach.

The failure of the globalisation policy in general across the world in promoting spread of ideas and culture among the counties of the world, has finally promoted protectionist policies in US and nationalist policies in the world's oldest civilization, India, which is a cause of concern around the world. Listen to Dr Shashi Tharoor's February '17 one hour keynote address at Harvard Business School where he is speaking how the world has changed post globalisation ..   Tharoor, the global statesman with a global outlook in this learned and well prepared speech talks of how globalisation instead of helping the poor grow, is making the richer more richer across the world. Presently we see less equitable distribution of wealth across the different strata of society.

The following questions should help us to think hard and try to understand the directions globalisation and cross border immigration is taking of late.

Courtesy - Washington Examiner
1. The first generation of immigrants to US have been innovators and have preferred to keep their personal interests above their native country's interests while planning to immigrate. Has this plan been effective for immigrants like Albert Einstein and others ?

2. Have the second generation of these immigrants kept the same pace of innovative mindset and competitiveness as their predecessors ? If not, why ?

3. Has less immigration from top technical schools from India happened of late because of less opportunities in US and western nations or growth of hatred against foreign students ? 

4. Why is the American system unable to ignite a scientific mindset and innovative spirit beyond the first generation immigrants, as the rest of the nations in the world, which explains why US depends heavily on immigrants to help US lead in the global Innovation race ?

5. On the one hand, immigrants help US to lead the world in the innovation race and on the other hand immigration leads to lesser opportunities in job and career development for native and earlier immigrants (or children of earlier immigrants).  Will tougher immigration policies help Americans, who by now in second and third generation of immigrants and are less competitive and innovative, to firstly retain their jobs and secondly pull US back in the innovation race ?

I look forward to President Trump being able to understand these questions and if possible answer them to the detriment of US interests worldwide.

Any sane person who tries to answer these questions will come to know the future potential of US remaining the innovation capital of the world. 

Trump is the blessing in disguise for India and China to continue their developmental march and establish leadership of the world, while US would be busy setting its own house in order.

If the present PM Modi came to power in India on nationalistic and anti-incumbency issues, inspite of great economic growth from being #10 globally in 2004 to #3 in 2014 under leadership of former PM and noted Economist Dr Manmohan Singh, and is intent on pulling India back, Trump is US' Modi that can pull US fifty years back ! Ironically, both US and India, great democracies of the world, share the same fate !!

Benefits of globalisation and an innovation culture to the rest of society cannot be ruled out ..

Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers - poets, actors, journalists - they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology - Neil deGrasse Tyson

The momentous changes US and India are going through in these troubled times is great learning for the rest of the world in understanding how excessive nationalistic sentiments over globalistic sentiments can be detrimental to everybody.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Sir! President Trump, with all due respect may have his own versions of justifying his deeds, but he must also understand that these decisions are against the will of many citizems of US, wherein most are earlier immigrants from different parts of the world..who had built today's Strongest economy ...


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