India and China are the two great powers in Asia, both won their independence from european colonialists (and also Japanese occupation in the context of China). India got independence in 1947, China in 1949. China got independence with a thorough going anti-feudal, anti-imperialist socialist revolution, whereas although India under Nehru made many progressive strides, Indian independence did not thoroughly do away feudal and colonial-comprador elements. As a result, China has a much more progressive society while of course not without its contradictions. While the progressive gains of India have been gradually stripped since the early 1990s especially (and despite India's leading role along with China in the BRICS, NAM and for reform at the united nations security council) one can see those feudal and pro-imperialist elements rise again in our society.
At the same time, narrow nationalist and self seeking powers in India are falling for the yanks and brits game of divide and rule in Asia. If China and India could resolve their historical issues and united, both countries would gain tremendously, and the tensions between Pakistan and India (including the Kashmir issue) would be resolved. The only powers gaining from the continuing tensions between the Asian Dragon and Elephant is the white man. No other.
Despite the many challenges in China, progress on all levels is benefiting all the masses, whereas in India the 100s of millions of our poorest are being pushed further down, and are facing massive military repression especially in the oppression of the Tribals, some of whom are organised with the Maoist revolutionaries in some of the poorest areas of our nation.
Wise Indians would look at China and take the positive examples from their experience and apply it to our conditions.
Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm
Indian rape case shows lack of genuine equality
Protest in India grew as the news that the young victim of a gang rape this month had died spread. The 23-year-old medical student was raped and viciously attacked by six men for nearly two hours on December 16 while she was riding a bus with a male friend. Both victims were severely beaten with an iron bar and eventually stripped naked and thrown from the moving bus.
The abuse of women in India is shocking. It has been reported that 572 rapes were recorded in New Delhi in 2011, and rape cases increased seven times in the past 40 years. However, those are just the tip of the iceberg.
A recent report by the New York Times cited a 2010 survey on Indian women's safety in public places, pointing out that more than one third of the women questioned in New Delhi had suffered sexual harassment in the previous year, but less than 1 percent had reported it to police.
Over the past few weeks, violence against women in India received prominent attention worldwide, most of which dwelt on the root causes of the problem. The street protests in New Delhi also offer a lesson to China.
Six decades ago, China and India maintained a similar development level, but there has been a widening gap after China explored reform and opening-up. Analysts hold that India is about a decade behind China in economic development and three decades behind in social development.
However, as the world's biggest democratic country, India is seen in the West as having great potential due to its superior system. But an inefficient and unequal democracy is unlikely to be able to mobilize this potential.
The Indian government is criticized for having reacted slowly and India's law enforcement system is considered sloppy. Rape cases in India have a conviction rate of as low as 26 percent even when they reach court. Moreover, the traditional social culture that devalues women should be condemned.
The Indian democratic system seemingly can't solve these problems but provides legitimacy for them. India's democracy is now manipulated by a small number of elite and interest groups. This easily ignites massive grass-roots protests like the current ones and the anti-corruption rallies in August.
Democracy should ensure effective public participation in national politics and supervision of the government. Efficient democracy means more than electoral politics.