This is the inaugural article topic to be suggested by a reader/commenter (Siddhartha Duttagupta) who emailed this in.
I would also like to add that its important to constructively introspect and encourage instead of criticising. Personally I had always thought that Pakistanis were a class in their own when it came to fraud and deception but I must defer to Omar Pakistan & India are maybe not so different in this case and I must really give up my Pakistan-Punjabi exceptionalism. The author raises some very good points (why is Bangkok light years ahead of any SA major city save Isb & Chd?) but I think there is a collective tendency to judge one’s “own” rather harshly. What is said about Indians could very well be applied to Pakistanis or Bangladeshis for that matter (the smaller nations of SAARC need a reprieve they have enough issues as it is).
Are Indians promising? What is the promise? More and more I suspect, they are the wise ones who forgot their wisdom and became strutting bullies. Take the case of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, better known as SAARC. As the behemoth of the Subcontinent, India is a natural power centre and could easily play big brother and mentor to its smaller neighbours such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The fact that it chooses instead to be a bully, railroading meetings, and neutralising important discussions by simply absenting itself has made it an uphill task to get SAARC off the ground. Officials at the United Nations, aware that without India’s nod nothing can move in the region, bash their heads against the wall from the sheer frustration of trying to engage with the high-handed Indian bureaucracy. I once facilitated a South Asian meeting on gender-based violence, where the Indian delegation yawned with barely concealed boredom as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other countries humbly spoke of their efforts and creativity in working with violent men. Then the Indian delegates held forth on India’s own amazing achievements.