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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
The Judicial Malaise
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
The Great Indian Dream, May 2012
 

India is fast drifting into a malaise that does not bode well for its future notwithstanding its avowed claim to be a `democratic´ nation.

It is not easier to set up three groups with adequate fi rewalls to run a nation. First, we need a set of people elected freely to act on our behalf (we are now too numerous to fi t in one room, and too clamorous as well). These elected people are our Members of Parliament (MPs) who discuss everything from formulating and implementing new laws to amending the existing ones. There is a third set of people, selected initially by the executive, to be the law makers and law keepers. These are the judges who rule on the legality of what parliament does, and what we can or cannot do.

All this did not begin with a `big bang´ but has been honed into clarity over many years in a few notable countries. In England, the role of parliament began about in 1066 when William of Orange (the last successful invader) set up a council of advisors who became ever more powerful, stirring the English civil war which resulted in the trial and execution of the king, Charles I. Thereafter, Parliament restricted the powers of the monarchy to that of constitutional monarch with limited executive powers. In the modern world, nations without a monarchy may still have a constitutional head elected by its MPs, or may vote for this head person directly: nevertheless there is a visible Head of State who at least notionally represents the country internationally though in practice it is their MPs who work nationally and internationally.

History suggests that, of the world´s 190(ish) nations about 150 are deemed to be democracies, and the numbers are growing each year - there was even a scale for measuring `democracy´ that was known as Polity IV. Rather more comprehensive are the characteristics drawn together by the Centre for Systemic Peace (CSP) who inter-relates a nation´s governance, conflict and development to yield an overall `black box´ score. Their global map on the Web covering states with populations greater than ½ million (i.e. 164) indicate a lack of democracy across a broad swath from China through Central Asia including all of Russia, into the Gulf and across Africa.

The rest of the world´s nations are more or less democratic - but there are many issues in defining this state-of-the world and its application to each nation. The definitional problem is that many nations while holding elections may in effect be electing `a dictator´ together with a few people´s representatives who really are minions of the dictator. Their Judiciary may not be independent and most likely will be weak in its actions. In fact, the CSP group defines three modes of governing - democracy (open management by and for the people), autocracy (often with hereditary chief executives and with very restricted citizen´s rights), and anocracy (a flip-flop of rapid chaotic changes between democracy and autocracy). The latter may be an intermediate state if an aspect of a staged change of regime from autocracy to democracy; but some regimes are so subject to strife they do not permit stability. An important aspect of democracy is the freedom of expression. This ranges from individuals being allowed to criticise anything though subject to some basic limitations about sedition, racism and so on, to the media also being allowed full rights to publish, to investigate and to lead discussions. These acts educate people through exposing them to the ideas of other people, cultures and religious beliefs showing how, in many instances, we each are quite close to each other once bias is eradicated.

Thus democracy needs to be worked for by all of us. We must use our technology to call via the social media for discussion of real issues and not to promote hysteria and to raise local worries about old ethnic reasoning.

There are two main aspects of a state `effectiveness´ and its `legitimacy´ which create an overall `fragility´ score ranging between 25 (worst) and zero. India rests in the moderately fragile sector (overall score of 13) with Effectiveness at 8 and Legitimacy at 5. There are forty one nations in a worse state than India including Pakistan (overall a little worse at 15); while Bangladesh scores better at 12. India therefore we may infer is drifting into a malaise that does not bode well for its future notwithstanding its avowed claim to be `democratic´: it compares poorly against China which carries a (low) overall score of 9 - partly as it is seen to not be as war-like as India even though it is autocratic. Democracy is thus a slow process. We have to allow time for the less avuncular to be heard and someone has to control those who wish to waste time gerrymandering. There ought to be a lessening of Partyline speeches and a more fundamental discussion raised that look to the issues of the people, even if such discussion goes far beyond the knowledge of local people: for instance about foreign policy, bio-ethics or the nuclear power residues. And, the Judiciary must be effective, completing its actions in an open and timely manner.

 

Frank-Jürgen Richter is the Founder and Chairman of Horasis - a global business community.


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