India vs. China... Democracy Does Have Its Benefits

India and China
The blog suggestions have been pouring in the last couple of days... this one is a recent opinion piece in the NYT sent to me by my dad.  I admit some initial suspicion at the rosy view taken by the author, Nicholas D. Kristof (anyone who talks glowingly about Bihar always gets a second glance from me), but seeing as he's a two time Pulitzer Prize winner maybe I'll give him the benefit of the doubt this time around.  

Kristof makes the argument that despite government inefficiencies and lags in basic services provided to citizens, India is now poised economically to compete with China.  Not just an annual 8% growth rate, but a robust democracy that tolerates dissent and the rise of citizen watchdog organizations that regulate industry give India an edge that doesn't exist in China. Sure, democracy is slow and inefficient, but it creates a multifaceted public sector in India.  I disagree with Kristof that India has "managed religious and ethnic tensions pretty well" "aside... [from] Gujarat."  Just because we only see communal tensions boil over into gruesome violence every few years doesn't mean they don't exist in between.  But if Kristof wants to wax poetic about Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee (link to previous post on Banerjee) don't let me get in any way diminish his glow.