The Tribune Spectrum

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Special Issue
Views of eminent experts and thinkers on the occasion of Republic Day of India.

Hari Jaisingh

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

M.V. Kamath

D.C. Pathak

S.D. Muni

Barjinder Sodhi

A.P.S. Chawla

V. N. Sharma

Ujjal Dosanjh

Gurcharan Das

J.N. Dixit

Yash Pal

I. K. Gujral

Arun Jaitley

Jaipal Reddy

Prakash Karat

Symbols of greatness







Can India be a superpower?
Yes, it can be!
Let’s turn India into a land of opportunities
Hari Jaisingh
Illustrations by Gaurav Sood"INDIA is not just a piece of earth; she is power, a Godhead." This is how Sri Aurobindo looked at this country and its rich ancient civilisation. But all that he wanted fellow Indians to have was "the firm faith that India must rise and be great". Herein lies the tragic gap between desire and action, between promise and performance; and between conduct in private life and public life of leaders.

Vision for becoming a developed nation
ORLD War II resulted in nuclear warfare, killing millions of people but gave birth to the United Nations. The code of war ethics and human rights in war was evolved, symbolising the elevation of human civilisation standards and concern for fellow human beings, says A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Not a superpower but an emerging power
WHAT makes a nation a superpower? China, it is claimed, is on its way to becoming one. Stephen Cohen describes India as an ‘emerging power’; not as a superpower, not even as a great power, and, at best, an Asian power. It is Cohen’s contention that India’s power is, as yet, in a nascent stage, says  
M.V. Kamath

India can be a presence in future multipolar world
D.C. Pathak
HE turbulent 1990s began with an unprecedented global change on the geo-political scenario. One of the two superpowers just vanished without much notice and the great divide between the two combative ideologies of communism and western capitalism abruptly disappeared, ending the dreaded Cold War era. The world is adjusting to the new world order in which the USA alone fits the bill of being termed a superpower that is in a position to exercise its economic strength and armed might anywhere in the world.

It will remain a tale of unrealised potential
N terms of its military capabilities, India is now, formally or informally, an acknowledged nuclear power. Its missile programme is credible and self-reliant, with Agni-III (3000-km range) coming up by the end of this year. It has the world's third-largest armed force that is capable of defending India's territorial integrity and internal subversion, writes S.D. Muni.

“A majority of Indians are wary of returning home”

Barjinder SodhiINDIAN culture is what has always kept Barjinder Sodhi, a Berlin-based NRI, attached to his roots. He left India in 1984 to pursue higher studies there. He has proved right the oft-quoted nostalgic statement made by NRIs that you can take an Indian out of India but you cannot take India out of an Indian. He was here as a representative of various associations, including the Indian Cultural Centre, Berlin; Bharat Majlis; Sikh Association and Jawan Bharti Centre Youth Association. Sodhi plans to start some venture in India.

"Our future generations should also feel the bonding
with India"

A.P.S. ChawlaA.P.S. Chawla, Chairman of the UK-based Nova group of companies, has been settled in London for the last 38 years. He is now involved in a project related to cancer patients in India. He recently donated Rs 25 lakh for a cancer hospital in his home town, Amritsar. He has promised another Rs 25 lakh for the project to be given soon. Also the President of the World Punjabi Organisation at London, Chawla, who was here to attend the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas spoke to Shveta Pathak about the expectations of the Non-resident Indians from the Indian government and India as an investment destination. 

India has to shed image of being a soft state
ESPITE its mediocre governments, India has steadily progressed over the years mainly due to the initiative of it’s people. There is little doubt that superpower status will be attained but India has to first tread the present difficult path of turmoil. It is already doing so and fresh successes are reported frequently, with the growing support of the Indian diaspora abroad, says V. N. Sharma.

“India can be a major power if it improves the standard
of living”

Prabhjot Singh

 Ujjal Dosanjh "N
UCLEAR weapons alone can neither make India a superpower nor get it respect or status in the community of nations", says Ujjal Dosanjh, a former Premier of British Columbia (the first Indo-Canadian to hold the post). "What can make India a real superpower is its socio-economic development.


Make the nation competitive
IRST, let’s decide as a nation to ignore Pakistan and heed China. Every Indian leader should scrawl ‘China’ in big letters in his office to remind him every day who is our real competitor. While China is currently ahead, our economy has performed well in the past two decades, and if we accelerate our reforms, especially in agriculture and education, we will gain ground, says Gurcharan Das.

It is possible if there is political will
TERRITORY, demography, economic potentialities and potential military capacities underpin India's prospects of becoming a great power. There are, however, certain pre-requisites, a series of exercises that will help in getting India’s act together. A deliberate and conscious effort should be made by civil society and the political classes in India to overcome the centrifugal impulses and trends, says J. N. Dixit.

India can follow a different path
Yash Pal
HE last few years have seen the emergence of a class of proclamations by leaders in politics and science that I find somewhat disturbing. These proclamations wish, predict and disclaim that in a decade and a half our country would become a "developed" country. Some of them suggest that we are already on our way to becoming an IT power, a biotech power, an agricultural power or a science and technology base of the world.


Only a united India can become a world power
THE nation's unity is always of supreme importance but it is more vital now. Divisive politics at this critical moment may win a few seats in the legislatures but it is inhibiting our role in the near and distant neighbourhood and is taking us miles away from the dream of greatness. Only a united, secular India can become great and may, at some stage, emerge as a world power, says I. K. Gujral


Human resource is our greatest asset
Arun Jaitley
I do believe that India has a potential to become a superpower. We are a nuclear power; we are a military power and we certainly can become an economic power. Our greatest asset to become a superpower is our human resource.

Growth, justice & harmony must to be a superpower
Jaipal Reddy
country like India, with one billion people, should aim for the status of a superpower. If nothing else, we account for nearly a sixth of humanity. Apart from the population, there are other factors that favour India.

It is lopsided to talk of superpower status
Prakash Karat
OSING the question whether India can be a superpower or not is by itself wrong and unproductive. Instead it is better to ask: how do we make India a truly democratic and just society? It is only by following such an agenda that prosperity and progress can be brought within the reach of all Indian citizens.