A post is circulating on social media claiming China is richer than India because Chinese are not religious, have no Caste system, and are honest. And as usual, educated Indians are lapping it up as High Wisdom.
But facts are as under:
1. Till 1750 (that is before industrial revolution), India was the richest country in the world. Even at the time of Muslim rule when trade and commerce was an all time low. India until then was very religious, had caste system, had untouchability, and had no reservations. So, should we go back to being ruled by Muslims, get more religious, become more casteists, reinstitute untouchability, and abolish reservations?
2. Two phenomenon existing side by side doesn’t mean they have cause and effect relationship.
3. Till 1950, Americans were far more religious and discriminatory than we have ever been. Till 1930s, in the US, there used to be public, pre-announced lynching of Blacks, duly covered by press, in which nobody was penalised. But still the US was and is the richest country.
4. In reality, a country that respects private property rights, respects sanctity of contracts and promises, and keeps trade safe, becomes, over time, richer than the countries which do not.
5. China is rich because after 1970 it embraced Capitalism, and we are stuck with Nehruvian socialism.
6. As for honesty, free market system incentivises honesty, whereas socialism forces citizens to be corrupt.
Of course just as we consistently refuse to study Islam, but claim to know it, so also we consistently refuse to study Economics, but claim to know it.
Most of us are like that only: mediocre.
ps: China is only a few spaces behind India in Corruption Index. Not very honest, you see.