Interview of Nitish Kumar – Bihar game changer

A superb interview of Nitish Kumar. Many interesting things are covered like India’s federal structure, current strains between centre and state relations, China’s growth story, whether he would like to stay in China etc.

Sample this on China succeeding despite not really knowing English:

He has just been to China. What did he think of a country that socialists in India were taught, politically, to detest? Rammanohar Lohia and Madhu Limaye and even George Fernandes’s views on China are well known.

“That is all in history,” he says. Kumar’s insights about politics and society in China are deep and complex. As a trained engineer, he says, he could only feel awe at Shanghai’s multilevel flyovers. “They have left us far behind,” he says with painful honesty. But, he says, it was clear that whatever the regime in China was doing, communism was the ruling ideology.

How did he reach that conclusion? “Mao’s mausoleum is open just two hours a day. But you should see the queues of people who want to pay homage to him. I went to the Great Wall. There, a plaque had one of Mao’s sayings. A young boy translated it for me with such palpable pride…,” he says.

“… and what is more,” he adds, his voice catching with pain, “they’ve done it all in their own language! They didn’t have to learn English to take their country to such great heights! They did it in Chinese. I know we keep telling our people to learn English. In our country, if you don’t know English, you can’t get a job. But look at them!”

“This is the difference,” he says. “They took knowledge and turned it into their language. We mistook language for knowledge.” That was profound.

Interesting throughout.

As I read this, also noted another great article by Dr. Rajaraman  on whether Bihar should be given a special state status?? For more on special states read RBI’s state finances report. This report is a must read as it is the only of its kind..

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One Response to “Interview of Nitish Kumar – Bihar game changer”

  1. tirath Says:

    Great post. Thanks. The 2 links are excellent. Didn’t know that the RBI had such a wonderful database. Although, would want to differ with Nitish K. The entire country of China primarily speaks 2 dialects of the same language because of which another language need not be adopted. But when we look at India’s history, English had been and still is a unifying factor towards our development.

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