Chris Patten in Pune

I moved to Hong Kong  in 1998, a year after Chris Patten had handed over Hong Kong to the Chinese. I did see him freely walking at the ferry pier unlike India. Chris a student of history, chancellor at Oxford, was very popular  amongst local people. I always wanted to hear him in person and got the chance to do so in Pune. Some quotes from his lecture

India and China will be major forces  this century, before 1820 they represented 40% of the world’s GDP. If they had to borrow one thing from each other, being China, would choose some of the global brands India is building and India could always take Chinese infrastructure.

He had a very strong opinion that personal liberty and economic freedom go together, which the Chinese do not understand. He quoted from a book, What Chinese Think, about Chinese Think Tank’s version of democracy. Where there is maximum freedom for the people, rule of the law exists, but the rulers remain the same with no elections. Sounds very similar to the Congress Party, where you you have democracy for everyone but the first family.

On Drugs : There were questions on how Columbia and Afghanistan need to be controlled to reduce the proliferation of drugs. Of course there are two perspectives one of producer and consumer. The western world that is the primary consumer, always blames countries that produce it, and refer to them as “failed countries”. However the western world is viewed by these countries as “failed societies”. Who should be blamed first ? society or country.

India will have to tackle governance and corruption to make the next round of global competence.

I bough his latest book, What Next ?, more on the book after I read it.

3 thoughts on “Chris Patten in Pune”

  1. Что ж… и такое мнение допустимо. Хотя, думаю, возможны и другие варианты, так что не огорчайтесь.

    1. Veer

      You can never achieve zero drug consumption. Drugs should be made available and people should be free to decide. However this requires an educated and aware society. In India we will have to ban it, till we have levels of eduction where people can decide for themselves.

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