Nations are what their leaders make of them. Rapid economic transformation in the past two decades may have seen India catapult to the global high table, but this once-poverty-ridden South Asian nation has yet to wield the influence of a world power. Survey results
Lack of good leadership is to be blamed the most, according to a Hindustan Times survey of working-age people across 10 cities.
Poor governance standards, a burgeoning population, shrinking resources and growing insurgencies, and terror attacks are also seen as key issues – ranked in that order – affecting India’s standing in the comity of nations, said the survey.
About 2,000 respondents, spread across New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Bhopal, Patna and Ranchi, took part in the survey.
An overwhelming 72 per cent of the respondents said our political leaders lacked a strategic vision, while 76 per cent favoured setting benchmarks for becoming ministers.
About 58 per cent think inducting successful professionals from the private sector will help improve leadership and governance and 79 per cent of the respondents said dynastic politics — a characteristic of most political parties — is keeping talented people from entering public life.
When it comes to attributing India’s slow progress to lack of leadership, the survey noted wide variations across cities. In Kolkata, 56 per cent of the respondents and 53 per cent in Delhi singled out leadership, while only 32 per cent and 30 per cent did so in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, respectively.
For all cities taken together, 41 per cent people said lack of good leadership was holding back India, while 26 per cent attributed it to poor governance standards. The fact of population growth shrinking resources was cited by 21 per cent, while only 12 per cent mentioned growing insurgencies and terror attacks.
Tomorrow: How poor governance is hurting India’s march to becoming a global power