FOREIGN - AFFAIRS COLUMNIST,
THE NEW YORK TIMES
China's rapid economic growth over the last few years, India could
still race ahead because it has already passed the "speed bump"
of Democratic reforms, said Thomas. L. Friedman, three time Pulitzer
Prize winner and foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times.
is going at 80 miles an hour, with a speed bump in the road. When
1.3 billion people go at 80 miles per hour with speed bumps, that
is real interesting," Friedman said in a talk with journalists
and students at the Indian Institute for Journalism & New Media
on Thursday, 26 February 2004.
Bangalore to work on a documentary on the controversial issue of
outsourcing, funded by New York Times in collaboration with the
Discovery channel, Friedman said, "India and China are like the
tortoise and the hare", a reference to the Aesop's fable with the
moral that slow and steady beats fast but unreliable.
is the tortoise and it has gone slow because it has a real messy,
noisy and occasionally violent democracy," Friedman said. But India
has an advantage because it has gone through democratic transition,
which China must someday face. India is in position to exploit the
huge and growing Chinese market, he said. "Having a democracy and
being over that bump is a big advantage," he said. " If India was
stock, I would buy it."
in Bangalore, Friedman has written two columns on the controversial
outsourcing issue. The first, titled "Meet the Zippies," ran in
Sunday's Times and the second "What Goes Around Comes Around," ran
Thursday. The columns makes the general point that outsourcing,
though controversial in both the United States and India, will benefit
both developing and developed countries in the long run.
is a win-win situation," Friedman said. Although the United States
and other developed countries lose jobs to India and other nations
through outsourcing, the increased prosperity it brings to the lesser-developed
countries increases their worth as markets.
added that there is a real division between the Indian readers and
American readers on outsourcing and it is challenging as a columnist
to write about it. But he said that if he were an Indian, he would
be covering the issue in the same way he would cover it as an American.
The only difference, he said, is that American jobs are being outsourced
to India so he has to answer to the American readers.
tell me that it is very easy for you to advocate outsourcing because
your job cannot be outsourced," he said.
standing at a lectern, opened his laptop and read the audience parts
of his column "What Goes Around Comes Around" in answer to a question
about outsourcing. He wrote an account of his visit to a Bangalore
call center named 24/7, staffed with hundreds of outsourced Indian
workers, he saw rooms full of computers from Compaq, running software
from Microsoft, operated by workers drinking bottles of water from
Coke. U.S. investors own Ninety per cent of the stock in 24/7, he
U.S has lost some surface jobs to India, it is for this reason that
total export from U.S. to India has grown manifold. So what goes
around comes around and also benefits America." Friedman said.
being asked why many in the United States are resisting outsourcing
if it is a win-win situation, Friedman said, "People who are hurt
by trade know who they are and people who are benefiting don't."
Those who lose jobs to outsourcing mobilize politically, he said.
who benefit by trade tend not to be mobilized," he said.
Student of Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media
Courtesy The Hindu