|India-Japan Political and Economic Development|
|August 24, 2006|
|A lecture on “The Rising Indian Economy” was delivered by Professor Esho Hideki, Professor, Hosei University. He said the 1990s marked the beginning of private and service sector-led, secular and high economic growth. Until then growth had been public sector driven with emphasis on traditional industries. The 1990s also marked the beginning of remarkable growth of the IT industry. Professor Esho said this has led to the growing affluence of the Indian elite and an expanded market for consumer goods. The decade has seen an increase in exports. With the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the bulk of the former Indo-Soviet trade was shared between USA, Europe and Asian countries with the noticeable exception of Japan, with whom the trade share actually declined. FDI also increased and was directed at the local market. Professor Esho concluded that the Indian middle-class is still not as big as it is believed to be. Due to the imbalance which limits the purchasing power of the local market, Professor Esho was of the opinion that Indian businessmen should focus on export markets to expand revenues.
A lecture on “Party Politics in India” was delivered by Professor Hiroki Miwa, who is an instructor in the University of Tsukuba in Japan. He said party politics in India is fragmented and has developed along regional and religious lines. He put this in the context of the framework developed by the Japanese scholar Sartoriuss of the pluralistic party system. When the number of parties are too many it is extreme pluralism, otherwise it is limited pluralism. Similarly if there are too many ideological differences between the political parties it is polarized pluralism, otherwise it is moderate pluralism. Extreme pluralism goes handin- hand with polarized pluralism and limited pluralism is linked to moderate pluralism. In India extreme pluralism was co-existing with polarized pluralism until the late 1990s, when it changed to moderate pluralism because of the change in strategy of BJP, which ceased to be an anti-system party and began to co-operate with other parties. Since 2004 the Congress party also started following co-operative politics. Another reason for the shift to moderate pluralism was attributed to the collapse of the Janata Dal. Although India has a bipolar, moderate pluralistic model, the transition from highly fragmented polarized pluralism to moderate pluralism has happened without the change in the number of parties and the social situation and hence there is a danger of the collapse of the system.