For many decades India has faced many issues because of expansionist policies of China which has border and control of sea issue with almost all its neighbors. Both India and China are emerging economies and are comparable in my ways including population and the fact that both are ancient civilizations. The intelligentsia in the country and elsewhere even suggested that India should follow the economic policies of China. Many condemn the idea as both are very different countries. India is a vibrant democracy and a secular country where any ordinary citizen can get the chance to be part of political set up and rise to highest corridors of power. Absolute freedom to press and individuals to express their viewpoints against or in favor of the government is hall mark of our democratic set up. China on the other hand is ruled by Communist party where there is no freedom of such kind to its citizens; the international press only gets state released news. Any attempt by the people to seek democracy is brutally suppressed as it happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989 where more than 2000 people were allegedly killed under army tanks and heavy gun fire by the police on protesting students.
The envious economic surge by China is the result of the new economic policies introduced in 1978. Though still many industries are state owned yet the private sector now contribute significantly to the overall GDP of China. The extravaganza of Beijing Olympics in 2008 very much proved the overall might of China and also how their inherent traits of hiding the truth enabled them to cover-up all slums and that famous firecrackers show during closing ceremony was actually a technology demonstrator. To further propel its desire to be seen as a super power China has been investing in many countries and especially those that surround India. They are making ports almost at all strategic positions to protect sea routes and other marine interests. Chinese are building up massive infrastructure in terms of roads railways, high speed bullet train network, roads in otherwise inaccessible remote areas. Besides this they spend a lot in building up massive defense forces to intimidate its neighbors and Claim all disputed area be it on land or in the sea to be theirs.
On the other hand India is famous for under invoicing and has its own challenges in terms of economic diversity and growing gap between rich and the poor. More than 200 districts of India are affected by Naxal outfits and government end up spending millions of rupees to fight out the Naxal movement. Only very tiny population pay taxes and corruption is seen as the necessary evil. Though to counter balance the regional hegemony of China India is working closely with Japan, Philippines, Vietnam and developing good relations with Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan and in Tajikistan Indian maintains a base. India has invested in Sittwe port in Myanmar to counter Chinese investment in Dawei port. India has better Space program than China and no wonder very soon India is going to capture huge market share in terms of launching satellites at much cheaper rates than western launch vehicles.
India just needs to be a bit more tactful, proactive in approach, work towards building up good relations with all the countries and should aggressively work towards protecting its legacy and cultural heritage. Rather than blindly follow the west India should build on its core strengths and believe the fact that there are still many takers of the Indian philosophy of love and spirituality.