Friday

Brand India

At this moment what are some perceptions about India?
1.'Incredible India' - The successful tourism campaign that highlights the heritage, diversity, culture and colors of India
2. Bollywood - I have bonded instantly with people from Tashkent to Somalia to Vietnam to Australia discussing Bollywood. There is an interest, a curiosity for Bollywood and this definitely helps spread Indian 'influence'
3. Poverty - This is something that cannot be shaken off from India. Slumdog Millionaire has only made it worse ...Not to say that poverty doesn't exist!
4. Good outsourcing industry. India is yet to be recognised as a cutting edge service provider but it's value in cutting cost for business has come to be accepted.
5. Brainy people: Indians are smart. I have heard this from everybody. In the university campuses my friends used to come to me with 'computer problems', math problems even though I was a communications student! They thought I am an Indian so I will figure that out...!!
6. Last but not the least .. largest democracy and a stable polity.

Have I missed anything? I dont think the "emerging power" image is yet to be accepted by the world. Just having nukes won't do. There is scepticism around world capitals on India's rise and a lot depends on how the country will:
  • Manage growth with equitable development
  • Address growing disparity
  • Counter political unrest and insurgency in almost all the states of the country
  • Corruption - Political and administrative

The Public Diplomacy office will have to come up with really unique initiatives consistently to convince the world that India indeed is a rising power capable of tackling world problems rather than getting bogged down by it's own.

-- Madhur

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