Friday, July 2, 2010

A Mantra Question: How do we catch China?

The following are excerpts from a discussion thread titled "WHY ARE WE SO BACKWARD?" on a Pakistan Discussion Forum...[Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal answers these questions in the following post]

  • In studies we have what is termed as "Herd Mentality". MBA is the in thing now, BE in IT and CS was earlier. Student does not ever know what will he be facing in the real world and real work place.
  • We are constantly living in shadow of our parents. Protected unnecessarily, but somehow that is what we perceive our culture to be about.

  • We claim we are Muslims, we grow beards, we offer prayers, we fast, we go on Haj, but when it comes to being fair in trade, loyal to your country, being honest, being generous, the same long beard Mullahs do the exact opposite of whats written in Islam. Why cant we first instill the basic humanitarian traits preached by Islam in ourselves like honesty, integrity, patience, peacefulness, impartiality, fair trade, justice and than aim for enforcing Beard, Hijab and Jihad........ 
  • If you say obsession with religion is the cause of lack of employment of women, it is a negative statement. Religious text, I have experienced is as open to drawing several inferences. The conclusion people will draw from it will depend on the direction of discourse. They will find relevant quotes to support employment of women at the same time they will find quote which will restrict it. After all, Talibans and the army fighting them - both is sworn to the same book, but their interpretations are vastly different.
  • The jump from a third-world country to a newly-industrialized country is difficult. It takes hard work and time. However, it will eventually happen. The proliferation of technology is an unstoppable trend. Europe was the first to industrialize. Next in line was America. After that was Japan and East Asia. Your turn will come.
  • Well my simple answer will be that we lack honesty in everything. We are hardworking for sure but we lack commitment and also we waste a lot of time.

  • However you can say that when it comes to Science, Pakistanis like to associate or view Science through religion and that's why you don't see any major Scientific contribution from our country.
  • I will give you my example. I have a biological background and i believe that evolution has occurred but my fellow M.Phil students don't believe in evolution and i have always bitterly debated this issue with them. I have even seen my teachers doubting it. No offence but you can see that no new innovation will come because of our preconceived notions which has come from religion ofcourse. So no progress.
  • Theoretically we are obsessed with religion but i dont observe this much is in practice..i mean does ur religion (let it b islam, christianity, etc) stops u from working, thinking rationally, playing ur part in development, etc...beliefs are one set of thing n acting another..when we use the word beliefs it encompasses everything not just religion--our choice of how we want to live..we wre backward because our economy is not working well..japanese are really introvert people but we dont call them backward..
  • There are people who say we were born of evolution (Quran says everything was created from a drop of water) but many may not believe in darwinism..but religion apart, i dont beleve in this again some people provide religious roots for big bang (heaven and earth were once same) n others may deny it again on religious grounds..its a matter of how u percieve things..i dont understand how it obstructs research n fact it should promote research spirit..
  • I'm going to go out on a limb and attempt to answer the more interesting question that is implicit in the question, "Why are we so backward?" Another way of asking the same question is the one that the Indians have been trying to answer: How do we catch China?

    The short answer is that you can't. In my opinion, China took a shortcut to industrialization through harnessing Taiwan's technology, hundreds of billions of dollars of direct investment, management expertise, customer base, tens of thousands of patents, know-how, research and development (i.e. see Hsinchu Science Park), etc.

  • The cumulative number of patents awarded by the U.S. Patent Office to Taiwan is 94,579; China is 9,492; Hong Kong is 9,862; India is 4,802; Russian Federation is 2,660; and Pakistan is 47. It will take an eternity for India, Russia, or Pakistan to match Greater China's patents.

    The solution is simple. If you can't innovate fast enough to generate your own patents, you must "borrow" the patents of another country. China has Taiwan. Pakistan will have to find its own source of patents.
  • We are backwards because of our Hypocrisy

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