Francis Fukuyama says policy imple- mentation in India has remained a majorproblemthankstoastrongcivil
society and too many constitutional checks
and balances that — unlike China — stand
in the way of a high-capacity state capable
of policy implementation.
‘I think that is the struggle that India
needs to engage at this point — to shift that
balance that is tilted towards the civil soci-
ety,’ Dr Fukuyama, the Olivier Nomellini
Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s
Freeman Spogli Institute for International
Studies, said October 9. ‘It needs to remain
a democracy and it needs the constraints
(on state power), but it also needs more
state capacity and to shift the balance
towards more effective governance.’
He was delivering the annual Nand &
Jeet Khemka Distinguished Lecture at the
Center for the Advanced Study of India,
University of Pennsylvania. The topic was
‘The Origins of Indian Political
Institutions: the Long View’, and the large
audience comprised academics, entrepre-
neurs and corporate executives.
He cited the example of infrastructure
development to drive home the point.
‘If there is a single big thing you could do
to boost the Indian economy, it would be to
make some investments in the infrastructure,’ he said.
‘In China, because the state is powerful,
they can do things like airport, rail or dam
very quickly and with relative ease, but In
India when you try to do an infrastructure
project, you get slapped with lawsuits,
strikes and different unions come and
oppose and you get all sorts of social organ-
izations to disagree with the government.
Because of the checks and balances in the
Indian political system, they often-time are
able to get their way.’
‘I think the two countries tend to be mir-
ror image of one another with the Chinese
problem being too much uncontrolled state
power and India lacking that because of too
many checks and balances that paralyzes
the government and prevents it from tak-
ing quick decisions,’ said Fukuyama, who
has just published Political Order and
Political Decay: From the Industrial
Revolution to the Globalization of
Democracy, the second volume of his
Origins of Political Order.
He said he was not against a strong civil
society or ‘constraints’, which he described
as healthy, but said he wanted to see a balance between the two.
He said India and the United States are
‘ The founding fathers of America concentrated on one thing — to prevent concentration of tyranny, or unchecked power in
the hand of the state and so the American
Constitution has many checks and balances
that I think have led to the current circumstances, to some kind of polarization in this
country which I call vetocracy, meaning
ARTHUR J PAIS
When the mother of a pre-teens daughter found a little camera in their family bathroom, her daughter said she had seen the camera with a
family friend ‘uncle’.
‘Uncle’ and his family were very close to the girl’s family,
and they worshipped at the same temple — run by the
Hindu Cultural Society of Western New York.
The parents took up the matter with the temple authorities.
“Many of us said, ‘Look this boy did a foolish thing’,” a
temple official told India Abroad on condition of anonymity, referring to Prakash G Rajyaguru, 46, who has been
charged with second-degree unlawful surveillance and
endangering the welfare of a minor.
“This matter could be settled between the families,” the
family was advised, per the official. “There is no need to go
to the police.”
Rajyaguru, married with two teenage boys, has been
active in Indian cultural organizations and has been an
official and volunteer at the temple for over a decade.
Though not an office bearer at the temple for some
time, he attended its activities and also volunteered at a
weeklong summer camp held for children at the temple a
few months ago.
The police say the man never molested children.
‘He liked young girls,’ Lieutenant Joseph A LaCorte was
quoted as saying in BostonNews.Com ‘That age group
seemed to pique his interest. We have an abundance of pos-
sible evidence that we are still reviewing.’
As the investigation continued, LaCorte said, detec-
tives learned of another family that found a camera in
He said the camera found by the first family was ‘just a
portable little type camera, I guess what you might call a
lipstick camera that he could just set down, record what he
wanted, go right back in and grab it and no one would even
realize it was there.’ The police have not said anything
about the camera found in the second home.
Rajyaguru, who is free on a $50,000 bond, denied all
allegations and charges to the local media.
When the police seized his computer and camera, they
also found a video of a changing room at the temple.
“But there were no people in that video,” said the source
at the temple. Rumors have been swirling around the
arrest, he said, and some people have even accused the
temple for not alerting the community.
“There is a lot of exaggeration here,” the source added.
“Some people are adding mirchi and masala.”
Over a dozen people in the Indian community have writ-
ten to the police, thanking them for the arrest.
‘As a vibrant community association of Indian Americans
living in Buffalo, we are shocked and saddened by the news
of criminal wrongdoing against women and children by
Prakash Rajyaguru.’ Brij Bansal, president of the Indian
Association of Buffalo, wrote on the organization’s Web
site. ‘We condemn his actions and exhort the community to
come forward with any details to help the police in their
case against him.’
The first victim’s family, which has asked for anonymity,
is believed to have been upset with the court for the ‘low’
“But his (Rajyaguru’s) life is ruined,” The temple official
said. “His wife has gone to her parents in New Jersey along
with her sons. And this boy is left alone to look after his
aged and weak parents.”
Francis Fukuyama on India,
US, China, and ‘vetocracy’
Voyeurism allegations jolt Hindu temple congregation
Dr Francis Fukuyama at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, October 8, 2008. LARRY DOWNING/REU TERS