Mitt Romney is right

Published: August 4, 2012
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The writer is a columnist. He is also a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar 
aakar.patel@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a columnist. He is also a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar aakar.patel@tribune.com.pk

Does culture make all the difference between an economy that works and one that fails? America’s Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says it does. He made the remarks while comparing the prosperity of Jewish Israel to that of the Muslim Palestinian territories next to it. But the writer that Romney quoted to support this view, Jared Diamond, disagrees with Romney and says culture doesn’t explain why some countries are rich and others poor. Diamond wrote a response to Romney, saying he doubted Romney read his book, which is called Guns, Germs and Steel. The book says geographical and botanical features of a territory and the biological features of its inhabitants explain the difference between rich and poor states, not culture. The Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria also disagrees with Romney.

Zakaria says this theory of a cultural explanation for economic success originally came from the sociologist Max Weber. The reason why the economies of Britain, Germany and America were so healthy, Weber said, was because of culture. The success of these states came because they had something called a Protestant ethic, which made them see work as worship. But Weber, who was writing a century ago, also said two cultures that had no hope of progressing were Japan and China — and we know how wrong he was about them. Zakaria says it is capitalism that drives economics and by this he means liberalised laws. He points to the low growth in India (which, he reminds us, was called the ‘Hindu rate of growth’) before 1991, when the economy began to open up and rates became healthy.

Romney and Zakaria both talk of such things as  “Israeli” culture and “Indian” culture with specific reference to economic success. Romney believes the first is what brings Israel success; Zakaria says the second doesn’t play any part in India’s success since 1991. Zakaria says culture is important but always changing and so not significant. He also believes the success of Asians in America comes from immigrant drive, not culture.

I think Zakaria is wrong about this. If we examine this success, we can ascribe it to culture fairly quickly.

This can be demonstrated. What is common to the Fortune 500 leaders Vikram S Pandit (Citibank), Indra Nooyi (Pepsi), Sanjay Jha (Motorola), Sundar Pichai (Google) and Surya Mohapatra (Quest)?

All are Brahmins. Two Indians are the deans of world-class management institutions, Nitin Nohria of Harvard Business School and Dipak Jain of Insead. Both are Baniyas. Warren Buffett’s blue-eyed boy, Ajit Jain and Deutsche Bank’s CEO, Anshu Jain are Baniyas, too. Any scan of Indian success abroad, past or present, will continually throw up mercantile communities, whether Arun Sarin at Vodafone, Harish Manwani at Unilever or the Bohra Hatim Tyabji at Best Buy.

What Zakaria sees as “Indian” success is that of a couple of communities. This isn’t just about the success of Indians abroad. The 10 richest people in India are Lakshmi Mittal (Baniya), Mukesh Ambani (Baniya), Azim Premji (Lohana/Khoja), Ruia brothers (Baniya), Savitri Jindal (Baniya), Gautam Adani (Baniya), KM Birla (Baniya), Anil Ambani (Baniya), Sunil Mittal (Baniya), Adi Godrej (Parsi). Nine of the ten are from mercantile castes, including the only Muslim.

The thing to know is that these communities are absolutely tiny but are still able to produce most of our business champions. Why? Not genes, not magic — but culture. We can dismiss the data arising from the historical advantages of a few families, a statistical error or something else. But I don’t think that will bring much clarity. Eventually, we will have to settle on the difference in culture as the key element that explains this data.

Capitalism and its laws help but they can only help where the culture is receptive. Pakistan has laws more liberal than those of India and it opened up its economy much before India did. Still, it doesn’t have growth. Why is this so? I believe it is because the culture of the majority of Pakistanis orients them towards a national security state rather than an economically prosperous one. I have written about this earlier. I would say Romney is right — at least, about us.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (51)

  • Kanwal
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:10PM

    “Not genes, not magic — but culture”
    This does not look like a sound argument? When you are BORN in an already wealthy and well-connected and established family, your prospects are far more better. Money invite money. Its not really culture. Its family businesses/contacts you are talking about? Did all these people start from road side stalls? I dont think so.
    I would probably say that cultures does determine a few things, for example the success of Indians in UK, Canada, etc has a huge contribution of the more educated and working women in the Indian households. Whereas Pakistani households are run mainly by a single person who brings money for maintaining a whole family. Now THIS is a cultural influence more likely. Not like if you are born in a certain community (Brahmins, Khojas) who already have hundreds of yeas of contacts and wealth amassed for you.

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  • Farian
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:19PM

    Yes culture makes all the difference and you are right.
    Romney is also right on this although I dont agree with his politics.
    .
    But most important thing to realize is that not all cultures are equal and not all ideologies are equally beneficial or harmful. And success in this world is wholly determined by ethics and values coming out of culture and ideologies followed by people.
    .

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  • Ammar
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:20PM

    Aakar (and many other Indians). It’s the 21st century. Please grow out of your primitive caste-ism.

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  • unbeliever
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:27PM

    back to casteism, Mr. PATEL….

    you really missed that most of the spelling-bee winners, and geography contest and other such contest winners were also brahmins……

    PS: plz, jains are not a caste, they are a seperate religion…..so, give them the due respect.
    and stop treating them as part of hinduism.Recommend

  • Max
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:29PM

    So I cannot write anymore? Fine! Have a good day. It is called measured censorship.

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:30PM

    Something of similar nature was written about winners in Olympics in ET a few days before. Culture does play the most important part in success. To the above article I will add that people from Punjab, Rajputs, Marathas and Gurkhas join the Army. I have been brought up in a govt. colony and my kid has been brought in an upper Housing society. I see the difference. Similarly it depends on the schools and colleges you attend.
    Mitt Romney is endorsing the caste system.

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  • Aug 4, 2012 - 11:33PM

    I think you are right, one element in Pakistani culture is to blame ‘others’ instead of realising own responsibilty like our railways minister after ruining country’s startegic assest for many years, shamelessly blamed NLC for his incompetence and failure to correct such a dismal state of affairs.

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  • unbeliever
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:37PM

    @Kanwal:
    quite the contrary, most in the list are first generation billionaires…..

    and, the success of brahmins is their stress on a culture called love of knowledge…

    though, i am firm believer that their is no superiority in genes, but the way a child is brought up, goes a long way in deciding his future.

    a baniya’s son is taught the value of money right from childhood…..a brahmins son, the importance of studies.

    also peer-pressure goes a long way in deciding your career of choice.

    some of my baniya friends had been offered salaries as good as Rs 15 lac/annum, at the age of 21.
    but they went in business instead, and in short time made a good fortune.

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  • noone
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:15AM

    **Culture matters**…**When my father advises me to study every time , son of a businessman is encouraged to manage shop** .Jews and Chinese are burning examples .Gujuratis in India set examples for us , though they are under-dogs so far as education is concerned(excuse me Mr.Patel , my personal experience) .Saudis lack this culture though they have petro money.English are perfect examples .

    **But God is great . He rewards hard work , doesn’t matter which culture you belong to . Examples are South Korea and North Korea** .Recommend

  • Ali tanoli,
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:20AM

    Israel is rich and palestine is poor i will say who is responosible america it self mr romney and now the elections are coming and jews vote bank which is one racist vite bank in america
    and goes to one ballot box like crow voice gathers all other crows so its a best time to say something like that and what about pakistanis rich who dont even wanna show there total wealth thats because of culture or loot the same way indian rich tax chore and india old rigid
    society making them more richer and mr akar what century and country u lived in man wake and smell the cofee…

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  • Ali tanoli,
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:24AM

    What will Rimney will say about oil Rich countries culture may be they are Rich of there true believe or ????

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  • Nagpur
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:37AM

    Culture is main determinant of a country, society and religion.

    Culture is influence by lot of things geography, history, economy, family, caste, religion, etc.

    Pakistani’s had similar culure as rest of India, but geographically thier location at the door step of India and Middle east changed their history and religion. Their culture remained unchanged for long time till Saudi arabia hit oil 60-70s and made Pakistan its vassal state. Pakistani’s espcially the elites are poor hybird copies of arabs and westerners. They have no core left to call their own creation, values or tradition. Every aspect of their life is borrowed or stolen identity of others.

    I’m facinated by how a group of poeople (Pakistanis) can voluantariy transform themselves to an alien culture in such a short span.

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  • Khan Jr
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:48AM

    What unadulterated bunkum. It’s not at all about culture. There is no economic growth in Pakistan as little money has ever expended on education and human development ( but instead of atom bombs, F16 and frigates). It is when people have limited education accompanied by years of Establishment brainwashing (of the blinkered religiosity and paranoid nationalism type) you end up creating the ‘modern’ Pakistan.
    Askari Patel should have read Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel instead of writing such a pointless article.

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  • Aug 5, 2012 - 12:52AM

    Seems more like a discussion of inherited privilege in the caste system in a certain segment of a shared society, than culture.

    I thought Zakaria’s argument was lacking too, however he’s right in context with the Palestinians, and that Romney is very wrong.

    Palestinians in the ME and elsewhere are considered rather entrepreneurial and successful merchants. A lot of their local economic failures, on a sliver of land, has been credited to a foreign occupation, such as annexation of whole farms, expulsion of citizens, war and border controls that literally suffocates them of basic market products and resources.

    For that Romney is rightly condemned for his prejudiced views.

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  • Max
    Aug 5, 2012 - 1:37AM

    Mr. Patel,
    Please read Max Weber’s, Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism (1904) before making any comment. It is available in compiled edition by Talcott Parsons. The year of publication is probably 1933 or 1934. Just going over a few lines from Dr. Zakaria which he used in a contextual way does not substantiate your argument.
    Weber was writing in response to Karl Marx’s “historical materialism” and in appreciation of Calvinist Movement in Northern Europe. He was equally critical of other religious traditions including yours but more so of Catholicism.
    By the way have you heard of “Hindu Rate of Growth?” and I never mean to be disrespectful to our Hindu friends. Yes! a few Indians have made their way in the U.S. corporate world but others are still filling grocery bags at Patel Brothers (an Indian Grocery chain in the U.S.).
    Also please note that they are successful not for the reason that they are Brahmans, Baniya, or Lohanas but because of their hardwork and sometimes success comes out of support system that finds around them.
    I am looking forward to your next article to prove that Bill Gates, Mark Zukerberg, Steve Jobs and all other shinning stars of today’s capitalism are/were Brahmans, Baniya, or Lohanas. Get over this mind-set Sir.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Aug 5, 2012 - 2:52AM

    Election time is near and jews vote and islam bashing will starts with women rights and holy land will be in talk shows in the secular america.

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  • Sajida
    Aug 5, 2012 - 5:06AM

    Elites can do well anywhere. That is all you are saying. A culture is successful if the nonelites do well. You seem to not know that Israelis are immolating themselves protesting about inequity. There have been thousands on the streets since 2011. The country has debt up to 70% of GDP (CIA factbook) and only has a population of 7 million! This is not a sign of a successful country. Mitt Romney doesn’t not know the facts. It is astonishing that someone running for President is so uninformed!
    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/03/opinion/occupation-not-culture-is-holding-palestinians-back.html?_r=1
    Occupation, Not Culture, Is Holding Palestinians Back
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/08/201282131216216554.html
    Romney, economic realities and one Palestinian’s story
    Murad’s story typifies Palestinians’ experience of running into proverbial roadblocks at every turn of their development

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  • Truth bites
    Aug 5, 2012 - 5:16AM

    Well my friend, it seems the success of india and china is due to less use of contraceptives ; )

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  • Sundaram Iyer
    Aug 5, 2012 - 5:27AM

    @Author
    I think you cannot group Brahmins from all over India into one category. Brahmin covers a wide rage of racial and cultural types. There is been a lot of racial mixing over the years. I have seen Brahmins from the north-east who have some Mongoloid racial mixing. I regard the Kashmiri Brahmin as the purest racial type. Many southern Brahmins look very Dravidian. One Brahmin I met looked like a Australoid while his wife looks like a Punjabi although they are of the same caste. So you cannot group all Brahmin together. Sorry to say but Gujarati Brahmins are not one the most educated either. Yes caste like the Iyers are successful but not all Brahmin castes are successful. It also to do with the genetics of the caste not just culture.

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  • Jain Bhai
    Aug 5, 2012 - 7:45AM

    I don’t know whether Patel or Zakaria are right, but let me give you some hard facts.

    Jains, though a different religion, in large parts align and work with/like baniyas. My parents are Marwari Jains, and this is how I have seen all my relatives behave across the nation. Almost all Marwaris who migrated from Rajasthan did end up in a pretty mercantile culture.

    Look at any top tech school- a large proportion of desi professors are Tamil Brahmins, and majority Brahmins. My Tamil Brahmin friends tell me how they are discouraged to go into business, not necessarily MBA et. al. but entrepreneurship, even in the tech sector.

    Of course there are exceptions. I went to a pretty elite tech program and unlike my classmates, ditched 6 figure offers to work on my startup. Ironically, my cofounder is a Parsi!

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  • Concerned
    Aug 5, 2012 - 7:59AM

    Mr. Patel, did the war in Afghanistan and subsequent explosion of extremism in this country not cross your mind when writing this article? A far more insightful discussion is the following from the Foreign Policy magazine: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/01/uncultured

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  • Indian(Rhode Island)
    Aug 5, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Pakistan has laws more liberal than
    those of India…

    Yes, Blasphemy Law, Ahmadi Law, Kafir can’t be President Law etc.

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  • Zeeshan
    Aug 5, 2012 - 8:36AM

    What we termed as “culture” could not operate in void. It needs external factors. The likes of Bushes and Romneys could not be where they are today without social, economic and cultural capital surrounding them.

    The idea behind “culture” also considered that there is this “culture” which leads to certain societies to prosper while others not to. When one digs deeper, one could see other factors such as cultural capital through education in pre-1948 Palestine which allowed Jews of Europe who arrived in Palestine to prosper at a faster rate than the native Palestinians.

    The world’s richest man is a Lebanese man in Mexico who owns more money than his ancestral homeland of Lebanon. So, can culture alone explain why Carlos Slim could outperform European, African and Native Mexicans in accumulating such wealth?

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  • Hemant
    Aug 5, 2012 - 8:42AM

    Mr. Akar Patel extending your hypothesis the only way Pakistan can economically prosper is by inviting the exipelled trading castes to return .
    Any takers ?

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  • vickram
    Aug 5, 2012 - 8:48AM

    Romney is right, and Aakar too is right.

    Most of the IT giants that employ thousands of engineers in India have been started by Brahmins. In Tamil Nadu, the media and the movies would not have reached the present level of growth without tamil brahmins. (In South India, Muslims have always had this soft corner for Brahmins and it is on record that many muslim rulers in South India used to donate land and resources to brahmins for building temples. )

    Despite decades of anti-brahmin rhetoric by Dravidian parties, most of the non-brahmin communities are slowly adopting the brahminical culture -whether it is food or language or religious practices. One of the participants in a talk show said, “We always want to be the people who are high in the social ladder and we aspire to copy them and be like them !”

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  • des premi
    Aug 5, 2012 - 9:31AM

    Caste system in India has produced anomalies in the power structure. Historically knowledge was privileged of so called upper caste in India..others were never allowed to go near that. That is the reason Indian society has produced many educated people who are from upper caste or brahmins. all the names taken are outcome of this distorted structure . One should not forget the big frauds and corruption in Indian govt bureaucracy is committed by these so-called upper castes brahmins..mishras, pandeys, trivedis, joshis!! How ever with democratisation of education, these stranglehold by handful of so-called upper castes in govt post pvt cos, will wither away. Democratization of education is the key to drive away evils of racial, caste biases which is perpetuated by politicians and media people for their narrow gains!! Time to kick and demolish such artificial barriers in the name of race, caste, culture, religions etc!

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  • Zain
    Aug 5, 2012 - 9:57AM

    I’m convinced now that journalists have no idea what their talking about!!

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  • Kashmiri
    Aug 5, 2012 - 10:51AM

    His name aaker Ahmed patel.so he is also living in 17 century..wake up we are in 21st century ..Still finding castesm which I get to find out..may there are many takers of these kind of article in Paki papers

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  • Zeeshan
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:34AM

    @Nagpur,

    “I’m facinated by how a group of poeople (Pakistanis) can voluantariy transform themselves to an alien culture in such a short span”

    Err. That’s coming from an Indian whose entire culture is now being westernized.

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  • Zeeshan
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:37AM

    @Hemant,

    The “baniyas” have been there in India since God knows how long. Why is your country is still poor?

    Pakistan has better economy growth than India until recently. Part of the problem is the geopolitical factors being played right now. Even that due to FDI flowing in to India. So, the native “baniyas” need help too.

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  • Zeeshan
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:48AM

    What does “culture” mean? What kind of culture one should have in order to prosper? A Pakistani laborer works very hard yet he is poor.

    In order to prosper, countries need multiple external factors. Old civilizations were built near river and with the accumulation of food. In modern civilizations, cultural capital like education does help. However, education alone would not allow a country to prosper if you observe at the unemployment rates of young Westerners who are now looking for greener pasture elsewhere.

    The Jews of Europe who arrived in Palestine pre-1948 had the needed education to prosper. They came from a society where education was established. They were also helped from fund from Jews in America. That explained why Jews prosper at a faster rate than native Palestinians.

    The world’s richest man is a Lebanese man in Mexico whose wealth is larger than the wealth of his ancestral homeland of Lebanon. Culture alone would not be able to explain why this Lebanese man prospers in Mexico better than European, African and Native Mexicans and his 4.2 million Lebanese back home.

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  • Zeeshan
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:52AM

    vickram,

    This is like Indians emulating Americans by wanting to learn English, obtain education from an American university etc. While the “lower caste” wants to mimic the “upper caste”. Both the “lower caste” and the “upper caste” want to be Americans.

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  • Maula Jut
    Aug 5, 2012 - 12:49PM

    The entire discussion is about material progress. There is nothing to argue then about other riches in life. Joint family system helps people when growth rates are down and unemployment is up. Romney only thinks of money. Let’s wait and see US voters’ response to his cultural values.

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  • Agnivesh
    Aug 5, 2012 - 1:36PM

    @Khan Jr:
    The reason why you spend more on guns and less on education relates to culture my friend!

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  • Muhammad Shoaib Akif
    Aug 5, 2012 - 1:51PM

    Human biological evolution never stopped from Homo erectus to Neanderthal to Homo sapien stages and even within the Homo sapiens it’s going on. Geography plays a role in determining a culture partly but it’s predominantly shaped by genetic make up of people in a particular geography. Cultures may vary in decades, due to mass displacements, migrations, invasions, communications etc., but genetics of a geography takes hundreds of millennia to change even slightly. Simple examples are sufficient to understand that; most of the discoveries and inventions are brought about in north-western Europe & America but are not from the rest of the world, comparatively. The people there prefer to be ruled by reason but here religions, races or ethnicity are the all times preferences like primitive tribal societies.

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  • Noor
    Aug 5, 2012 - 2:16PM

    @Zeeshan Again back at the hunt !!!
    “Pakistan has better economy growth than India until recently.”
    Until recently !!! huh… Had ur breakfast today ? Go and have it. .. Allah Hafiz.

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  • Junaid
    Aug 5, 2012 - 4:46PM

    @ Max….you need to read the article again…..and get out of your US mentality……if something is not true for US doesnt mean it is doesnt exist….and this is also US culture which sprouted so many billionaires there……. Hard work and education are also very closely linked to culture….read the comments and you will know how baniyas and brahmins have separate interests due to their cultural differences and thrived according to them…..
    this might not be true for US , but this is true for India…..
    and next time, try to quote more examples beyond US….else, dont argue….

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  • Tanveer Khan
    Aug 5, 2012 - 4:48PM

    @Nagpur:
    Very common misconception of Indians. We Pakistanis are not wanna-be Arabs.
    We have theological, linguistic and some cultural connections to Arabs but we have Avery Lear identity.
    You need to visit Pakistan and see how we have adopted values from many neighbors including India.

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  • Ahmed jani
    Aug 5, 2012 - 5:58PM

    Yes, there is a strong cultural element. Otherwise, how could you explain the tiny Tamil Brahmin community (<0.3% of India’s population) producing a large fraction of the subcontinent’s scholars and leaders. Despite a lot of recent discrimation against them for education and jobs? For instance, they have produced three science Nobel laureates: cv Raman (physics – first Asian Nobel), S Chandrasekhar (physics – considered a father of modern astrophysics), and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (chemistry). Not to mention S Ramanujan who many consider one of the greatest mathematician ever and was one of the inspirations for the movie Good Will Hunting and was also an early inspiration for our own Dr. Salam.

    Yes, it is either culture or genetics. But culture is the more plausible explanation since we are the same under our skins.

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  • prakash
    Aug 5, 2012 - 6:43PM

    Thought provoking comments on an interesting article.
    I will put forth my personal experience.
    I belong to a Kashmiri Hindu/Pandit family. In our community also there is tremendous emphasis on education but with the mindset that the child later should land up in a good job. I got into a Bank on graduation directly as an officer through competition. During my graduation I was surrounded by classmates who were from business families, big and small. While I was worrying about various competitive job seeking exams during my final years in college almost all of them were thinking about how to change or diversify their old family businesses.
    I was even asked by a friend to join him in partnership and his family had agreed to loan us money on equal terms.
    My parents were shocked and flatly refused even to listen to the plan.
    After working in the Bank for ten years I one day decided to call it quits and quietly became an entrepreneur without informing anybody.
    I have met with reasonable success, am more satisfied and rich than I could ever be in the Bank. My mother almost got a heart attack when she later came to know about my decision.
    My parents ( though now with the Almighty ) always thought the job was better, more secure, socially more prestigious etc. Money is not everything they used to say.
    I think yes, culture, especially family culture does play an important role if not, the deciding in forming choices for future life.

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  • Zeeshan
    Aug 5, 2012 - 7:09PM

    @Ahmed Jani,

    That was a very simplistic way of observing the relationships of individuals and their achievements.Those individuals attended English medium schools and came from families where parents and uncles were either scientists or bureaucrats. Except for Raman, the other two achieved what they had achieved by being researchers in Western universities. If the “the democratization of education” as des premi put it have taken place earlier and were more wide spread, various other individuals could achieve what these men did. Abdus Salam was the product of that “democratization of education”. So were individuals like baba-e-qaum, Allama Iqbal and Choudhary Rahmat Ali.

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  • indian
    Aug 5, 2012 - 8:46PM

    @unbeliever:
    Definitely. We must learn from you how to give respect to other religions, for eg. how from the way you have given due respect to ahmadi’s.

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  • Dushmann
    Aug 6, 2012 - 1:29AM

    I agree culture plays important part in development of society but the author forgot to define what he means by culture. I know authors views are usually liberal but he seems to love boasting about Bania caste achievements sometimes overtly sometimes covertly and thus ends up making sweeping statements.
    Probably unintentional but the following statement is in line with usual forward caste arrogance often exposed in internet comments
    What Zakaria sees as “Indian” success is that of a couple of communities.
    What does this statement mean? it seems to imply that rest of Indians should not be given credit for the so called success. which implies the people of these castes are prosporous because they achieved all this because they can because they are superior and others did not because they cannot. when in fact their success has a strong base of the thousnads of years of traditional knowledge of trade and tradition of knowledge that they recieved just because they were born in particular caste, all at the cost of other castes. The so called Brahmin-baniya-thakur group of castes if work in field of knowledge/commerce/administration/military are not doing a favour on anyone but just doing their job in their favourite caste system just as a mochi makes chappals and a bhangi cleans toilet. and just for doing their routine work they get disproportionately high share of India’s wealth, power and social status/respect, things that every man desires and deserves.
    In next article please be clear about nations/society’s culture and caste’s traditions and entitlements.

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  • Deb
    Aug 6, 2012 - 2:38AM

    Far too many holes in this analysis.
    There are millions of Brahmins and Baniyas in India who just manage to scrap a living. I know Brahmins and Baniyas (by their surnames) who are rickshaw pullers, auto drivers, even masons. How do you explain that?

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  • Praful R Shah
    Aug 6, 2012 - 1:20PM

    Mr. Patel is now expert on Romney. How many years have you lived in US? What do you know about Romney? None. I have been US Citizen for more man 35 years, migrated 41 year back. You have no clue how this country oprates. Recommend

  • I am Sam
    Aug 6, 2012 - 8:38PM

    I remember reading a book called Tribes by Joel Kotkin in 1992.

    Kotkin focuses on five groups: Jewish, Anglo-Ameriacn-Australian, Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian/Indian. In trying to explain the material success of these particular “tribes,” he emphasizes historical patterns common to them all: a strong ethnic identity that allows the group to undergo economic and political changes without loss of essential unity; a global network based on mutual trust and communal self-help; and an open-minded approach to the adoption of scientific and technological innovations. On this basis, he argues that potentially powerful economic groups of the future may include Palestinians and Armenians.

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  • Hemant
    Aug 6, 2012 - 10:10PM

    @I am Sam:
    Sam ,
    The tribe specifically referred was Indian and not South Asian .

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  • I am Sam
    Aug 6, 2012 - 11:14PM

    @Hemant:

    If read the book, you will know that even though he mentions the word Indian, he means South Asian just like when he mentions Anglos – he means Americans, Australians, NZ etc

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  • Muhammad Shoaib Akif
    Aug 7, 2012 - 1:25AM

    @I am Sam:
    Genetics (geniality) does matter, not the geography, in determining the genius.

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  • Pakistani
    Aug 27, 2012 - 10:56PM

    Mr aakar patel what about Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey these are all Muslim majority countries and are economically strong. Writers like you should not be allowed to write such articles in Pakistani newspapersRecommend

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