Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pakistan Needs More Gujaratis?

Does Pakistan need more Gujaratis and Memons to boost its economy and create more jobs? A Gujarati Indian journalist and author Aakar Patel emphatically answers YES!



Drawing upon some of his very narrow parochial and racist-casteist thinking, Patel explains with credible data that most of the captains of business and industry in both India and Pakistan are originally from Gujarat, and India's economic success lies in the fact that it has a lot more Gujaratis than does Pakistan.

Here are some excepts from Patel's piece:

"Indian society functions as a whole. Observed in part, it’s dysfunctional. Let me explain. Without Gujaratis and Rajasthanis, India wouldn’t have an economy. Delete Tata/Birla/Ambani/Mittal/Premji and India begins to look like Bangladesh. The rest of the country—Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Kashmir, UP, etc.—will have lots of culture but little else."

"Why is Pakistan such a mess? Some would blame Islam, but they’d be wrong. The problem isn’t religion at all. The problem is lack of caste balance. There aren’t enough traders to press for restraint and there are too many peasants. Too many people concerned about national honour, and not enough people concerned about national economy. Put simply: Pakistan has too many Punjabis and not enough Gujaratis. The majority of Pakistanis live in Punjab, but well over 50% of government revenue comes from just one city in Sindh: Karachi. Why? That is where the Gujarati is.

Gujaratis are less than 1% of Pakistan’s population, but they dominate its economy because they are from trading communities. Colgate-Palmolive in Pakistan is run by the Lakhani Memons, the Dawood group is run by Memons from Bantva in Saurashtra (the great Abdus Sattar Edhi is also a Memon from Bantva). The Adamjee group, advertisers on BBC, are from Gujarat’s Jetpur village and founded Muslim Commercial Bank. The Khoja businessman Sadruddin Hashwani owns hotels including Islamabad’s bombed-out Marriott. Khojas founded Habib Bank, whose boards are familiar to Indians who watched cricket on television in the 1980s. The Habibs also manufacture Toyota cars through Indus Motors. Pakistan’s only beer is made by Murree Brewery, owned by a Parsi family, the Bhandaras. Also owned by Parsis is Karachi’s Avari Hotels.

People talk of the difference between Karachi and Lahore. I find that the rational view in Pakistani newspapers is put forward by letter-writers from Karachi. Often they have names like Gheewala, a Sunni Vohra name (same caste as Deoband’s rector from Surat, Ghulam Vastanvi), or Parekh, also a Surat name.

Today capital is fleeing Pakistan because of terrorism and poor governance. To convince investors things will get better, the Pakistani government has appointed as minister for investment a Gujarati, Saleem Mandviwalla. The Mandviwallas own Pakistan’s multiplexes, which now show Bollywood. The place where Gujaratis dominate totally, as they do also in India, is Pakistan’s capital market. Going through the list of members of the Karachi Stock Exchange (www.kse.com.pk) this becomes clear. However, few Pakistanis will understand this because as Muslims they have little knowledge of caste.

The Gujarati tries to hold up the Pakistani economy, but the peasant Punjabi (Jat) runs over his effort with his militant stupidity. Why cannot the Pakistani Punjabi also think like a trader? Simple. He’s not converted from the mercantile castes. There are some Khatris, like Najam Sethi, South Asia’s best editor, but they are frustrated because few other Pakistanis think like them. Are they an intellectual minority? Yes, but that is because they are a minority by caste. One great community of Pakistani Punjabi Khatris is called Chinioti. They are excellent at doing business but in a martial society they are the butt of jokes. I once heard Zia Mohyeddin tell a funny story about the cowardice of Chiniotis and I thought of how differently a Gujarati would look at the same story."


Is there is more to life than economy?

Here's how Akar Patel answers this question:

1. "Gujarat also needs another thing, though some might disagree. As a mercantile culture, Gujarati literature is quite poor. The shelves of Crossword stores in Ahmedabad (Surat has none) are lined with volumes of Bengali novels in translation. I wonder how many Gujarati novels have Bengali translations. Probably none, but Gujarat needs the literature of others and I only discovered Camus through his Gujarati translations. Gujaratis speak no English and though Azim Premji and Ratan Tata run billion-dollar information technology businesses, they are dependent on south Indians to staff their companies. This sort of dependency is everywhere we look in India."

2. In another piece published earlier, Patel argued that Allama Iqbal was Kashmiri Punjabi, and Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was Gujarati. Gandhi and Jinnah, the founders of India and Pakistan, were both Gujarati speakers. Nehru had his roots in Kashmir, as did Iqbal.

3. Specifically on Iqbal and Jinnah as visionaries, he says "Allama Iqbal imagined Pakistan as a utopia in northwest India where Punjabis would do ijtihad and read Nietzsche. The Quaid-e-Azam ordered a Pakistan where religion would cease to be a matter for the state. But both men saw something magnificently dormant in the character of India’s Muslims, which would flower in isolation."

Today, he argues, Iqbal's Islamic vision of Pakistan appears to be more commonly accepted than Jinnah's secular vision of Pakistan by Pakistanis.

Though I don't agree with much of what Patel says, I do think he challenges us to think about the issues of religion and economy which are both vitally important to Pakistan today.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

An Indian's View of Iqbal, Jinnah and Pakistan

Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan

World Memon Organization

Aaker Patel on Philathropy

Why is India Part Dysfunctional?

India and Pakistan Compared in 2010

Gujaratis of Pakistan

34 comments:

Oostur said...

Dear Riaz,
This is very bigoted. Only a fool would lump all Gujaratis or Punjabis or any one else together and blame Pakistan's problem on them.
The fact is we need enough honest pakistanis to make the country move forward.
I have seen many good blogs from you. I am afraid this was a bad blog.
Best wishes and keep up the good work.

Riaz Haq said...

Oostur,

The excerpt I have published here is not my personal opinion but how an Indian sees the problems in Pakistan.

Without assigning blame to any one ethnic group or community, I do think we as a people Pakistanis care too much for "honor" or "ghairat" and little for business and economy.

Mukhtar said...

Riaz Bhai,

Stick to your guns, say it is your opinion. We are all behind you.

MZ

Riaz Haq said...

Mukhtar,

If I agreed with Akar Patel, I would say so,

I am not one to shy away from controversy.

I have written posts far more controversial, such as the one on causes of low average IQ of South Asians and Africans relative to East Asians ( Chinese, Koreans, Japanese) and European whites.

Here's the link:

http://www.riazhaq.com/2010/07/infections-cause-low-iq-in-south-asia.html

Imran said...

I hope no one misreads this and starts labeling you an Indian. My brother, a doctor in Birmingham, UK has similar views. The landlords are choking Pakistan, whatever the urban development contributes to the economic health of Pakistan the rural infrastructure sucks and its mainly due to the lack of awareness of the rural population.

Oostur said...

Riaz,
I am a Gujarati Muslim and after reading all of this, I am re-inventing myself.
Where should I start? Gujarati or Muslim part.
I think you are enjoying this. Me too!
Best,
Oostur

Riaz Haq said...

Oostur,

A Gujarati Muslim named Azim Premji, also mentioned by Akar Patel, is a good example for all South Asian Muslims.

Premji is doing good and doing well.

Recently, Premji gave away $2 billion for improving primary education in India.

With this donation, Premji has now surpassed Bill Gates as the biggest philanthropist in his native India, and put India's other 50 billionaires to shame.

Read more about philanthropy in South Asia at http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/02/philanthropy-lagging-in-india-and.html

Saleem said...

Riaz sahib; You are on to something, but the late Majaz Lucknowi beat you to it probably sixty years back.
People asked him when he returned to Lucknow after a trip to Punjab that what were his impressions.
Majaz replied that there were too many Punjabis.

On a serious note, Gujratis and Memons are honest people who keep their finances clean and normally do not cheat
in businesses and that is a remarkable asset that needs to be replicated in other parts of the society.

Riaz Haq said...

Saleem Sahib,

Thanks for you comments.

There is more to life than business, and I think Majaz would agree.

Here's how Akar Patel argues this point:

1. "Gujarat also needs another thing, though some might disagree. As a mercantile culture, Gujarati literature is quite poor. The shelves of Crossword stores in Ahmedabad (Surat has none) are lined with volumes of Bengali novels in translation. I wonder how many Gujarati novels have Bengali translations. Probably none, but Gujarat needs the literature of others and I only discovered Camus through his Gujarati translations. Gujaratis speak no English and though Azim Premji and Ratan Tata run billion-dollar information technology businesses, they are dependent on south Indians to staff their companies. This sort of dependency is everywhere we look in India."

2. Iqbal was Kashmiri Punjabi, and Jinnah was Gujarati. Gandhi and Jinnah, the founders of India and Pakistan, were both Gujarati speakers. Nehru had his roots in Kashmir, just as Iqbal did.

Specifically on Iqbal and Jinnah as visionaries, he says "Allama Iqbal imagined Pakistan as a utopia in northwest India where Punjabis would do ijtihad and read Nietzsche. The Quaid-e-Azam ordered a Pakistan where religion would cease to be a matter for the state. But both men saw something magnificently dormant in the character of India’s Muslims, which would flower in isolation."

Today, he argues, Iqbal's Islamic vision of Pakistan appears to be more accepted than Jinnah's secular vision of Pakistan by Pakistanis.

Though I don't agree with much of what Patel says, I do think he challenges us to think about issues of religion and business-economy which are both vitally important to Pakistan today.

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha Gujju power..LOL

Firstly Tata,Godrej,Wadias etc are Parsees i.e Zoroastraians who fled Persia during the arab invasion NOT Gujaratis.

Secondly Birlas,Future Group,RPG etc are Marwaris long settled in Kolkata.


The new generation enterpreners are a mix from all over Infosys is Kannadiga Brahmin,Wipro is Bohra Muslims,

CG is Punjabi run as are companies like DLF,DT,Punj Lloyd etc

ITC is run by Bengalis

So this nonsense about Gujaratis being uber businessmen is nonsense they are mostly into trading and commodities.

Anonymous said...

See Indian civilization from time in memoria is organized along caste.The faith is just the top soil so to speak.

The business genes of the baniya cannot be disputed.

Neither can the political cunning of the brahmin.

Or the readiness to fight/warlike charecterestics of the kshatriyas.

I think the main difference between India and pakistan is that in India all 3 castes are inoperation regardless of secular constitution blah blah..

You have an army that is 95%+ kshatriya(including Sikhs who are basically kshatriya converts)

You have the senior bureaucracy dominated by Brahmins who also dominate research and development and politics.

In Pakistan however you basically have turko-afghans and wanna be turko afghans(mostly punjabis).

So you have the instincts of taking ruinous and very expensive 'panga' with a country 8 times your size and despite the complete failure of this policy over the past 60 years to yield anything the nation is genetically addicted to it since you have the need to feel macho,at a national level.

Also you need to see the national heros on both sides in India they are almost always intellectuals like KAutilya,Vyasa,Aryabhatta, Pannini,Bhaskara or patrons of arts and peace like Buddha,Ashoka, Samudragupta etc etc

But in Pakistan OTOH they are almost exclusively conquerors and warlike people like Ghazni,Ghauri,Abdali even though NONE of them orioginated from present Pakistani territory.Go figure

sarahinsouthkorea said...

I guess the fact of the matter is the merchantile culture within these different castes/ethnicities. Key to success lies in hontesty, dedication, truthfulness and hardwork.
A good read!

Anonymous said...

So you have the instincts of taking ruinous and very expensive 'panga' with a country 8 times your size and despite the complete failure of this policy over the past 60 years to yield anything the nation is genetically addicted to it since you have the need to feel macho,at a national level.

Truer words were never spoken.

But the sad part is since genetically most pakistanis find business to be boring,unexciting and bordering on jahil(charging interest the basic building block of modern finance is banned in Islam)
Their economic future remains questionable and they will continue to be India's headache for the same reason///

Data Cruncher said...

"I do think we as a people Pakistanis care too much for "honor" or "ghairat" and little for business and economy."

Now you are talking my language. Why do you think it is? Too much of religous crap.

Check this out. So much for tolerant islam in most modern islamic country.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/world/asia/24malaysia.html?ref=world

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on "targeted killings" in Karachi:

At least 50 people have been killed over the past fortnight in targeted killings in the Pakistani city of Karachi, rights groups say.

The violence started with an attack on 12 March on the offices of a local political group allied to Pakistan's governing political party, the PPP.

Dozens of people have since been targeted on an ethnic or sectarian basis across Karachi.

Police officials say most of those killed belong to the Pashtun community.

Karachi has been the scene of growing ethnic tensions due to the arrival of thousands of Pashtuns fleeing conflict in north-western Pakistan.
'Politically motivated attacks'

Police say the number killed is lower than the estimate put forward by human rights groups.

"According to the figures we have, 109 people have died in violent incidents since 12 March," Saud Mirza, chief of Police in Karachi, told the BBC.

"Out of these only 34 people have been killed in politically motivated attacks."

But the police statistics are contested by local journalists and human rights activists, who say that the actual number of victims is much higher.

They say that the police only confirm political activists or leaders as dying in targeted killings - whereas in reality many more die in attacks carried out against people of specific ethnicities by gunmen.

While most of the dead are ordinary citizens - usually belonging to the Pashtun community - civilians from the Baloch and Urdu-speaking community have also died.

Local Pashtun activists say Karachi's largest party, the MQM, is behind most of the violence. The MQM denies this.

On Monday, a senior MQM leader blamed the violence on gangs of extortionists and land grabbers who had taken the city hostage.

Dr Farooq Sattar was speaking after President Asif Zardari said in an address to parliament that those destroying the peace in Karachi would be dealt with severely.

However police say that several arrests have been made of individuals involved in the killings.

"The situation is now being brought under control," police chief Saud Mirza said.

But human rights organisations say the situation in Karachi is increasingly dangerous and a cause for great concern.

"The continued spate of targeted political killings in Karachi is appalling, as is the inability of the political actors in the city to negotiate their differences peacefully," said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan representative of Human Rights Watch.

"It is the job of the provincial and central governments to ensure the writ of the state is established in the metropolis.

"They must ensure that all political parties complicit in these target killings - whether part of the provincial coalition or not - should be held to account.

"It is a documented fact that all political forces in Karachi, whether it is the MQM or the state, have engaged in human rights abuses including targeted killings in the past."

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from a BBC report on violence in Karachi:

According to human rights organisations, 775 people died in political and sectarian shootings and bomb attacks in Karachi in 2010. ...
And although thousands are killed every year in the north-west, the impact of the violence in Karachi is arguably no less important. The city is Pakistan's commercial hub.
Business losses
------
Karachi provides 70% of the total annual tax revenue collected by the government.
------------
The violence has been largely fuelled by antagonism between the local chapters of three political parties: the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the mostly Pashtun Awami National Party (ANP) and the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM).
---------
The MQM remains Karachi's dominant political party and represents the city's majority Urdu-speaking community - the descendants of Muslim migrants to India at the time of partition in 1947.

In December 2010, Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza accused the MQM of being mainly responsible for the extortion and targeted killings prevalent across the city.

Within 48 hours, an enraged MQM withdrew its support for the PPP-led coalition in Islamabad.

The only reason the government could hold onto power was because opposition parties did not bring a no-confidence motion against the government.

The MQM has since been coaxed back into the coalition and now holds the political balance.

However, tensions remain with the ANP and the PPP.
-------------
In Karachi, all three parties have been involved in stoking ethnic passions.
-----
Thousands were arrested; many were were later killed in what human rights organisations and the Pakistan media said were staged killings by security forces.

The MQM fought back - and was held responsible for a number of murders of police and security officials

The party said it was targeted by a conservative security establishment for its liberal politics and for fighting for the rights of the Urdu-speaking community.

Things changed under the government of President Pervez Musharraf and the party now enjoys excellent relations with the establishment.

"The MQM's 'new deal' with the establishment is that its control of Karachi will remain unchallenged by the security establishment," a political analyst, who wished to remain unnamed, told the BBC.

"In return, the MQM will support the establishment's policies in the centre."

MQM insiders acknowledge this deal, although they insist the party will never vote for "anything against the spirit of its ideology".

Obviously, this deal stands as long as the MQM controls Karachi.

But since 2006, the party has been increasingly feeling the pressure exerted by the growth of the Pashtun community in the city.
Activists of the Labour Party Pakistan in Karachi in march 2011 Karachi is home to a bewildering number of political parties and campaigning groups

Arriving here in their thousands, the Pashtun newcomers are in competition for land and jobs with the Urdu-speaking community.

MQM leaders say these new arrivals must not be treated as long-term inhabitants of the city - a call at odds with its identity as a party of migrants.

They say that there is a link between the growth of the Pashtun community and the "Talibanisation" of parts of the city - the Taliban is predominantly made up of Pashtun people.

The MQM say they will resist this at all costs, and this bellicosity has led to violence which has claimed dozens of lives.

Some of it has also involved separate turf battles between Karachi's Baloch community - the original inhabitants of the city - and the MQM.

"It's a complex political and ethnic problem which needs to be handled with extreme care," says a local human rights activist.
---

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an article by Aaker Patel on philanthropy in India:

"Indians have culture but not civilization. Culture is how we entertain ourselves; civilization is how we entertain others. Culture is our attitude to beauty and ugliness, to power, to religion, and to family. It shows in our music, in what makes us laugh. Civilization is our attitude to mankind. It’s defined as social development of an advanced stage, but civilization never actually arrives; it is only reached for. It assumes there is high purpose to life, to wealth, to culture. It believes that man will exhibit the signs of his evolution. He will improve upon man. For this he must build—but what?"

The Birlas built six temples (India always being in urgent need of more religion).

They built temples in Jaipur, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and Kolkata. Most of these are to Lakshminarayan, and these are only the big ones. No Indian family has built more, or bigger, temples than the Birlas, and that is their contribution to our culture.

Mukesh Ambani is building on Altamount Road a structure called Antilla, the most expensive home in history.

Its architects Hirsch Bedner say their estimate for it is around $2 billion. That is Rs9,000 crore, and four people will live in this house. That is Ambani’s contribution to our culture.

The Birlas built schools for the rich, and the Ambanis made a school for millionaires.

At the Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital (“Compassionate Quality Healthcare”), a check-up for headaches costs Rs2,850.

At the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (“Every Life Matters”), the wellness check-up costs Rs5,000.

At the Tata Memorial Hospital, which treats cancer, healthcare is free.

Rajashree Birla says Indians “don’t have the mindset to give away large amounts of money to charity”. The act of leaving “just a little bit for their children”, she says, “happens only in the US”.

“It calls for very large-heartedness,” she says, “I don’t see this happening in the Indian context in the near future at least.”

She’s right about our mindset and culture, but wrong in assuming that the problem is about large-heartedness: It is actually about a lack of civilization.

She’s wrong also about this not happening in future: It already has happened in India.

Of Tata Sons’ 398,563 shares, 65.8% is held by charitable trusts (Ratan Tata owns 0.84%).

How much money are we talking about? Tata Sons’ net profit last year was Rs3,780 crore.

aamsvad said...

thank you Riaz for posting the correct and true map of India. Its gonna be true.Amen.
I appreciate it.

joseph said...

stupid funny story..Gujarati? a business oriented people..you make me laugh...you are talking with business of course it must be the Sindhis..the whole world knows that..except you..fool..remember? the ni's in the end of moswt of their surnames..you will always recall..money..when you hear that

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Aaakar Patel on Punjabis and Urdu-speakers of Bollywood:

The dominant communities of Bollywood are two: the Urdu-speakers of North India and, above all, the Punjabis from in and around Lahore. They rule Bollywood and always have. To see why this is unusual, imagine a Pakistan film industry set in Karachi but with no Pashtuns or Mohajirs or Sindhis. Instead the actors are all Tamilian and the directors all Bengalis. Imagine also that all Pakistan responds to their Tamil superstars as the nation's biggest heroes. That is how unusual the composition of Bollywood is.

A quick demonstration. Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan are the three current superstars. All three are Urdu-speakers. In the second rung we have Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Kumar, Shahid Kapoor and Ajay Devgan. Of these, Hrithik, Ajay and Akshay are Punjabi while Saif is Urdu-speaking. Shahid Kapoor, as his name suggests, is half-Punjabi and half-Urdu-speaking.

Behind the camera, the big names are Punjabi: Karan Johar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Yash Chopra of Lahore.

The Kapoor clan of Lyallpur is the greatest family in acting, not just in Bollywood but anywhere in the world. It has produced four generations of superstars: Prithviraj Kapoor, his sons Raj, Shammi and Shashi, their children Rishi and Randhir, and the current generation of Ranbir, Kareena and Karisma.

Bollywood is a Punjabi industry. We have Dev Anand of Lahore, Balraj Sahni of Rawalpindi, Rajendra Kumar of Sialkot, IS Johar of Chakwal, Jeetendra, Premnath, Prem Chopra, Anil Kapoor and Dharmendra who are all Punjabis. Sunil Dutt of Jhelum, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna, Vinod Mehra, Suresh Oberoi of Quetta, and all their star kids are Punjabis. Composer Roshan (father of Rakesh and grandfather of Hrithik) was from Gujranwala.

What explains this dominance of Punjabis in Bollywood? The answer is their culture. Much of India's television content showcases the culture of conservative Gujarati business families. Similarly, Bollywood is put together around the extroverted culture and rituals of Punjabis.

The sangeet and mehndi of Punjabi weddings are as alien to the Gujarati in Surat as they are to the Mohajir in Karachi. And yet Bollywood's Punjabi culture has successfully penetrated both. Bhangra has become the standard Indian wedding dance. Writer Santosh Desai explained the popularity of bhangra by observing that it was the only form of Indian dance where the armpit was exposed. Indians are naturally modest, and the Punjabi's culture best represents our expressions of fun and wantonness.

Even artsy Indian cinema is made by the people we call Punjus - Gurinder Chadha, Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair.

Another stream of Bollywood is also connected to Lahore, in this case intellectually, and that is the progressives. Sajjad Zaheer (father of Nadira Babbar), Jan Nisar Akhtar (father of lyricist Javed and grandfather of actor/director Farhan and director Zoya), Kaifi Azmi (father of Shabana), Majrooh Sultanpuri and so many others have a deep link to that city.

Tamil Arasan said...

Mr.Riaz please don't post any message before having proper knowledge about India, why other Indian 50 billionaires have to be ashamed after the Great deed of Mr. Premji for his mammoth 2 billion dollar donation on charity?, even before Mr.Premji's donation to charity there is a billionaire from southern part of India have donated huge amount of Rs. 580 crore to charity in 2009 - a trend setter and Mr.Premji followed it...Also it's so insane to say India will be zero with out our two great states Gujarat and Rajastan!!! India's development is well spread and my home state Tamil Nadu is a Automobile manufacturing giant of Asia also top IT product exporter, and our Neighbor states Bangalore (Karnataka) and Hyderabad (Andra) are IT and Pharma giants, same with other states such as Maharashtra - Mumbai(Financial capital of India), Pune (IT and Auto), states Goa & Kerala (Major Tourist centers with very high standard of living comparable to west and developed nations)...Also I agree that Gujarati and Rajasthani are great entrepreneurs but the modern and today's young India is not what you think we have many entrepreneurs from very vast section of India and many are from previously unknown community, and best example IT Giant HCL chairman Shiv Nadar - he is worth $ 6 Billion and from southern part of India from an unknown community called Nadars, also NR.Murthy(Infosys), Vijay Mallya(King Fisher), Subrata Roy (Sahara India Parivar)and I can give you examples of many billionaires from other community in India...

http://profit.ndtv.com/news/show/hcls-shiv-nadar-donates-rs-580-cr-for-education-charity-77742

Mr. B. Shah said...

Mr. Haq,

Thanks for posting this and thanks also for stating the obvious. The Gujaratis have been operating with a "multicommunal" trading mindset for centuries. This mentality is now squarely in their favour as they apply it on the world stage.

To those that have posted about the idea that Gujaratis dominate the economy as being false, simply saying so or believing so doesn't make it so.

In every economic facet of India's and Pakistan's life, the Gujaratis dominate. This is a fact that can't be disputed. This doesn't mean other communities are not getting more entrepreneurial, but don't forget to trace the source of their capital.

The capital is by and large Gujarati and from Bombay (sorry, Mumbai). If one were to dig further into this, it would actually be shown that the Jains truly dominate the capital markets of India. But, let's not go there as this is not about a religious community, but a linguistic community.

In Pakistan, the economy is also dominated by Gujaratis. I personally know Memons from Karachi who speak Urdu in the public sphere but at home their Gujarati is as "pakka" as a Kathiavadi from Gujarat.

Anyways, the point of my (long?) post is there is no point in denying the fact that Gujaratis totally dominate the economy of India. 50%-70% of the top 10 richest in India have always been Gujarati.

hamza said...

I have always been fascinated by the fact that I was the only gujerati engineer in my class. And would you believe that I was the only person in a class of 165 that started a business on my engineering education. I always used to wonder why dont other people see an opportunity as I do. My father migrated to pakistan from mumbai in early partition days and he also set up a contracting business after his engineering. I think genetically we are prone towards starting a business after acquiring a certain skill set more than any other community. If a dataset of entrepreneurship after graduation school of gujerati vs another community is analysed in the same field it will lead to a conclusive evidence that gujeratis are inclined more towards start ups and business.

Mayraj said...

Ismailies also, not just Gujratis. Some of the Pakistani Gujratis are Ismailies.
If Bhutto hadn't nationalized industry and banking in 1970s, Pakistan would have been better off. Gujratis are not the only industrial class.

Riaz Haq said...

Mayraj: "Ismailies also, not just Gujratis. Some of the Pakistani Gujratis are Ismailies.
If Bhutto hadn't nationalized industry and banking in 1970s, Pakistan would have been better off. Gujratis are not the only industrial class."

Most of the "22 families" hit by Bhutto were Gujaratis...Pakistan's equivalents of Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis, etc. One of them, Ardeshir Cowasjee who I met during my recent visit to Pakistan, is still bitter about how ZAB treated him.

HopeWins Junior said...

This is the SAME Aakar Patell who is now making the following predictions about our country:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/460283/ten-predictions-about-pakistan/

He predicts, in effect, that:
1) Pakistan's rate of population growth problem will soon be solved
2) Pakistan will face another lost decade in terms of economic growth.
3) Pakistan will continue to face law & order problems even after US leaves Afghanistan in 2014.
4) Pakistan has a cultural problem in its INABILITY to SAVE.
5) Pakistan will be North Korea and India will be South Korea 20 years from now.

HopeWins Junior said...

Dr. Haq,

You say: "If Bhutto hadn't nationalized industry and banking in 1970s, Pakistan would have been better off....Most of the "22 families" hit by Bhutto were.......Pakistan's equivalents of Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis, etc...."

But, surely, this happened in India too. In fact, Bhutto was inspired by the example of Indian Socialism with Soviet advice and support.

India too nationalized vast swathes of their economy, including transportation, banking, mining, refining, power and so forth in accordance with the Leninist idea of the State sitting on the "Commanding Heights" of the economy.

It is true that these "nationalized industries" proved to be inefficient white elephants exactly as predicted by Free-marketeers. But that does not detract from the basic fact that India did "nationalization" on deeper, more widespread and more sustained basis than Pakistan did (only during the Bhutto years).

In light of this, how do you explain the failure of Pakistan to generate the kind of diverse industrial depth that India has developed?

It is easy to blame Bhutto's nationalization, but India did the same thing to an even larger extent. So why the difference?

Please comment.

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "This is the SAME Aakar Patell who is now making the following predictions about our country"

This article by Mr.Patel is less about forecast and more about wishful thinking.

In spite of all its problems, Pakistan has continued to offer much greater upward economic and social mobility to its citizens than neighboring India over the last two decades. Since 1990, Pakistan’s middle class had expanded by 36.5% and India’s by only 12.8%, according to an ADB report titled “Asia’s Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present And Future.

The net result is that a avg Pakistani enjoys a bettter living standard than avg India. Pakistan has less hunger, lower poverty levels and better hygiene than India.

Food:

Pakistanis' diet is superior to Indians' diet in terms of nutriti9onal value putting an avg Pakistani in healthy BMI category.

In terms of average BMI (Body Mass Index), Pakistanis and Chinese are at 23, Indians 21 and Bangladeshis 20.5, all within normal range of 18.5 to 24.9. The average values of BMI for Europe, Middle East and North and South America are much higher.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/07/world-population-america-significantly.html

At 223 Kg of milk consumption per person in Pakistan which is about the same as the developed world's per capita milk consumption , it is more than twice that of neighboring India's 96 kg per capita

Indians consume only 3.2 Kg of meat per capita, less than one-fifth of Pakistan's 18 Kg. Daal (legumes or pulses) are popular in South Asia as a protein source. Indians consume 11.68 Kg of daal per capita, about twice as much as Pakistan's 6.57 Kg.

Edible oil consumption soars during the holidays as hundreds of millions of people eat sweets and fried foods during the September-December festive season. Pakistanis use about 20 Kg of oil, the per capita amount recommended by the World Health Organization, while Indians consume about 13 Kg per capita.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/10/pakistan-among-top-meat-consuming.html

Clothing:

According to The Fiber Report 2009/10, Indians consumed 4.18 million tons of textile fiber while Pakistanis consumed 2.558 million tons.

Assuming a population of 1.2 billion for India and 180 million for Pakistan, the per capita cotton consumption works out to 3.48 Kg in India and 14.2 Kg in Pakistan. If you add polyester fiber, India's per capita consumption of all textile fibers is still 7.5 Kg, less than half of Pakistan's.

http://www.alokind.com/Downloads/Indian%20Textile%20Trade%20-Golden%20Period-%20March%202012.pdf

http://www.oerlikontextile.com/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-1763/

Hygiene:

India leads the world in open defecation. India(638m) is followed by Indonesia (58m), China (50m), Ethiopia (49m), Pakistan (48m), Nigeria (33m) and Sudan (17m). In terms of percentage of each country's population resorting to the unhygienic practice, Ethiopia tops the list with 60%, followed by India 54%, Nepal 50%, Pakistan 28%, Indonesia 26%, and China 4%.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/10/india-leads-world-in-open-defecation.html


http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/08/upwardly-mobile-pakistan-on-66th.html

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "This article by Mr.Patel is less about forecast and more about wishful thinking."

--------------

Dr. Haq,

You may well be right. The statistics you repeat are quite impressive.

However, you have not responded to your friend's (Patell) specific predictions and why they are flawed.

1) Pakistan's rate of population growth problem will soon be solved
2) Pakistan will face another lost decade in terms of economic growth.
3) Pakistan will continue to face law & order problems even after US leaves Afghanistan in 2014.
4) Pakistan has a cultural problem in its INABILITY to SAVE.
5) Pakistan will be North Korea and India will be South Korea 20 years from now.

Specifically WHICH of these predictions do you think are silly and, most importantly, WHY?

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Pakistan will be North Korea and India will be South Korea 20 years from now...
Specifically WHICH of these predictions do you think are silly and, most importantly, WHY?"

Patel's basic premise if flawed...India and Pakistan do not live under fundamentally different systems like North and South Korea.

Besides, India itself is much worse off than Pakistan ad "starving" North Korea based o the World Hunger Index 2012.

North Korea (ranked 52) has less hunger than India (ranked 65) on global hunger index 2012.

http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ghi12.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters report titled "Dismal trade, production data deepens fears about Indian economy":

India's economic gloom deepened on Monday with a surprise contraction in industrial production, a fall in exports and higher retail inflation, dashing hopes of a quick revival in an economy on track to post its slowest growth in a decade.

The data will add pressure on the government to boost economic growth by fast-tracking stalled tax and regulatory reforms. It will also bolster calls for an interest rate cut by the country's central bank, which has so far ruled out any before January, citing high inflation.

Two of the country's biggest business chambers expressed alarm at the data, which caused the rupee to fall to a two-month low. They said it was clear that the slowdown in manufacturing growth had not yet bottomed out.

"At this juncture, it is important that government does not lose momentum on the reform front and needs to take courage now to implement some big ticket reforms," said R V Kanoria, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The data underscored the scale of the challenges facing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in trying to revive an economy that once boasted double-digit growth but has been hard hit by the global economic downturn and a series of policy missteps.

Credit Suisse said India's October trade deficit of nearly $21 billion was the country's worst on record and could prompt the government to impose measures to curb the deficit, such as further increases in import duties on gold.

Industrial production unexpectedly shrank an annual 0.4 percent in September, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). That came as a nasty surprise to economists who had forecast a rise of 2.8 percent in a Reuters poll.

Analysts had hoped India's festival season, which began in September and will peak this month, would boost sales.

Production of consumer goods fell 0.3 percent in September from a year earlier. Capital goods, a proxy for capital investment in the economy, shrank an annual 12.2 percent.

"Investment plans have slowed down. It takes a long time for investment plans to pick up again," said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of India's influential Planning Commission.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told Reuters earlier this month that growth for this financial year could be as low as 5.5 percent, which would be the slowest rate of expansion since 2002/03.

Delays in environmental and other regulatory clearances, coupled with high interest rates, have hurt many industrial and infrastructure development projects.

The government has launched a slew of initiatives, including raising subsidized diesel prices and opening sectors like supermarkets to foreign players to revive the economy.

But Indian business leaders said it needed to swiftly take more steps, including speeding up approval of infrastructure projects, overhauling the tax system and, reducing its huge fuel, food and fertilizer subsidies burden.

Business leaders also called on the central bank to reduce interest rates that are the highest among the major economies.

Chidambaram has been arguing for lower rates, saying monetary policy has limitations in controlling inflation in an emerging economy such as India and that policymakers must learn to live with some inflation....


http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/12/us-india-economy-idUSBRE8AB0AJ20121112

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Bloomberg story titled "Pakistan, Land of Entrepreneurs":

On a warm Sunday morning in November, Arif Habib leaves his posh home near the seafront in southern Karachi and drives across town in a silver Toyota Prado SUV. About half an hour later, he arrives to check up on his latest project: a 2,100-acre residential development at the northern tip of this city of 20 million. He hops out, shakes hands with young company call-center workers who are dressed for a cricket match, and joins them at the edge of the playing field for a traditional Pakistani breakfast of curried chickpeas and semolina pudding. After a quick tour of the construction site, he straps on his leg pads, grabs his bat, and heads onto the field. “The principles of cricket are very effective in business,” says Habib, 59. “The goal is to stay at the wicket, hit the right balls, leave the balls that don’t quite work, and keep an eye on the scoreboard. I feel that my childhood association with cricket has contributed to my success.”

Habib, who started as a stockbroker more than four decades ago, has expanded his Arif Habib Group into a 13-company business that has invested $2 billion in financial services, cement, fertilizer, and steel factories since 2004. His group and a clutch of others have become conglomerates of a kind that went out of fashion in the West but seem suited to the often chaotic conditions in Pakistan. Engro (ENGRO), a maker of fertilizer, has moved into packaged foods and coal mining. Billionaire Mian Muhammad Mansha, one of Pakistan’s richest men, is importing 2,500 milk cows from Australia to start a dairy business after running MCB Bank, Nishat Mills, and D.G. Khan Cement.

These companies have prospered in a country that, since joining the U.S. in the war on terror after Sept. 11, has lost more than 40,000 people to retaliatory bombings by the Taliban. Political violence in Karachi has killed 2,000 Pakistanis this year, and an energy crisis—power outages last as long as 18 hours a day—has led to social unrest. Foreign direct investment declined 24 percent to $244 million in the four months ended Oct. 31, according to the central bank.

At the same time, some 70 million Pakistanis—40 percent of the population—have become middle-class, says Sakib Sherani, chief executive of Macro Economic Insights, a research firm in Islamabad. A boom in agriculture and residential property, as well as jobs in hot sectors such as telecom and media, have helped Pakistanis prosper. “Just go to the malls and see the number of customers who are actually buying in upscale stores and that shows you how robust the demand is,” says Azfer Naseem, head of research for Elixir Securities in Karachi. “Despite the energy crisis, we have growth of 3 percent.”

Sherani of Macro Economic Insights estimates the middle class doubled in size between 2002 and 2012. “Those who understand the difference between the perception of Pakistan and the reality have made a killing,” Habib says. “Foreigners don’t come here, so the field is wide open.” The KSE100, the benchmark index of the Karachi Exchange, has risen elevenfold since mid-2001. Shares in the index are up 43 percent this year alone. Over the past decade, stocks have been buoyed by corporate earnings, which were bolstered in turn by rising consumer spending.
---------
Today, Habib has 11,000 employees and annual revenue of 100 billion rupees. He plans to expand into commodities trading and warehousing. “I’ve created all my wealth in Pakistan and reinvested all of it here,” says Habib, who drives himself to his cricket matches and is never accompanied by security guards. In 1998, when Pakistan’s share index fell to a record low after the government tested nuclear weapons, Habib bought shares even though “people thought I was mad.”...


http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-29/pakistan-land-of-entrepreneurs

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "A Gujarati Muslim named Azim Premji, also mentioned by Akar Patel, is a good example for all South Asian Muslims"
----

This is SOOOOOOO wrong.

One of the reasons Pakistan was created was because the Muslim League felt that Muslim businessmen would not be able to prosper under the shadow of the Hindu Birlas.

The fact that Indian-Muslim businessman Azim Premji is today RICHER than the feared Hindu Birlas only proves that the Muslim League was WRONG.

Azim Premji could well be an excellent role-model for INDIA's Muslims. That I can accept.

But he CANNOT be an example for Pakistan's Muslims, otherwise they will look at his success and then begin to question the reasons for creation of Pakistan itself.

In fact, it is best if the Pakistani media just blacked out his existence. Don't discuss him at all; pretend he does not exist.
Say no more about this Premji fellow is the best policy for Pakistani society.

PS: As you know, he is Shia. LeJ is right now holding a massive rally with the crowds chanting, "kaffir, kaffir; Premji kaffir". And to think that Pakistan was created as a homeland for ALL of South-Asia's Muslims. The staggering irony of it all.....

Irfan said...

Even if Pakistan could do with a few more Gujarati's, it would be nigh impossible for Akar Patel to export them from India! So his logic is futile. Pakistan has, and will continue it's own success story with the different script, than what India has done, with or without Gujarati's. Hence to conclude, as Patel has done, that Gujarati's are indispensable, is a far fetched idea, which may have takers in India, but not in Pakistan.