the-south-asian.com                                     February 2003

 

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 In News

 South Asian voice at
 Davos - Jan. 2003

 
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 not inheritors

 
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 Religions

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 Serialisation of  'Knock at every alien 
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 2003 Schedule

 
 Editor's Note
 Requiem

 the craft shop

 Lehngas - a limited collection

 the print gallery

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 Silk Road on Wheels

 The Road to Freedom

 
Enduring Spirit

 Parsis-Zoroastrians of
India

 
The Moonlight Garden

 
Contemporary Art in
 Bangladesh
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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South Asian Voice at Davos - January 2003

The World Economic Forum met in Davos for six days in January 2003. The core theme of this year's Annual Meeting was 'Building Trust'. Business leaders, political figures, and 'minds-that-matter' discussed issues of Corporate Challenges, Global Economy, Global Governance, Security and Geopolitics, and Trust & Values.  The-south-asian takes a look at the South Asian Voice present in Davos.

Can't We All Just Get Along? 

There is no intrinsic reason why people of different religions should be in conflict with each other, at least on a religious basis. That was the conclusion of leaders of monotheistic faiths discussing why believers of different convictions could not get along with each other. But secular views voiced during the session suggested that conflict is inevitable as long as there is inequality of access to resources, and power.
Source: World Economic Forum 2003, Davos

All photos courtesy and © www.swiss-image.ch

Text courtesy: www.wef.org

f-SOROS-ZAKARIA-GUPTA-WEF.jpg (54726 bytes)
Fareed Zakaria (centre), 
Editor, Newsweek International, USA

speaking on Globalization at a Crossroads, said

"The world has entered a second phase of globalization, said Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International, USA; Global Leader for Tomorrow 2001 - a more mature, less naÔve phase. We realize now that we cannot wish away the increased trade, competition and democratization that globalization brings, he said. But we also recognize that there is a political and social dimension to globalization that had been underestimated. For developing countries, a gradual immersion into the waters of globalization may be preferable to a sudden plunge. But without the right leadership, no policy mix will work." 

 

f-RAJAT GUPTA.jpg (47288 bytes)
Rajat Gupta
Managing Director, Worldwide, 
McKinsey & Company, USA

 

f-CK PRAHALAD-WEF.jpg (60767 bytes)
C. K. Prahalad, 
Professor of Business Administration, 
University of Michigan Business School, USA

" ... there are major opportunities for businesses that go for new markets. But "an opportunity-seeking orientation is fundamental." Growth is a prerequisite for firms. So they should go for markets that are unserved and keep prices under control. "The real management challenge is the juxtaposition of growth, innovation and dramatic cost reduction...Donít underestimate the enormous growth opportunities that developing markets offer." They include China, India and "hopefully Brazil." What happened in China and the Indian subcontinent "will determine what happens in Europe and the US."


Ravi Shankar, 
Founder, Art of Living Foundation, India

speaking on 'Love: A Matter of Trust'

explained both physical and social manifestations of love using a spiritual framework. "Each cell within the body is in love," Shankar said, adding, "that is why they are all intact." Moreover, he argued that love and trust are inseparable - an idea with which Maarohanye vigorously agreed. The statement "I hate you" is seldom doubted; the phrase "I love you" is often questioned.

In an active discussion, participants attempted to reconcile business ethics with ideas of love. While saying that "love can be the best motivating factor in any business," Shankar stated that "business and love are not [generally] compatible. "Business and love have opposite mathematics," he explained. "In business you take more and give less; in love you give more and take less." 


f-Riffat Hassan-WEF-Prof Univ of Louisville.jpg (74019 bytes)
Riffat Hassan, 
Professor of Humanities, 
University of Louisville, USA

speaking on Modernity vs Traditions: A Challenge for the Muslim World

pointed out that the Islamic and Arab worlds were not identical. Muslims understand modernization in two senses: there is no opposition to modernizing the infrastructure or to modern products, but modern Western culture is considered very invasive. The last 30 years - since the Iranian revolution - have seen a reaction against Western modernism. A movement she founded in Pakistan seeks a middle way between religious and anti-religious extremists. She hopes to improve the situation for women in an Islamic context by drawing contrasts between Islamic teachings and Islamic practices. She complained there is no sense in the West of what progress has already been achieved, and that US policy-makers seem so averse to Islam that they refuse to accept any non-western version of it. But "reinterpreting Islam from within is much bigger than what the West can imagine." 


Vijay Mahajan, Managing Director, BASIX, India, said the problem of helping the poor is more intractable. "The big roadblock is that the poor are short of purchasing power and no amount of changes in marketing strategy, distribution channels - is going to get rid of that." He noted that micro-finance is not the panacea for poverty and the solution is much more complex, sometimes requiring political and social changes. Most importantly, he added, is the "attitudinal change among the elite." When Markets Fail, Who Responds?

Sanjay Kumar, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Computer Associates International, USA, a Global Leader for Tomorrow 1999, said that in IT, a comparison of the performance of two teams with equal technical ability will always favour the diverse one.  Recognizing and Managing Diversity

Dhruv M. Sawhney, Chairman and Managing Director, Triveni Engineering and Industries, India, said that developing countries feel better informed about the Doha Round than they had been in the 1986-93 Uruguay Round "when we didnít know what we were doing...We came out feeling we had been taken for a ride, and that caused mistrust." The WTO has become a big political issue in India. "We need confidence-building very rapidly."  The Next Trade Round: What Business Needs

 

S. M. Krishna, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Karnataka, the answer is clear. The world needs more globalization and liberalization, not less, he declared. "Globalization must become a way of life for all of us." Globalization, Poverty and Inequality

However, Jeroo Billimoria, Executive Director, Childline India Foundation, India, and Social Entrepreneur, noted that India was suffering from a crisis of confidence in NGOs because organizations have been set up to provide positions for ex-Ministers or senior officials, others are "briefcase" NGOs without much to show on the ground, and similar problems. "There is a decline in the money coming into the NGO sector," she reported. As a result, her organizations and a number of others had set up a Credibility Alliance to regulate the sector and provide more transparency. NGOs: Responsibilities and Limits of Being Global

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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