Education: A Comparison Of India And China

Charles F. Bingman


India and China have developed two distinct forms of centrist elitist states which are very different but which share common characteristics.  First of all, they are highly centrist in nature which means that they exhibit a compelling urge to gather power into the government, and then to hold such power at the national government level.  Both have made significant delegations to state level governments, but China in particular believes in the central control of decentralized operations.  There is a collateral urge to concentrate power in the hands of a small elite group especially around the power of economic development.  In both cases, the logic is that centralized power is more easily controlled and manipulated, and that any sharing of power invites the undesirable prospect of having to negotiate and perhaps to be forced to compromise. 

This centrist urge is common to all forms of government:  democracies, dictatorships, state socialist regimes, and even in Islamic states, where many of the control mechanisms are guided or compelled by religious imperatives rather than secular principles.  While the key to power is usually economic, governments that are particularly authoritarian seek to extend their control to all elements of society:  political, economic, social services, and even the definition of acceptable national cultural mores.

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