Francis Fukuyama on Indian society


Francis Fukuyama, in this video clip from a Carnegie Council discussion on India and China and their respective economic potential says:
China's big advantage is that it is authoritarian and it can make decisions in a big hurry... they created the three gorges dam which involved moving 1.2 million people out of the flood pipe. The Chinese kicked and screamed and complained but the Chinese government said well, we're just gonna do it... you have to move... they built the dam and they got the hydro power. 
India, by contrast has 1/5th the amount of stored water that China does because it is really hard for them to get big infrastructure projects off the ground because it is a law-governed democracy... It has been very hard in India to actually make big decisions on infrastructure. This is not a result of British colonialism or anything that has happened in the last couple of hundred years
If you look at the longer patterns of history in both these societies, since the 3rd century BC, China has been a centralised bureaucratic authoritarian regime with only a few inter-dynastic interruptions. India by contrast has been unified only on several brief occasions and even in those cases -- under the Moghuls or under the British -- no government has ever been able to penetrate Indian society, re-order it, exert extremely strong authoritarian power... because Indian society is just too strong. It has a religious basis, the society resists this kind of exercise of political power. So it shouldn't surprise anybody that you get these differences in governance up to the present moment. Democracy in India may not have specific historical roots but there is no historical precedent for Chinese-style authoritarian government in India.
Indian society's inherent resistance to cultural and social invasion is one of the things that has ensured the survival of Indian civilisation through the ages. While a lot of pitiful words are spoken about how backward-thinking our culture is, what often remains unmentioned is what Fukuyama puts forth so eloquently above. The reason India is the tortoise in the race is because Indian society values freedom and free thinking.