By prevailing western standards (except for Montesquieu's), India has a first-world political system made ready and handed out by the British. Its legal infrastructure is essentially the same as those of GB, Australia, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy and Scandinavian countries. Not only that India's common law system has a history dating back to 1860s, India also has a corps of law professionals trained in British universities.
In addition to a perfect legal infrastructure, India, for decades, has frequently topped the list of recipients of foreign aids, which included both financial support and technology transfer. China, on the other hand, suffered decades-long economic sanctions and embargo but managed to rise in spite of it. Similarly, India accepted Ango-American aid then stole a march on Chinese territory in 1962 when China was in the deep of a great famine, but India was thoroughly defeated nevertheless.
If India's modern political system is the ultimate driving machine, the reason why India ends up where it is today must be sought in the qualities of the driver, not in the vehicle.
India's national character is sadistic. The evil spirit of glorifying suffering is deep in the Indian soul. Every Indian man has an uncontrollable impulse to inflict cruelty. What is even more horrifying is that the infliction of cruelty is often justified by incredibly fine phrases.
India's national sport is politics. An average Indian national is as skilful in the craft of politics as an average Chinese in the art of cooking. In a world of cunning intrigues, any one who diverts his energy to create something new would inevitable let down his guard, and whatever he creates others reap.
India professed non-violence, but fought numerous wars and seized Southern Tibet, Sikkim, the Seven Sisters, Kashmir, Goa and Hyderabad by force. India today is the world's largest weapons importer despite the fact that India is also among the poorest of the poor. This is blatant hypocrisy, British style. As a matter of fact, India is non-violent and servile to its former overlords, ruthless and violent and brutal to its neighbours, who are equally poor and miserable. Exactly when a neighbour needed help the most, India's ruthlessness redoubles. The Indian nation's footman behaviour exemplifies the average Indian man.
By contrast, when Deng was in office, China's foreign policy was "no alignment, no confrontation." Deng's successor's policy was "keep silent and make money" - not only that there was no confrontation, there was not even talking back - for nearly two decades after Mao's death (1976), China's vast army was content with WWII weapons and Chinese soldiers did not even wear boots.
Indian nationals are caste conscious. Hard work is more likely to earn you contempt than admiration. A German would proudly show off his bloody callous hands and tell you that the cobblestones in this and that streets are his work; an Indian man would proudly boast that his country exports the kind of stuff that only clever people can make, and disparage your country who lifts itself out of poverty because your country did it by hard work.
China's government lacks checks and balances. Not only that China's legal infrastructure is embryonic, the Chinese habits of mind are not ready for the rule of law. China is a lurching giant capable of great blunder and great success. Neither China's blunders nor successes are original. The P. R. China has been walking on beaten paths ever since its first day: between 1949 and 1978, China followed the Soviet model and suffered just as badly; between 1978 and 2012, China imitated Meiji-era Japan and experienced similar rapid rise. The predominant Chinese character is avarice, but, fortunately, capitalism seems to be able to make good out of bad. Nevertheless, It is only for the present moment that China seems to have done something right. What will China do when there is no more examples to follow? Will China blunder again? These questions remain open.
Contrary to the standard CCP narrative which says the extermination of the landlords and capitalists lead to the liberation of the people, landlords and capitalists were actually China's economic captains, and the overthrown of this class directly contributed to China economic disasters. As early as 1930s in Jiangxi soviet districts, Gong Chu observed that the overall economic output drastically decreased after land reform because the poor, for lack of ability, remained to be poor after they were given good lands, and the landlords, though able, entrepreneurial and industrious, were either killed or driven away.
China's social stratification has never been rigid ever since ancient times. There was a state exam system that constantly syphoned the ambitious and able from the bottom to the top, which contributed to China's social stability. It was the communists who created an aristocracy insolent and unfeeling, whose suffocating effects were most severe during Mao's era and are still ubiquitous today.