I believe high speed trains are necessary to augment air travel. Sure, travel by these trains will be at premium pricing but we do need to improve our ageing rail network where even the fastest trains are too slow. Time is at a premium too, our country is vast and we need to have means to travel from one place to another without spending a few days travelling each way.
For example, a train from Thiruvananthapuram to New Delhi or the other way around takes ~52 hours to reach it’s destination. A train from Thiruvananthapuram to Guwahati takes ~65 hours one way. Superfast trains will introduce new technology gradually to other routes, it is a step into the future that absolutely needs to be done, one way or another.
A superfast train may eventually offer pricing that is significantly cheaper than air travel and will be a lot more environment-friendly.
China isn’t what it used to be, it has emerged as an economic superpower that will challenge the traditional industrial nations like the USA, England and Japan - in fact it already is. Chinese technology is not inferior, lets face it, most of our electronics are made in China or have components that are manufactured there. There are some Chinese products that lack quality but that is mostly something of the past.
The Chinese are known to copy and reproduce cheaper alternatives. This isn’t limited to the Chinese though, the Koreans and Russians among others have long since perfected this art. Someone invented the atomic bomb but it’s technology is now almost commonplace even Pakistan is now nuclear-capable. Obviously, there has been some ‘copying’ here. Nobody reinvented the wheel!
In the same vein, India must weigh its options and consider ‘developing’ its own technological capabilities, be it for HSR or whatever else where viable.