A rather surprising sales pitch from a street vendor triggered me to write a long pending article. I am proud of how India has evolved to be a global force despite facing many hurdles through its resilience and grit. Aug 15,2022, India celebrated its 75th Independence day. It is indeed a great moment to celebrate for all Indians. The country has gone through a lot in the last century. India was colonized and plundered until 1947. Wealth was sucked out the nation and was left to bleed in 1947 thanks to the ill-timed partition. The nation had to focus on rebuilding its base. Imagine bringing together 500+ princely states, Sardar Vallabhai Patel should have been burnt out at the end of the negotiations.
Let us go through a bit of geography or history lessons. India is a country that is 1/3 of the size of the United States of America yet is 750 million more in population. Supposedly, The population of the state of Orissa is more than the population of Canada and the state of Uttar Pradesh is more populous than Brazil. India has 20+languages and do not be surprised if you cross a state border the language changes; if you cross a district border the dialect changes. People complain that India hardly brings home medals from international events. But keep in mind, the infrastructure spending on housing and industries needed to be given more priority compared to other areas for the welfare of the nation. India has also gone through a lot of invasions and there were more than 500 princely states in India when the British granted India independence. The day of Independence which should have been celebrated was rather welcomed with bloodshed caused by the bitter partition in which around 500,000(5 lakhs) lives were lost.
Moving on, 2008/2009 was a proud moment for all the Indians when AR Rahman and Rasool Pookutty won Oscars for Slumdog Millionaire. Little did I know then about the impact that movies had on certain people. A colleague visiting India from the USA was surprised to see tall buildings and a booming industrial sector in India and it was nothing like what people in the West had imagined after watching the movie. In the United States and in Canada, there have been times when people get surprised when my wife or I spoke fluent English. To this extent, media and movies have played a role in stereotyping India and Indians. Movies, media and social media have painted India as a struggling country. Believe me, tour India with an open mind, you will find people welcoming you with open arms and places that will pleasantly surprise you with kind architectural splendor that was built ages ago and the quality of workforce in India.
Picture Credit: https://publications.banque-france.fr/en/india-global-forefront-digital-payments, Times of India
The 3 pictures in the slideshow above show the present and the future of India. India has taken to digital payments like how a fish would take to the water. Whenever I want to avoid buying from someone, all I used to tell them was “Change illa ma. (I do not have cash/coins on me)” but a small street vendor pleasantly surprised me when she said, “Google Pay(GPay) irukku Sir!! (I got google pay)”. Such is the penetration of digital payments in India that small vendors and business owners have adopted for the growth of their businesses. Corporate heads across the globe are looking at India as a key player in their strategy and advancement. India recently jumped ahead of the UK in the global GDP ranking. It is an humongous achievement considering that this India was once a colony of the UK and as per a report British drained India of 45 trillion. India has steadily moved up the ladder from being 10th in 2014 to 5th in 2022 is no mean achievement.
Like every other country, India has its own share of problems. India needs to improve the ease of doing business, make it easier for small businesses to thrive, increase the products made under the “Make in India” program, urbanize the rural population, increase expenditure in building infrastructure and improve the skill levels of people to make them more employable. With a stable government that focuses more on these rather than focusing on appeasing the voters, I am sure India will become a bigger force to reckon with by 2050. Also, India has a young population, with close to 50% of the country’s 1.3 billion population below the age of 35. This gives India a huge advantage over countries that have an aging population and fewer working-age workers. For all those naysayers, wait for the magic to unfold in front of your eyes.
India is indeed dependent: https://vyasonkeys.com/2013/08/15/india-is-dependent/