GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 23rd April. While those suffering a colonised mind set, at home and abroad, can’t see anything good happening in India, the ones with open minds, and in touch with ground reality, foresee bright days ahead for the country, which is fast catching up with the developed world.
Take for instance what Tim Cook, CEO of Apple on a recent visit to Mumbai told the media. He said, “I think India will have its own journey. So, I wouldn’t compare India to anyone. It will be a unique journey. Because the country itself is unique. It has different characteristics. India’s journey is clear to me, and it would be an extraordinary journey — whether you measure things in GDP, or, however, you want to measure things. The scale will be enormous. All this because I feel it in the people here. Ultimately, a country’s success comes down to people and culture more than anything else. And the people and culture of India have an extraordinary journey ahead.”
Echoing a similar sentiment in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday last said that the world recognises India as the next superpower. “India is going to be the Vishwaguru (world leader) and we have to achieve that goal. India is the future superpower. Not just us, the whole world is saying it,”
These optimistic projections about India have come from two disparate, but really credible sources. Apple Inc. is the largest technology company by revenue, with US $ 394.3 billion in 2022 revenue. As of March 2023, Apple is the world’s biggest company by market capitalisation as well.
The RSS, on the other hand, is the largest voluntary organisation in the world. Steeped deeply into rich ancient Indian mores, the nearly hundred years old organisation is forward looking, aiming to pull India out of a morass of social tensions, poverty and ignorance, an inevitable fall-out of nearly a thousand years of slavery. The organisation’s footprint covers practically all aspects of India’s academic, social, political, and economic life.
The convergence in Cook and Bhagwat’s views about India’s future is based on solid grounds. Cook was right when he said, he couldn’t compare India with any other nation because it was “unique”. India is indeed peerless. Unlike most of the world, Indian social and family life isn’t contractual, but relationship based, seeking a seamless co-existence with the rest of the universe, along with its diverse flora and fauna. These seemingly inconsequential social nuances have tremendous bearing on almost all aspects of Indian life, including its economy.
For example, the US Government spends 40 per cent of its federal budget on social security. With the institution of family slowly dying, more and more of Americans are becoming state dependent in their old age. The projection is, by 2029, the US would be forced to spend 50 percent of its budget under this head.
In India, a vast majority of old people are looked after by their families. Apart from food, shelter and medical care, the old in India enjoy the love and respect of their indulgent family members. The number of Indians, who can be termed ‘senior citizens’ (65 years and above) is estimated at over ten crores. Imagine the magnitude of financial burden on the State, if the Indian Government has to pay for their upkeep and house them in old age homes!
Timeless India is blessed with family values, pluralistic traditions which accept uniformity and diversity with equal ease. The emphasis is not on uniformity, but on harmony. This unique value system creates an echo system, conducive for social cohesion, a reverential association with nature and meaningful economic activity.
The country was ruled by aliens till 1947, who sucked it bone dry through their policies which were aimed to transfer Indian wealth to England. They were succeeded by the alienated, who ruined the country further. A foreign creed, socialism, was forced on the people, with disastrous consequences. It killed initiative, stifled entrepreneurship, and smothered creatively. It bred corruption, promoted nepotism and encouraged crony capitalism. The result was all-round shortages and a deepening sense of despondency among common people.
There was scarcity of all conceivable commodities- sugar, food grains, cement, steel, cars, scooters, telephone connections….. The list is long and inexhaustible. Common people stood for hours, days and sometimes for years in unending lines to get a meagre supply of things of daily use. Black marketing of essentials was rampant.
But the ruling elite didn’t blame the foreign creed they had introduced, for the economic mess. Instead, they found a scapegoat. The blame was conveniently passed on to the “Hindu culture “of the country. In 1978, Prof. Raj Krishna, a well- known left economist, explained India’s miserable economic performance as ‘Hindu rate of growth’, forgetting that for over a thousand years, a Hindu India was celebrated as the most prosperous country the world over.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 exposed the hollowness of the socialist ideology. The process to unshackle the Indian entrepreneurial skills started soon after. With Modi being voted to power in 2014, decolonisation of Indian minds too began. While prophets of doom and entrenched vested interests continue to paint India black, the rest of the world is noticing and recognising India’s multifaceted fast rise.
In the three years since 2021, India has remained the fastest growing large economy. According to the IMF, it grew at 9.1 percent in 2021, 6.8 percent in 2022, and is expected to grow at 5.99 percent in 2023.
There are numerous indicators that suggest that the Indian economy is on an upswing. Passenger vehicle sales volumes hit a record high in 2022-23, touching 3.9 million units, while growing around 27 percent from the year before.
In 2022-23, India’s service exports soared by 27 percent to $323 billion. The most remarkable growth is of ‘other business services’ (OBSs). These appear to come substantially from global capability centres (GCCs) of MNCs in India.
A NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies). The Deloitte report estimated that by 2021, over 1,400 MNCs had GCCs in India, initially for low tech back-office work, but increasingly for high value activities including engineering services and R&D. In 2021, with a turnover of $ 36 billion these organisations employed 1.38 million, of whom 42 percent were in engineering R&D. Over 40 percent of GCCs globally are in India.
India has a huge pool of skilled labour, especially engineering skills. The country now produces 600,000 engineers a year, and MNCs are harnessing this flow of inexpensive skills. Accenture has 300,000, of its global workforce of 700,000 in India. IBM and Capgemini have over 100,000 employees each here.
According to available data, electronics exports have shot up over 50 percent in 2022-23 to $23.6 billion. Through high subsidies and tariff protection, India has succeeded in getting Apple to make iPhones in India, along with component manufacturers like Fox-conn and Wistron. In 2022-23, Apple produced $7 billion worth of phones and exported $ 5 billion.
India’s annual Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation declined to a 29-month low of 1.34 per cent in March 2023. This is the tenth straight month of decline in WPI. The CPI-based retail inflation too eased further to a 16-month low of 5.66 percent in March. Thanks to a host of leak- proof welfare schemes, targeted at the vulnerable sections of the society, poverty levels are coming down at a fast rate.
Ironically, India’s erstwhile colonial master, Britain now has western Europe’s highest rate of consumer price inflation at 10.1 percent.
While the world celebrates India’s success story, its detractors, at home and abroad, continue with their crude efforts to run it down. Manufactured data and twisted facts are used to validate pre- conceived notions, prejudices and predetermined conclusions.
India was ranked 126th in the World Happiness Report 2023. India is behind close neighbours like Sri Lanka (112), Pakistan (108) and Nepal (78)! In 2018, British “Thomson Reuters Foundation” declared India is the world’s most dangerous country for women, due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour. Afghanistan ranked 2, Syria 3, Somalia 4, Saudi Arab – 5, Pakistan – 6 & US – 10. This survey was based on just 550 respondents. Of these respondents, the poll of 548 people was conducted online, by phone and in person.
In October 2022, India was ranked 107th out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger Index. The anti-India bias is clear. Neighbouring countries- Pakistan (99), Bangladesh (84), Nepal (81) and Sri Lanka (64) have all fared better than India. Global Hunger Index is released by an Irish and a German NGO. Both are inspired by the Church.
In India, five percent own more than 60 percent of the country’s wealth: Oxfam’s (Jan 2023) Inequality Index claims. Oxfam, an organisation, with a dubious record, is accused of covering up an investigation into the hiring of sex workers for orgies by staff working in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. In 2021, Oxfam also suspended two aid workers amid sex exploitation claims in Congo. The organisation has been under investigation in the country of its origin- the UK.