The evils that we see in India today like corruption, public sector inefficiency, religious tensions, lack of development, poverty, illiteracy, poor infrastructure, and shortages are caused by corrupt leaderships that place their interests over the interests of the Nation. Corruption is the root causes of India's backwardness. The damage caused by corruption on the country's economy and progress is unimaginable.
India has all the human and material resources that are required to become a superpower; it is only a question of management. The natural ingredients necessary to become a superpower are: 1. Adequate geographical size, 2. Adequate population, having a good level of natural intelligence, 3. Reasonable level of natural resources, 4. Will of the population to be superior.
People must be ambitious; they must have high desires. India is pretty strong on the first three requirements and that is why India can become a superpower. Indians are among the most intelligent people of the world.
India has an immense resource of experienced, high calibre professionals in all spheres of knowledge and technology. There is no goal that these professionals cannot achieve, if the right conditions are provided, because they are as good as anyone else in the developed countries.
The achievements of India and Indians worldwide in areas of space technology, nuclear technology, agricultural research, and software development gives a glimpse of what this sleeping tiger is capable of. India has economically and industrially advanced to a level from where further development can be much more accelerated.
India has immense capital that is lying dormant with individuals due to lack of awareness about investment instruments as well as trustworthy avenues for investments. Gold in the possession of individual families is an example as well a result of this situation.
The Indian market is very huge and it can support any degree of growth. The country has much more natural resources in comparison to many other developed countries. Considering these strengths, if India is ruled well with the right economic and social policies, India has all the potential to achieve a growth rate of 13% which would take the 1999 per capita income of $1600 to $34,000 by the year 2025, which would be equal to the UK per capita income in 2025, assuming that the 1999 UK per capita income of $22,000 grows at 2%. This 2% growth rate is considered to be a realistic long-term growth rate for a developed country like UK. Empires rise and fall.
The British Empire where the sun never set does not exist any more. The mighty USSR has disappeared. There is no historical reason to believe that the richest and the strongest nations of today will remain like that forever.
India and China are poised to take those positions. Why India has not achieved the goal yet and what will prevent India from achieving this goal in future? We focus too much on social and religious matters and too little on economic matters. Non-economic issues like temple-mosque disputes determine the outcome of national elections in India. This trend is now changing and focus is turning to economy and that is why India has good prospects to develop economically. As a result leaders who focus on economy and the country rather than religious and social issues will rise.
The ascension of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam and Manmohan Singh as President and Prime Minister is a clear indication of this welcome phenomenon. I would define developed country status as follows. Over 90% of the population will be living in modern houses having toilet, electricity, pipe water, fans, cooking gas, television, telephone, and a fridge. More than 50% of the population will have a family car. The roads will be of international standards. Buses and trains will be neat and fast, keeping time. Electricity will not fail and telephones will work always. Towns and cities will be clean. People will get good and affordable education and healthcare. Taxes will be reasonable and prices affordable and stable. You will not have to bribe any one. To achieve all this in a short span of 15-20 years, in a predominantly rural economy like India, agricultural produces should fetch much higher prices, similar to industrial products. Therefore farmers will be able to pay high wages to agricultural labour, thus elevating the masses of India to a higher economic standing. The increased buying power of the rural sector will boost the industrial and urban sector, thus setting off a chain reaction of economic development, catapulting India to superpower status.
Note: The views expressed here are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Expressindia's.