Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The India that will Own!

India as a country will practically ‘own’ a majority of the world in the future. China is a good competition but they have their own problems. The comparison between the two is never ending. There are books on it and lots of articles available online. This article is not about that comparison.
I recently read a lot of blogs and articles about India. I am personally very interested in reading about India and how it works. I am an Indian and at 20 years of age, still learning just the basics of how India works. India is a tough place to understand. There are two books about India that I would recommend. One of them is Mother Pious Lady and the other one is India Unbound. Excellent read.
I observed from the material online that the notion that people from outside India have about India is very extreme. They consider India to be a wasteland of sorts. They think that Indians are second grade citizens of the world. They think that all Indians are immigrants or atleast wannabe immigrants. I am not saying that the citizens of a particular country have such views because citizens of all countries who have visited India are divided in their views. In my opinion, this is true for almost all the countries. There are good things and there are bad things.
The problem is created when the bad things are highlighted more than the good things even when the proportion and the importance of both these things is the same. This happens because India is still a developing country. We don’t have a huge pool of people who blog and even fewer people who blog about things happening in India. So the people who have seen the problems in India will go home and blog about it and spread their notion about India while the good stuff stays within the four walls of the country. We don’t have a completely developed media platform that can get news from everywhere. India is a huge country and it has immense population. It becomes very difficult to showcase everything with limited resources.
India in the olden days was referred to as the ‘golden bird’. It had everything. It was one of the most prosperous and developed places in the world. It had culture. It had trade and it also had values which were very rare around the world. It was not (is not) an exploiter. India is the only major country in the world which has never invaded any other country.
India was exploited for 200 hundred years. All the wealth in India was taken away. People were exploited. Britain gained strength in the world but colonies like India were fuel-ing their growth. They kept taking advantage and then were finally thrown out. The golden bird was caged and left to starve to death. Fortunately, the bird is rising back to strength like a Phoenix.
The Human Development Index of India has improved after Independence. Everything is improving. There were times after Independence when the country was not doing that well due to many internal and external reasons. Indians by nature are a community of people who put up a strong fight even in the face of the most adverse challenges. They did the same after Independence. There were over 500 princely states which were re-organised. A democratic nation was formed. It is the world largest democracy.
You say India has a lot of problems? Well, which country doesn’t? The problems are different in nature but every country has problems. Some have war, some have natural disasters, some have economics crisis and some have political problems. India also has its share of problems, no doubt. They are big problems and are not being handled in the best possible way. I agree. The only thing I want to point out that things are looking up now. We are improving. It has just been 60 odd years since we gained Independence and that too after being exploited for two centuries. Give us a little bit of time and we’ll show you the results. By this I don’t mean that India has anything to prove to anyone. I mean that India will flourish and the world will sit up and take notice.
India has actually already shown a lot of its capabilities. During the sub-prime crisis, all the countries in the world were badly affected. India was one of the few countries which suffered the least and recovered the fastest. It is because of the way we live. We are cheap (yes I said that). We spend less that we earn and save/invest the rest. It is only because Indians are saving that millions of people of other countries are able to get so much credit from banks. I had read somewhere that an average Indian saves up to 30% of his income and an average American saves 2%.
I am not targeting America here. It just that most of the posts that I read were by Americans who were cursing India. It was their opinion. This post is mine.
Some facts that I found online:
· India is spread over 3.3 Million Sq Km of land whereas USA is spread over 9.63 Million Sq Km .
· India's population is 1130 million. The population of USA is 303.
· Population density in India is 336/Sq Km and in USA is 26/Sq Km.
· USA got Independence in 1776 but India got it only in 1947.
· USA has been independent since 234 years but India has been independent since only 63 years.
· 81% of population in USA lives in the Urban areas but only 18% of population of India lives in urban area.
· GDP in terms of PPP: India $3.1 Trillion (4th Rank) and USA $13.8 Trillion (1st Rank)
Statistics don’t always lie. Check out this video to if you don’t believe me.
Although it is remarkable what USA has achieved over the last 2 centuries, and undoubtedly led the world in many areas. India, for its part has a lot of infrastructural and other pieces of the puzzle (that are the backbone of long-term development of a nation (i.e. primary and higher education to a majority of population, access to organized healthcare for all, etc)) to solve for itself over the next decade or two.
However, when you talk about these issues in the context of a nation such as India, think of the magnitude of the complexity involved, compared with what a USA had to deal with, simply due to the size of the population.
Indians have made a mark everywhere. Be it politics in the US or taking over the motel business (there are so many patels who own them that they are often called potels) or the silicon valley or the upper echelons of business in multinational companies.
Lighter note: What would have the entire coding community would have done without the zero? [An Indian named Aryabhatta invented Zero].
Indian has a huge labour force which does back hand work for foreign companies at very low rates and very efficiently. This is how they reduce their expenses and compete globally.
India is a wonderful place to visit. It has the world most exotic places. There are problems that you will face but that is bound to happen all around the world. People are helpful. They will be a little money minded but that’s because of the poverty. I once read a cartoon strip about this issue. In the first part, there is a tourist whose car gets stuck in a puddle. The tourist is shown saying, “This happens only in India”. The second part of the strip showed 4 dhoti clad villagers helping in getting the car out of the puddle. It had the tourist saying, “This happens only in India!” I think this explains India beautifully.
Indians are progressing everywhere. We are buying companies. We are starting companies. We are researching. We are sharing wealth. We are steam rolling in all directions. We are also looking at and trying to solve internal problems.
Thus we can say that India is a country which is developing. It has its share of problems. It does not deserve the severe one sided criticism online. It just needs some time to grow. It is not going to defeat some other country to win. India believes in combined growth.
“There is enough for every man’s need but not enough for any man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
India has soft power which is its main advantage. A clip from an Indian movie which states some more facts.
India is not a country. It is like a revolution. It keeps spreading and keeps gaining momentum.
India is a live example of the Chaos Theory.
India is a bit unorganised but it still runs along and that’s the beauty of the country.
Jai Hind!

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