Disclaimer

All opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What is India?

I just returned from India and the changes I see in the last 18 months are enormous. It begs a question "What is India?"

India
is a complex mix of every imaginable culture, color, creed, religion, caste, and social structure. In 2007, India celebrated its 60th Independence anniversary. This is a milestone but I do not look at India as a 60 year old but a 16-year-old youngster who has a “can-do” attitude. Why the 16 year old?

Even though India became independent in 1947, it was shackled by its stringent policies, which suppressed economic growth and bread every ailment that goes with it. In 1991, by stroke of crisis, luck, quirk, and/or their combination, then Prime Minister Mr. P. V. Narasimha Rao changed the course of India on advice of the current Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and others. Thus, a sixteen year.

Any visitor can be awed by India when they land at any of its gateway airports. Traffic, people, vehicles, and chaos at any road intersection overwhelm many visitors from “the developed countries.” For some strange reason this chaos teaches India tolerance and desire to get ahead. This chaos also lets an Indian look at multiple scenarios simultaneously and come up with a solution.

I look at India as a runaway train with its 20-40 year old having a time of their life. This is evident by their totally blue-sky goals and objectives. Can they make it?

My answer is yes. Majority of the 16 year old grow up to be a fine young person. They do stumble but with societal support, they quickly recover, grow stronger, and move forward. This is how I see India.

Star date 2025 will give us an interesting picture.
Signs are there.

India's stock exchange index has gone from 10, 000 to 20,000 in twenty months. Bill Gates used to be the richest person on the planet. Last week Mr. Mukesh Ambani became Numero Uno.

Girish Malhotra

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