Incredible India

Just a few days ago, we celebrated our independence day, making 66 years of freedom. It amazes me, how far India has come in these 66 years, in terms of growth and development. The birth of the nation after great sacrifices from our freedom fighters to rescue it from the clutches of the English to the potential superpower it has become today…… the journey has truly been a unique one.

 Our progress in most aspects has been quite remarkable. Today, India is the tenth largest economy in the world and the third largest in purchasing power parity. It ranks second worldwide in farm output. India is the largest producer in the world of milk, cashew nuts, coconuts, tea, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. It also has the world’s largest cattle population. It is the second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugar, groundnut and inland fish. It is the third largest producer of tobacco. India accounts for 10% of the world fruit production with first rank in the production of banana and sapota. We are tenth in the world in terms of factory output and fifteenth in service output. Indian IT industry is quite renowned all over the world today. We have also given the world corporate giants like Reliance, Tata, Bharti Airtel, Infosys etc.

 With US$46.8 spending i.e. 2.5% of India’s GDP, we are second in the world in military funding. India is ranked 3rd out of 166 countries with 4768407 troops. We have also become a nuclear power along with significant advancement in the field of science and technology. As the average income of Indians has increased, so has their expenditure on various services. In terms of mobile phones in use, we are second out of 222 countries and third out of 216 countries in terms of number of internet users.

 The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are considered among the top colleges in the world. A number of Indian students are studying abroad in the best universities along with brilliant minds.

Our film industry produces the world’s most watched cinema. Indian cuisine is becoming popular around the globe too. With our rich history and heritage, India has a legacy to envy for. We are known for our vibrant and varied culture. A vast range is observed here in religions, castes, creeds, languages, habits and rituals of the people, festivals, weather, food etc. The fact that all Indians are so united in this diversity is what perhaps makes India so beautiful!

However, there are some hurdles in our path of becoming a developed nation. The major one being corruption. About 62% of Indians have had the first-hand experience of giving a bribe. There have been allegations of corrupt Indians stashing trillions of dollars of black money in Swiss Banks. A number of Indian politicians and bureaucrats have been accused of indulging in corrupt practices. The corruption here is attributed to excessive regulations, lack of transparency, complicated taxes and licensing system etc.

Another important issue is unemployment. The official unemployment exceeds 9%. But only 10% of the workforce is in regular employment. Without solving this grave problem, it would not be possible to fully utilize our vast human resources to our advantage. The population of India, currently at 1.21 billion, is another serious challenge. It is tough to provide basic necessities, education, welfare, healthcare and employment to such a huge population. Managing the constantly growing population and its male-female ratio is a task that must be done.

India has also seen a number of terrorist attacks recently, like 26/11. For the sake of saving lives, boosting economy and tourism, it must be ensured that such acts of terror never happen again. This can be done by implementing strict security measures in the resources available to states. Safety and security of the citizens must be a priority! Other key concerns include poverty, limited education, environmental degradation etc.

The growth for India should mean growth for all. And this means, solving these problems with long term plans in mind. According To Mr. Abdul Kalam, ‘’We will be remembered only if we give to our younger generation a prosperous and safe India, resulting out of economic prosperity coupled with civilizational heritage.’’

We have a long way to go but we must not forget how far we have come. We may not be where we are but neither are we where we used to be! There is a beautiful quote by Shashi Tharoor, ‘’India shaped my mind, anchored my identity, influenced my beliefs, and made me who I am… India matters to me and I would like to matter to India.”  J

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