Sunday, October 26, 2008
What started about a year back is continuing. India is slowly beginning to assert itself in the global scene. Half a century after it freed itself from the shackles of foreign rule, this country is feeling a kind of confidence that allows it to stand shoulder to shoulder, without any complexes of inferiority, with developed and developing countries of the world. The change is visible in the many faces this country represents to the world. Indian businesses which for long have been dependent on their big brothers in developed countries for technology and finance are not only competing globally on equal terms but also buying out foreign businesses at will. A country which has for long been a symbol of stagnation and underdevlopment in the eyes of the international community has suddenly become the cynosure of all eyes. Investors today do not hesitate to put their money in India and openly admit that returns on investment in India is greater than most developed nations in the west, including the United States. Indians today no longer believe in spending for a living but “living for spending”. Even the poorest of the poor aspire to daily luxuries and strive to get them. This departure from frugality in the Indian society has opened up a tremendous scope for development of the country and its businesses. In fact, the President of the US unabashedly stated that the growth of the Indian Middle Class has caused a shortage of food and essential commodities in the world!! India can no longer be ignored by the world. No longer can the West blackmail this country to sign the CTBT with the threat of sanctions. In fact, it is countries like India and China who will control the economies of the west in a few decades. Even in trying times as they are now, with an uncertain global economy, rising oil prices and an uncontrollable domestic inflation, there is a quiet undercurrent of confidence in India that seems to assure that these hurdles are not enough to stop the Indian Juggernaut from rolling on.The emergence of India as a global economic power is also reflected in the activities and confidence level of its citizens. Indians are no longer subservient to developed countries when it comes to performance, be it in business or sports. In cricket, India is fast surging ahead in its bid to attain top position In the Olympics, this time Indians have put up a record breaking performance. Abhinav Bindra’s equanimity even after getting a gold in the Olympics is testimony to the fact that Indians are no longer overawed by the big stage. The assertiveness of Indian delegates at international meets, be it the WTO or the UNO signals the arrival of India as a major player in world affairs. India only needs to maintain this acceleration steadily to achieve what many still think is impossible - to become an economic superpower by 2020. I am certainly not among those cynics.