Will India ever be a Super Power?

Dhruv Thakur

The falcon remains the fastest known creature on this planet. But does that mean it cannot have wounded wings deteriorating its speed? India is known to be one of the world’s largest economies; being at the sixth rank in terms of nominal GDP while being at the third in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). But it still lags behind countries, like the USA and China, in being a superpower. Economists admit that although India is a large economy and is growing at a rate better than many countries of the world, its history impacts a lot when it comes to the final results. Over the years, the contribution in GDP, from the tertiary sector has increased significantly, making it one of the most important economic sectors. Even though, majority of India’s population is employed in the primary sector which has the least contribution to the GDP. Hence a majority of Indians are indulged in a job sector that requires more effort and less outcome. The CoVId-19 hit the Indian economy worse than that of many countries. The simple reason lies in India being the second-most populous country in the world. Despite measures taken by the Indian government, the growth rates of the population show depressing results. The increase in the Indian population remains India’s greatest setback on the path of being a superpower. According to stats if the current rate of population growth continues over the years India might even cross China and become the world’s most populous country by the year 2027. This leads to an even greater threat: a very high population density. The Indian subcontinent faced several partitions resulting in a large population being fitted into a comparatively small land. While a large population can contribute to the GDP, just like the case of China. But an uneducated mass of people falls in the sector of the labor class, which is itself an oversaturated sector. Even after innumerable tries of the government over the years, some communities still exploit the so-called “freedom” to interrupt the birth control policies. The wealthy class has an average of 1 kid per pair of parents; this average is 2 for the middle class while it is 4-5 for the economically backward class. This leads to an increasing population turning into a liability rather than an asset. Those who are not able to afford the necessities for themselves possess a large family: one which they can’t feed. Such people use up health resources, space, basic food necessities, economic support without actually contributing to the country’s GDP.

Indian judiciary is one of the justest and least corrupt judiciaries of the world. But there still exist many loopholes in the idea of jurisdiction. Indian judiciary is based on the principle which states that “Let a hundred criminals slip out, but not even a single unguilty person should be punished.” While this sounds moral and just, this does allow hundreds and thousands of criminals to slip out of the laws’ hands every year. This is a major drawback of the laws set by the judiciary of a country that is already infamous for its crime rate.

It is ironic how a thousand years ago, India was the world’s largest economy with the label of “Golden Bird”. India is a country that housed the world’s oldest Urban civilization, the Harappan civilization. It was also the world’s most powerful nation with a fierce army and with rulers strong enough to tremble the souls of famous foreign rulers like Alexander the Great. Well how then India got messed up in these thousand years to be one of the most poverty-stricken countries of the world? The answer lies in the events that took place in these years. Rulers of India became disunited and often ended up fighting with each other over land or differences of India. This gave the Mughals/Mongols/Afghans an opportunity to attack the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent and later loot India of its treasures. This continued until Indian rulers lost most parts of India to these foreign rulers. Later in the 17th century, the East India Company expanded its influence over Indian markets and businesses which eventually deteriorated the Indian economy and destroyed the Indian textile industry which was once the finest in terms of its quality. The rule of the Mughal and the British affected our country in various ways. Religions like Islam and Christianity added to the number of religions and variations of ideas increased. Also, over the past years, our culture and heritage had been destroyed by these intruders. Even after the independence, The Partition had a great impact on the nation, economically and mentally. Our countrymen were trapped in cycles of poverty for almost half a century.

One of the reasons for India’s downfall on the path of development has been its open-hearted nature. India gave shelter to Rohingya Refugees as a token of humanity but didn’t realize the aftermath. The Rohingyas have been stirring instabilities in North-Eastern parts of India. They have been creating havoc and menace by attacking the native people and even sometimes burning down their houses.

India emerged as an independent nation amidst commotion and disarray. The differences in ideas that suddenly emerged after the independence, regarding the future of democratic India, created a political instability that affected the future of India. After the partition the differences between Muslims and Hindu became significant and India’s diversity soon became its enemy. A partition in terms of religion ignited the spirits of other religious radicals, that soon began dreaming of new nations, as they saw themselves as different from people from other religious communities. These differences in the ideologies of people soon took the form of communal riots. Today, three of India’s 28 states still struggle for independence.

One of the biggest and the most important problems that India faces on the way to being a superpower is its political structure, which forms a weak base for a large democracy like this. It is well known that a country’s political situations affect, or rather determine the healthiness of its democracy. In India, due to sharp differences in the ideologies and aspirations of different political parties, no long-term policies can be implemented. Every time the government switches after five years the new government urges to undo the various policies of the previous government. This is one of the ten reasons given by Ramachandra Guha, the famous analyst and author of the book “India After Gandhi” explaining why India cannot become a superpower. Mr. Guha explains how the political chaos and instability accompanied by the pluralist system make it almost impossible for India to have effective long-term policies.

Nevertheless, the solution remains unclear, with hundreds of new hurdles blocking the path of India, that cannot be even expressed through the 2-3 pages of this article. Although this should not and does not stop India from trying its best to become a superpower. As a teenager and the future of this nation, I express my concerns on this topic “India as a SUPERPOWER.”

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