India at 70 is making the news in Britain. This reflects on British nostalgia for the Empire to some extent, but it also shows the genuine interest and passion people in the West have for India. It also highlights the success of the world’s largest democracy.
Few in 1947 expected India to survive. It was seemingly a loose patchwork of nations and tribes, cleaved by violent religious divisions that had claimed the lives of a million. There were and are continued problems with poverty, caste, religious division and corruption. Over the next seven decades however the country not only survived intact but has begun to thrive. It is a testament to the power of Indian democracy that the nation has begun on a journey to Great Power status, slowly building one of the largest Middle classes in history. The Indian polity has demonstrates above all the levelling power of one person, one vote. Non-performing governments are now routinely thrown out. Their replacements are under great pressure to perform, or perish. This is the power of democracy in action.
The success and rapid development of India today is an economic wonder to behold. Consistent growth of seven percent or more, potentially poised to match the Chinese miracle without the dictatorial drawbacks. Nearly every major city will have a metro, with high speed cross country rail routes on the way. Clearly India is well placed to become the new engine of global economic growth. The Indian nation is a great reminder to the rest of mankind of the power of tolerance, perseverance and democracy above all. This admirable vessel of over a billion dreams is a strong symbol of hope for mankind.
To paraphrase former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam ‘Dreams result in thoughts and thoughts result in action.’ The positive dreams of India are an inspiration to all.