Aug 15, 2007

India: 60 yrs old or 16 yrs young?

India celebrates its sixtieth year of Independence today. While the first few decades were kind if sleepy, India really took off post 1991 when the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao launched key reforms that liberated the economy. PVNR in that aspect held fort for give good years and did more good for India than any other Prime Minister before him.

For those whose youth has coincided with this phase, the experience of India is vastly different from their parents' who witnessed a youth of shortages, high unemployment and denial of basic goodies in life - telephones, cars, air conditioners etc all due to the government wanting to regulate supply. Governance and politics is still not very good but hopefully with the new generation knocking on the doors, things will change soon. Business Standard has a nice editorial today, aptly titled Chak De India.

I wistfully imagine what would have been possible if India had not undergone partition. A freedom struggle that was by and large non-violent thanks to Gandhi culminate in gruesome murders of five million Indians. A more assertive freedom struggle early on would have perhaps taken a far lesser toll of lives, and realised freedom faster. And in the process the manipulations of the British to divide India would not have succeeded. A United India could have emerged faster sans the Kashmir, Bangladesh turmoils. Enough has been said about the personalities and egos of Nehru and Jinnah, the chief players at the time of Partition and Independence.

Anyway the story of India's growth is now sixteen years young and holds as much promise as our last tryst with destiny in 1947. I will any day prefer this sweet sixteen to sixty!


Paresh said...

Great piece Ram. Keep writing.

Ram Medury said...

Thanks Paresh. Will do :-)