India @75: A long, arduous road ahead

For the record, 75 years after Independence, India is the world’s third largest economy on purchasing power parity basis and sixth largest in US dollar terms.

India @75: A long, arduous road ahead
Mukesh Ambani, then vice-chairman of Reliance Industries, with Manmohan Singh, then finance minister, at a pre-Budget meeting with industrialists at North Block on November 23, 1994. (Express archive photo by Sunil Saxena)

The varied geography and diverse people of the land now called the Union of India were crippled for centuries by an exploitative system under assorted Hindu and Muslim rulers and was subsequently exploited by the colonial powers. It, however, had a more glorious ancient past.

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The people here enjoyed a per capita income, that was slightly higher than Western Europe, and at par with the world in the first millennium of the Christian Era. For the record, 75 years after Independence, India is the world’s third largest economy on purchasing power parity basis and sixth largest in US dollar terms.

Millions have been lifted out of poverty over the decades, especially the recent ones. However, the country still has a deplorable 131th rank among 189 countries on human development index and 12% of the world’s poor reside here.

Inequalities are widening among industry, commerce and people at large. The country needs many more years of rapid economic expansion with stress on human resource development and redistributive policies.

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