Someone had written a few months ago that India’s near-term future rested on what happened on Feb 28 (the Indian Budget) and Mar 1 (the India-Pakistan Cricket World Cup match). Well, both events have taken place and the verdict is out – India is Rising.
The Budget presented by Finance Minister Jaswant Singh was quite a positive one – well-detailed and thought-out (like the man he is), and growth-oriented. He has some limitations considering that general elections are due in India next year, but overall, he has done a good job. It is now for Indian industry to deliver. There is a lot of emphasis on infrastructure development, which India so desperately needs. Concessions for the IT sector continue, and pharma and biotech have been equated to IT.
The India-Pakistan cricket match was a scorcher. For many in India, this was like the final. Or even a proxy war. The two countries had not met on the field in recent times. The match was a delight to watch. Pakistan’s good score was pulversied with the Indian batting in the first few overs. In the end, India won quite easily. These were a few hours when the nation put aside everything and watched on TV.
So, India’s come out with flying colours on both counts. Perhaps, its just my personal bias, but one can almost sense that positive optimism in most walks of life.
On a personal note, as I watched the Budget and the World Cup on TV, a strange feeling overcame me. For most of the past many years, I was used to doing updates on IndiaWorld for both these events. We had updated the budget live for the first time in March 1995, a day after IndiaWorld was launched. We would watch it on TV and then update our Internet website. It was something which continued for many years. So also for the World Cups. 1996 and 1999 were spent in the office making sure our live coverage went well. So, it was a bit odd sitting in front of a TV!