When India became politically independent in 1947, it started off with major handicaps such as high poverty, low literacy, inadequate infrastructure, and indifferent leadership. But India also had the necessary ingredients for overcoming those: adequate natural resource base, the goodwill of foreign nations (consequently aid from them for development), large labour force, a large number of sufficiently educated citizens to create the hard and soft infrastructure, etc.
But even after 63 years, India is in many senses worse off than it was in 1947. We have to understand the whys and hows of India’s failure to develop. That’s the unavoidable first step to putting India on a path to recovery. We cannot fix problems that we don’t understand the causes of, or worse yet, if we don’t even admit that we have problems.
Here are a few questions we have to answer to get an understanding of what went wrong and why.
- Why is India still poor?
- Why have the numbers of Indians below the poverty line doubled to more than 500 million since 1947?
- Why doesn’t India have a decent education system?
- Why are 70 percent of Indians still stuck in tiny villages in the 21st century?
- Why is 60 percent of the labor force involved in agriculture?
- Why is India’s industrial base so small?
- Why doesn’t India generate sufficient electrical power?
- Why doesn’t India have a modern rail network?
- Why doesn’t India have a serviceable road network?
- Why is India so unfriendly to business and entrepreneurship?
The search for these answers is the start for the path to reclaim India. Our so-called leaders have failed us. It is up to us now to change the course of our nation.