When you are neither here nor there, you are Work In Progress (WIP). As a country, India has been that. A Work in Progress. Now for a long while!
Since Independence, we probably had the tag of an “Under developed” country till the 80’s. From then on, we moved on to be called as a “Developing” country. Since then, it is now 5 decades but, we still continue to be a developing country. An emerging market. A Work in Progress.
Personally for me, from the time I started my career in 1991, India has been a developing country. Even today it continues to be. After close to 30 years.
Just look around and you can notice that almost everything around us is Work In Progress.
Our public transportation in all cities is still evolving.
Roads and highways are perennially under construction.
Health care is floundering but getting better day by day slowly and is Work in Progress.
To just cite a few areas.
In all these years, one thing constant has been that we hold promise. Promise of future potential.
We have had goal posts by way of Vision 2020 etc. in the beginning of this century. In the many versions of those vision documents, by 2020, India was supposed to be an economic Super power. Supposed to be the 3rd largest economy ahead of Japan or some such thing. As we speak we are still the 7th.
For India in the last few decades, it’s been a case of missed opportunities. We never miss to miss an opportunity. Once missed, it’s a question of living in futuristic hope. If one thing that has kept this country going in the last many years, it is hope. Hope others have on us. More than what we have on ourselves.
In the past, whenever we seemed to have caught the economic growth train, we have quickly derailed it ourselves.
Beginning of every decade is touted to be India’s decade. And we have belied that systematically.
As we step into another new decade, can we actually turn it into being India’s?
What is stopping us from realising our potential? Is it “We the people”? Is it the Government? Is it the politics? Is it the bureaucracy? Is it our attitude? Is it our capability? Is it the population? Is it our chosen path of democracy? Probably it is a combination of all these. And so the answer is complex.
I think the first and foremost need is to put “Economic growth” at the centre of our National discourse and put everything else in the back burner for the next ten years. For the government, for the media and for the citizenry. There could be and probably there are other unfinished businesses. But it is time to prioritise. And prioritising Economic growth over everything else has obvious beneficial effects on peoples’ quality of life. Has a direct effect on many social issues. It also promises a placebo effect on issues.
It’s not that governments have not been focussing on economy in the past decades. They have, but only intermittently. The question is – was it or is it a single minded focus? As people, did we make Economic growth the single issue while voting? Politics is driven by electoral results. If parties get the message that if they don’t deliver on economic growth, they cannot win, there will be difference. Today, this is not the case.
A new year is always a time for personal resolutions. This is not just a new year. A new decade beckons. Hope on India is still high. At least as of now. So time for a new decade resolution for India as a country. A resolve to put the Economy first. Not just first. Just that. For the next ten years.
And move on from being a Work In Progress, come 2030!
On that note, here’s wishing you a busy and exciting decade. Working to Progress.
Image courtesy: Yourstory.com