The position of India as the premier economy continued uninterrupted for several centuries during the past two millennia. Figures show that India remained as the most sustainable economic power in the world. It was due to the wrong policies of the British that the Indian economy had to fall, beginning from the eighteenth century. This shows that Indian economy, by nature, is fundamentally strong with its original systems based on the Hindu orientations.
India was a poor and underdeveloped economy at the time of Independence. Now seven decades later, we are the most potential economy in the world with very high growth rates. Almost all the multilateral organisations, research bodies and rating agencies unanimously agree that India is fast emerging as the most powerful nation. A few years back, London Business School estimated that India had 85 million entrepreneurs functioning at different levels. Now the situation is such that no major economic discourse at the global level can take place without the presence of India.
How did we come to this position? How is that a country that was very poor is considered as the most potential nation in a period of just seven decades? A study of the economic history during the past decades shows that no other country in the world has made such a U-turn in a period of seventy years. How was it possible?
When we analyse the policies of the past decades, we come to know that there were confusions and contradictions in policy making during most of the period. Well before Independence, Mahatma Gandhi wanted to have a larger debate on the economic policies to be adopted after independence. But Nehru scuttled it repeatedly. Post 1947, the Nehruvian establishment went in for an alien ideology and adopted the socialistic approach, without much discussions. It was only when the socialism failed in the then USSR by the late 1980s, our ruling classes realised their foolishness. But by then we had already wasted four important decades, very crucial for the development of a country of India’s backgrounds.
After Communism failed at the global level, the Indian policy makers wanted to go for an alternative. Even during the initial decades of Nehruvian growth, our growth rates were either comparable or better than those of the western countries. Later the growth rates picked up over the years, leaving the other advanced countries way behind. It makes one to wonder as to what the reason could be ?
Field studies conducted in different parts of the country for the last twenty years and more reveal that the economic progress of India during the past seven decades has been largely due to our inherent strengths. Most of them are unique and play the critical role in the shaping and functioning of our economic systems. Family base, High savings, Self-employment base, Higher levels of entrepreneurship, the dominance of the non-corporate sector, community orientation with higher social capital, society-driven and not state-dependent approaches and the presence of higher value systems are the important among them.
It is the above features that support and sustain the economy to move forward continuously, in spite of many hurdles that the nation has been facing over the years. It is because of them that the nation was able to overcome the negative effects of the alien approaches. Even during the 2008 global economic crisis, India was able to escape it only due to the native economic systems.
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