As we turn 76, the Indian economy is both still and pulsating, just like how the Rig Veda describes the state of neither death nor immortality.
And, perhaps, much like the Nasadiya Sukta’s Hiranyagarbha — the golden-hued cosmic womb and the subsequent Big Bang theory — India, ‘by the power of its own intent,’ could regain its ‘indescribable power and energy.’
Seen in that spirit, India’s Centenary should be all about cracking the 25:25 matrix — regaining 25% of the global GDP in the next 25 years.
This isn’t an aimless chip shot, but based on IMF’s economic rankings projecting India as the third largest after China and the US by 2040.
That’s seven years ahead of the Centenary! Such a feat will be befitting for an economy that once was the most prosperous, often described as the bird of gold, or the jewel in the British crown as documented by British economist Angus Maddison in his seminal book, The World Economy, a Millennial Perspective.
Around 18th century, India was the ‘GDP-Giant’ with its 27% share of the global economy — a position now firmly held by the US, with China closing in at breakneck speed.
Colonization robbed us of our wealth and averaged zero growth for about 50 years before independence! By 1947 India was one of the poorest countries, accounting for just 3% of the world’s GDP.