What comes to mind when I say India? Would it be swarms of impoverished people, waves of inhumane slums and a society where anything goes? From your perspective, I would agree but did you know that India has the 4th largest military and the largest producer of milk (just in case you wanted to know) I will now continue to talk about how you and other westerners misjudged India.
Your view on low income countries such as India is only its exoskeleton. Compared with India, many western countries are considered to be cultural vacuums with a similar landscape being painted across every one of them. Go to France, Germany or England, and you will see the same canvas of paved streets, centralised town centres and social standards- with the exception of a few landmarks. India has an extremely dynamic geography. From the 8km+ peaks in the Himalayas to the plains the south, islands, tropical forests – you name it. Thus, mountain people in Kashmir and the desert people of Rajasthan eat and dress differently in a way that suits their geography. The nation is vast and given the poor transportation systems, each region evolved separately.
The reason why I think social strength is important is, if you look at a map of Europe, there are at least 10 different countries within the same area as India. I believe that this is due the weak social stability between these nations even though they were very close and well informed of each other. India on the other hand, as I’ve said before, is not just one nation but comprises of hundreds of different cultures and religions. The fact the we could overcome the mi nor frictions between villages, we were able to produce a big, beautiful country. With the knowledge that we are all one community strengthen our relationship with ourselves and with each other for example with Pakistan, in which India have signed many NAPs despite being a war for decades. This is a feature that shows India’s leadership.
Secondly, our economy provides concrete evidence onto the status of my argument. First of all, look at your planners on to the page of countries by GDP. On there, India is ranked 9th only a few year ago but is now ranked at 7th, just below France. With India annual GDP growth of around 7.4% compared to the UK of 1.7%, it is projected that by only 2 years, the GDP of India will overtake the UK which is mind-blowing. When it is put into perspective, it was only 50year ago that the British still had India as a mere familiar in its empire.
However, I know that GDP among others, cannot be used alone to brand a country. Although I had mentioned that India is rich in culture, it also still possess the shadow of its corrupt and unforgiving past. For example, there is a huge disparity between the rich and the poor where in one scenario you may find a millionaire’s house situated right outside a ditch of a slum; separated by guarded, electrocuted fences. There still remains the atmosphere of a rigid social hierarchy in which rich individuals were desired and discarding the 41.6% of its population (540 million people approx.) that are living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 (PPP) per day.
Relating to the main theme of my speech which I am trying to Convery to is that this, in the eyes of many naïve Westerners, should be a real eye-opener into the real-life situations of the countries around the world who do not share the same experiences as those in countries such as the UK. This speech is aimed at destroying the image that was engraved into your heads that the world is perfect. I bet that before I told you this, the thought that India would eventually overtake the UK would never have been conjured up, and it is countries like these (Brazil, South Africa) that are showing the real progress in this society.