Monday, Dec 05, 2022
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It's A Plane, It's A Mirage

The world's view of India is far removed from the self-image the 'elephant-learning-to-dance' has

It's A Plane, It's A Mirage
Gireesh G.V
It's A Plane, It's A Mirage
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

One problem, of course, is that India, a democracy with no major territorial ambitions (unless you count parts of Kashmir), is not as scary as China. The less commendable reason for India's relative dowdiness in global circles is that even after 10 years of reform, the economy does not kindle the sort of excitement among foreign investors that China does. China attracts nearly 20 times the amount of fdi; its share of world trade in goods is nearly five times India's. And so when besuited big-wigs gather to listen to one of their number speak on India's progress since 1991, they are likely to hear 15 minutes of praise followed by a half-hour of scolding.

The proportions seem about right. India's economy has picked up since a balance-of-payments crisis in 1991 prompted the Congress government of the day to scrap a dotty system of economic planning and end India's economic isolation. India's share of world trade has grown and inflation has come down. Poverty seems to have fallen substantially, although methodological problems with measuring it make that less certain. India may not yet be the belle of the global ball but thanks to reform she is at least on the guest list.

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