Posted By

Tags

A great nation battles with belittling problems

India will mark its 67th Independence Day with challenging situations ahead.

The country must find ways to cope with the self-created problems and those perpetrated by external factors.

Political observers, policy-makers, academics, journalists and others should perceive a nation’s polity, economy and society in the right perspective, understand its challenges and problems and assess how these are being tackled.

India has been a subject of unfair criticism in recent years.

It would be unfair to condemn a nation, ignoring its vicissitudes and peculiar attributes.

Following its independence from colonial British rule on August 15, 1947, India marched towards a wave of democracy and anti-colonialism; and championed the cause of Non-Alignment and global peace. The country’s leadership worked closely with international multilateral organisations such as the United Nations without compromising autonomy.

Building defence

During the Cold War years (which ended in 1991), India stood for peace but continued to develop its own defence capability and leveraged its military power occasionally.

This changed with unipolar politics. Now, with the onset of bipolar world, India stands as an emerging great power and as an interlocutor for various nations in regional and international organisations.

The country has expanded its range and scope of diplomatic and economic initiatives, which are felt in countries of South Pacific. These include increased participation in regional issues and enhanced diplomatic and economic influence in organisations such as APEC, ASEAN and Pacific Islands Forum.

However, even as it tries to expand its presence in regions other than its traditional stronghold in South Asia, India faces stiff internal challenges.

The country is bursting in its seams with mass agitations against corruption and regional and sectarian violence. As a democratic nation, the government machinery, both at the federal and state levels, tries to find solutions without affecting its territorial integrity and national unity. Such solutions are often characterised by political overtones, with politicians attempting to make the best use of the imbroglio.

Youth Power

The bold market reforms, initiated in 1991, have yielded results, making India an important destination for investors, international companies and entrepreneurs. The country’s expertise in information technology, computer hardware and software and highly qualified and comparatively inexpensive labour, has provided a major thrust for improved commercial opportunities.

The presence of almost all major corporates, manufacturers and businesses has created new and unexpected employment opportunities to the younger members of the society.

The reforms have also spelt greater social mobility, increasing the number of people migrating from rural to urban areas.

Other challenges

Apart from coping with political problems, fragmentation and polarisation, the federal and several state governments have also been faced with electricity and water shortages, the challenge of providing better education and healthcare and most importantly, maintaining law and order. Compounding these challenges are flash floods, famine and other natural disasters that occur from time to time.

But, as it is often said, India has a knack of surmounting even formidable problems.

Indo-Kiwi relations

While India enjoys friendly relations with New Zealand, efforts towards closer economic cooperation have largely remained on paper. Several rounds of talks later, both countries are in the same position as they were before the talks began seven years ago for a Free Trade Agreement. Such a pact remains as remote as it has always been.

However, there have been some improvements in some areas. Student numbers from India have shown a marked rise in the past four years to reach 7000, making India the second largest source for international education in New Zealand.

Many major Indian companies have established their presence in New Zealand in recent years and the opening of two major, nationalised banks (Bank of Baroda and Bank of India) with fully-owned subsidiaries have made a difference to Indian business community.

The world has realised the huge potential in India and wants constructive engagement in a number of sectors.

The problem is that India is to yet to come to terms with its own strengths. At the moment, it is battling with its weaknesses.

It will one day rise to lead the world.

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement