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Reshaping India in the New Global Context

Subhash C. Jain and Ben L. Kedia

This book traces the history of India’s progress since its independence in 1947 and advances strategies for continuing economic growth. Insiders and outsiders that have criticized India for slow economic growth fail to recognize all it has achieved in the last seven decades, including handling the migration of over 8 million people from Pakistan, integrating over 600 princely states into the union, managing a multi-language population into one nation and resolving the food problem. The end result is a democratic country with a strong institutional foundation. Following the growth strategies outlined in the book and with a strong leadership, India has the potential to stand out as the third largest economy in the world in the next 25 to 30 years.
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Chapter 6: Contemplating the future

Subhash C. Jain and Ben L. Kedia

Extract

As India began its endeavors to develop the economy, it faced a variety of problems that created obstacles for smooth progress. Firstly, China invaded India in 1962. Then, Nehru passed away in 1964, temporarily creating a vacuum in leadership. Meanwhile, the continuing trouble with Pakistan took its toll. In addition, bad monsoon rains in successive years meant farmers were unable to feed India’s growing population. About the same time in 1965, the constitutional provision to make Hindi a national language after 15 years became a major issue, especially among non-Hindi-speaking states. The country was at a critical juncture whereby a mistake in this matter could split the country. Fortunately, Prime Minister Shastin took the bold step of extending the role of English as a national language while non-Hindi people were unwilling to accept Hindi. After Shastin died, Indira Ghandi became prime minister. In her initial years, Bangladesh was established as an independent country from Pakistan. More importantly, however, the country adapted Mexican high-yield wheat to Indian growing conditions, solving the country’s food shortage problem.

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