Two news items today lifts up the spirits after the continuous spate of news on misgovernance, Mamata, corruption and silly IPL. Firstly India has surpassed Japan to become the third largest economy in the world and secondly the successsful launch of AGNI-V missile.
The first piece of news is a statistical fact (oxymoron ?) and should be taken as such. It does not really reflect the ground level reality that the common and average Indian faces but still it is a big achievement. Frankly speaking it has happened not entirely due to our initiatives but mainly due to the decelaration of the other economies . This has to be borne in mind and it is important for us to keep up the momentum and stay ahead of competition.
The second news is quite heartening and everybody concerned needs to be lauded for the achievement. It is a big technological upgrade and the precision of the operation is very morale boosting . It is being called as a deterrent weapon and a gamechanger and maybe it is so.
Invariably, both the news are being analysed against the backdrop of our pet bugbear of the recent times, China. Here also there is scope to feel smug as we seem to have overcome the psyche of comparison with Pakistan and probably left them behind by miles except for the constant irritation of terrorism festering as a skin infection.
While there has been no reaction from China on the upgradation of Indian status on the economic front because probably they still have not developed any hangups with silly indexes like GDP, PPP, IIP etc to define the contours of their economy. They are not really bothered about all these economic jargons as long as they can exploit all resources of this earth in the production lines of their factories and use the simple theory of mass production to price the goods very cheaply, extinguish competition and spread their hegemony on the world. There is a degree of cockyness about this approach but it is mainly a bye-product of their closed and opaque society and will ultimately meet its nemesis , in due course. What that will mean for everyone else is a different matter to ponder but that is a tale for another day
More interesting , sllighly intiguing (as always with the Chinese) and very amusing (for the time being) are the reactions emanating from them on the second news . The successful missile test by India seems to have put China in a quandry and they have tried to hit out at India like a peeved neighbour envious of the new boundary wall put by a householder to stop trespassing. Downright ludicruous is their attempt to downplay the Indian achievement by predicting that India can never catch up with China in military might. If India can surpass Germany and Japan in net economy then why not China militarily , if situation demands?
Or is it the fact that military upgradation ( however unwanted or unnecessary) by India is stretching China beyond their means too. Or does the capability of striking Beijing anytime from the shores of Odhisha has really flustered the Chinese. They were very recently flexing their muscles with incursions on Arunachal Pradesh borders . They are also trying to surround India with unfriendly neighbours with their creeping presence in Nepal,Sri Lanka and now Myanmar. Thats because in the race for the top spot in economic superpowerdom, India is the only threat for them. It is surprising for them ( and also for many Indians too ) how India has achieved so much in spite of the inherent contradictions and pestilence of democracy. In spite of their facade of centrally unified command, China is a fragmented society within. And they are always wary of external influences which is the biggest impediment to a free society.
Time will tell how India matches up to China. But one thing is certain and that ironically is the strength of India which many of us have not yet realised and there is no effort to develop . Our main resource is the much maligned population increase. We will definitely surpass China in the foreseeable future and continue to spread throughout the world . This will be a natural progression because our land area will not support the population explosion . Its a pity that we do not care about our biggest resource and make it qualitatively more efficient through education and healthcare , the two basic and simple needs of the society.
With a large population equipped with education and health, economic and technological achievements as experienced today would be much more deeply satisfying and savouring.