Incredible India, the New Soft Power

Our country spotlight of India continues as we take a look at the country’s population size, the diversity of religions, and how the country became known as the land of “computer gurus”.

John Robinson, Cambridge economist said, “The frustrating thing about India is whatever you may rightly say about India, the opposite is also true.” This logic is still applied in many contexts to India.

Population Bomb to Human Capital:

Due to nearly two centuries of continuous strategic exploitation by the British, India, one of the world’s flourishing nations, became one of the poorest nations at the time of independence.  After independence, uncontrolled population growth added fuel to the fire.

Just a few decades earlier, many people both inside and outside of India naturally believed that India was going to disappear from the world map due to explosion of its population bomb. They also thought that India would be a great example for “Malthusian Catastrophe”.

international student voice magazine india populationPerhaps Thomas Robert Malthus did not even expect that India would prove his theory —more population leads to more famines and epidemics. Wrong! Paul Enrich, author of the book The Population Bomb mentioned that “I do not see how India could possibly feed two million more people by 1980.”

Most interestingly, Dr. Chandrasekhar, a former health and family planning minister of India said, “ Our house is on fire, if we focused more on sterilization , we can get the blaze under control.” These statements clearly indicates the gravity of panic about the population of India at that time.

Now, the notion about India has changed a lot. The whole world is looking toward India through a different lens. India applied its logic and presented its population in a different way. Once the people who called the Indian population as a “population bomb” are now forced to call the same population as “Human Capital”.  This magic is called “Incredible India”.

international student voice india population final
Dark Orange: 100,000,001 and above
Dark Yellow: 50,000,001-100,000,000
Light Yellow: 25,000,001-50,000,001
Light Green: 10,000,001-25,000,000
Dark Green: 10,000,001- and below

 

Today, India has one of the youngest populations with a median age of 26 and around sixty five percent of the Indian population is below the age of 35.  This young demographic population is the secret weapon of future India.

Where rest of the world is aging quickly, scholars predict that by the end of the 2020, the average age of India will be 29. When compared to the rest of the world,  the average age in China and the United States will be 37 and in Western Europe and Japan the average age will be 48 years old.

This young population contributes immensely to the country’s economic growth. According to IMF by 2025, even though China has more people than India, India will have the world’s largest working age population and it will boost its growth further if leveraged by good policies.

Greatest divide to greatest unite:

India is a very diverse country. Today India is home for eight major religions. Many people said that religion will be biggest divider to India. All the criticizers of Indian secular credentials were forced to change their mind by the general election results of 2004.

international student voice indian-religionsIn 2004, during general elections Indians elected a party which was led by Sonia Gandhi, an Italian born Roman Catholic who is a Christian. After their grand victory she made way to Dr. Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister, who is a Sikh. He was sworn in by Dr. A.P.J Abdul kalam, then President of India, who is a Muslim. These three together ruled the country in which majority people are Hindus. Isn’t it incredible?

Let us compare these things with the largest surviving democracy, the United States, where throughout the 200 years of history only the man who is a Christian has become the President.

These incredible things will not happen overnight. There might be some processes and reasons behind this achievement. The majority of the community happen to be Hindus. They worship many gods, not a single god, so they are generally pluralistic in nature.

Quite interesting thing is, many Hindus visit mosques and offer special prayers at mosques. This is perhaps because India also ruled by some Muslim kings many years back. The Hindus also visit and offer prayers at church. Most of the Indians also visit Gurudwara’s Sikhs place of prayer.

If you ever visit India, it is not uncommon that you will find a temple where you will hear holy prayers, but just beside it you will also hear Muslim prayers from mosque. You will also hear Christian prayers. It will happen only in India.

Man-eaters to Computer gurus:

Real estate sector in Bangalore
Real estate sector in Bangalore

Couple of decade’s back, when computers were first arrived to India many people thought that these were man eating machines. India has a huge population so if you installed one computer, it would eat around hundred jobs. This was the notion back then.

But today, the whole world is looking towards Indians as “computer wizards and software gurus” because Indians are extraordinary performers in the field of software. In fact, this is the first field which changed the Indian economic landscape in recent decades.

India is one world leading exporter of IT services. Bangalore is considered to be Silicon Valley of India. Indian companies are performing extraordinarily in this software industry.

Some interesting facts about India:

India is the only country in the world which has four names: India, Hindustan, Bharat, and Aryavartha.

India is the largest democracy, seventh largest country, and one of the most ancient civilizations.

India never invaded any other country.

Before 1896, India was the only place where diamonds could be found.

The biggest and largest employer in the world is Indian railways, which provide employment to more than one million people.

India has more number of post offices and banks than any country in the world.

Many Indian wives do not call their husbands by their names because they feel this is disrespectful. They use some terms like ‘ji’, ‘saheb’ ‘Amandi’or  ‘hello’ or ‘look here’ even when referring to him as father of her child.

international student voice Digamber Eslampure

Article written by ISV Ambassador, Digamber Eslampure.

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