My Speech

Snce, anyway, its “like your old blog entries, all smart” and “speechy” anyway…

Episode 59: A New Hope

Everybody is a pessimist.

I say this in spite of the buoyant markets, in spite of India Shining, in spite of a breakthrough nuclear pact, because for all our celebration, we are not celebrating as much as we should.

Let’s take a look at some statistics… for all the accusations of the mass media “being” corporate globalization,and are generating undue hype in its support, no one has yet claimed that numbers can lie. Even if we accept that the currently sky-high markets are fickle and an unreliable indicator, there is no denying that we have come a long way. From that midnight nearly 60 years ago when our first Prime Minister sought to fulfill his “tryst with destiny”, we have proceeded at least to lay the foundations and raise the walls of the “noble mansion of free India.”

Our Gross Domestic product- the national income, in layman’s terms- of over 3 trillion dollars, adjusted for price differences, makes us one of the 5 largest earners in the world. Our growth rate of nearly 8% means we are, for once, achieving our goals. We have ceased to be a predominantly agricultural nation and we are starting to show the signs of a developed nation – agriculture contributes less than a quarter and services nearly half to the economy.

Now the time has come for India to consolidate its gains – build the roof of the mansion to continue with the analogy. We gained political liberty at midnight 59 years ago, but it is only now that we have come close to achieving true economic freedom for the vast masses that are the true face of India Our political systems and our democracy is a success because we have managed to forge the Indian mosaic into a single cohesive unit, that speaks and acts as a sovereign nation. We have managed to become “concerned capitalists”… placing necessities for the rural poor above gadgets for the urban rich. We must continue unnhesitantly on the path to economic liberation and we should start on the path to leadership – the first step being a permanent seat on the Security Council of the United Nations. Let us leave this sorry stage of doubt, and leap forward- paraphrasing the great man once again- embracing our destiny! I end on the same note that I began: hope, not longing; optimism, not nostalgia. Jai Hind!

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