Understanding India’s growth paradoxes and their Impact on Indian Society

India, 21st century’s one of the fastest growing country. From last 70 years, India has proved the mettle on various fronts of Poverty, Low Economic Development, Low Literacy rates, Lack of Industrialisation and what not. Just imagine any Economic or Social trauma, India has fought that.

But, In spite of all these challenges, the way India has moved on path of Economic Development is commendable. India as a country has come long way but as a Nation where all the members of Society have access to basic means of life is a matter of concern and topic for this article. 

India’s Growth Paradoxes refers to all the contrasting situations which Growth instigating forces have created and thus creating newer challenges. Many a times, the methodology adopted to counter one issue has resulted into another issue, for e.g. after Independence in 1947, one crucial front for India was lack of Modern Industries and Subsidence Agriculture. Industries were present but mostly out of technology as well as resources hungry. Agriculture was backbone of Indian economy pre independence but it was mainly to feed the population that too in minimal sense. So, there was an urgent need to bring out the possible changes to fire the engine of Development. During that time, the task of instigating element of growth was given to Dr. P.C Mahalanobis, referred to as Architect of Indian Planning. He was an able economist and a well versed visionary. He knew that if Indian Economy has to perform, Industrial Sector has to play leadership role. It was his vision with which Rapid Industrialisation was started. Within a Five Year Plan from year 1951-1956, India’s GDP outperformed the planned number and started fetching desired result. 

But on the same front, Indian Agriculture was not able to perform the way it had to. 

It is very well established fact that Indian Agriculture is dependent on various Natural events like Monsoon, Droughts etc. During Rapid Industrialisation, Industries stated producing, Mines started Exploring but what remained at stagnation was the condition of Indian Agriculture and allied sectors on which major section of Population is dependent.

With the advent of foreign powers, India gradually lost its status of being Gold sink. With coming of British East India Company in India, the situation got worsened. British East India Company did all what was needed for Economic drain, so whether it was the demand for Raw materials to feed the resources hungry England’s factories, British East India Company followed the ‘Policy of Economic Exploitation’. So, earlier economically self sustaining Villages of India were converted into Raw material producing fields and their natives as Labourers. 

This was beginning of troubles for Indian Population. Population which was earlier self sustaining and economically capable got into crunches of economic exploitation. Owners of Lands were converted into workers and Lands were converted into farms. The sophisticated fabric of economic, social and political unity of India was also damaged. 

This could be credited as the ‘Mother of Growth Paradoxes/ of India’s growth and development. Mentioning this historical aspect of Exploitation of British East India Company is important for this article as without this, understanding the present challenges would become tough. 

Coming to present time, India is an economy with a stable growth rate, an economy which very intelligently and efficiently faced the 2008 global slowdown. Today India is one of the favoured Destinations for Investment all around the world. Thanks to the credibility of ours economy to return a good profit. 

But whether this magnificent 70 years of Growth has managed to trickle down from top to bottom of Indian Population? This is the question for which finding answer is need of the hour. 

Indian Population is mix of various Religions with people belonging to the different regions. Our Geographical diversity has very well contributed to our Ethnic as well as Cultural Diversity. 

But this diversity is not only limited to Socio-Cultural Diversity but it has also created a Diversity of Social and Political issues. Social Inequalities of Illiteracy, Casteism etc have severely damaged the fabric of Indian oneness. Economic Inequalities of Income Disparities in which major resources are owned by top 10% of the population. Rest 90% population has to manage in 10% of available resources. These are the Paradoxes of our last 70 years of Development where focus to Economic Development was stressed so much that it resulted in critical state of Social Development. 

Answering these Paradoxes is very important if we have to make our Population free from the crunches of Socio-Political Inequalities. 

Year 2014 has seen the emergence of a leader which enjoys the people’s credibility. The present Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi has come up to power with clear Majority in lower house of Indian Parliament, a rare occurrence in post Economic reform era of 1990’s. This Credibility reflects the clear aspirations of Indian people, aspirations of getting a Social Status where Inequalities of any kind would be a rare scene. Children getting proper nutrition and education. Social fabrics getting so strong that Indian sciety should get sense of oneness.

India is a nation which from last one thousand of years has shown a resilience to maintain a strong social oneness. It is very evident that from medieval era, Riots and clashes in Indian villages were rare events. Indian has accommodated the changing parameters so well that it has become a leading player in them, India’s performance in Information and Communication Technology is one such example.

But in spite of all favourable elements, People are still facing various socio-political issues. It is because till now Sensitivity is missing from our Socio-Economic planning. Sensitivity of accommodating the weaker section of population to changing global market requirements. Present Government’s scheme of Skill India, Stand up India is one such attempt to encounter these Socio=political evils in Indian Society.  Understanding these Paradoxes of India’s Growth and Development is very crucial because these are creating issues for not only India but many other developing countries around the world.