Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sone ki chidiya - the less understood part of our past glory

Indians have only now started coming out of a defeatist mentality of living in the past glory of indian civilization. Today's indian is confident - and often wants to mingle with the whole world and pick what is best - including things at odds with the traditions.

That is of course a very healthy thing. Contrary to popular oldies' cries, the typical indian youth has maintained her interest and pride in indian culture while embracing new ideas from west or east. What i would want to focus upon in this article is the fact that not many indians (including the oldies) are aware of the phenomenal economic might of the indian subcontinent throughout most of the known history of human civilization. We often take great pride in our culture - almost always in a apologist attitude that we dont have money but we have values. What i am saying is that throughout most of the human history, we had values alright, but we had money as well; and tons of it!

Watch out for the following numbers.
Share of Indian GDP in global GDP was as follows
1st Century - 33%
10 century - 30%
15 century - 25%
16th century - 25%
17th century - 25%
18th century - 18%
19th century - 12%
1920 - 8%
1950 - 4%
2000 - 5%
2008 - 8%

Where does that leave us? We missed out briefly on the industrial revolution and got left behind and ruled over for ~200 years; taking away our lead for a couple of centuries. That aside, we were always the most prosperous part of the world. We are again set to be so. If you leave out 19th and 20th Centuries, India pretty much is the centre of the world.

And it looks all set to be in the decades to come. We always led the world economically, spiritually, intellectually. We will need to continue doing that in the decades to come. The world anyways looks lost without a sensible leader.
What we are growing into is not a miracle or a emerging economy doing well - it is our rightful position under the sun.


No comments: