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What India Needs to Fix To Become A Superpower

18 February 2021

Having Several Strong Characteristics, India Is Next in Line to Become a Superpower. Here Are Few Things It Needs to Fix First.

If we look at everything at their disposal, India is superpower worthy. It’s a change of mindset and tapping into the natural resources they already have, to climb the ranks of superpower, quickly and effortlessly.

Let’s see what they can improve to achieve this.

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1

Rethink What the Word Superpower Means

First and foremost, we are not bashing India. This is something that would benefit not only India, but the entire world. To have a nation that ultimately wants peace and prosperity for all, barring a few bad apples, is unique and should be supported.

The word superpower = development which often ends up exploiting natural resources and the very people that should be benefitting from this status.

Infrastructure, big industry, and modern facilities should never be at the cost of livelihood, human rights, and health.

Becoming a superpower does mean growth and development, absolutely, but at what cost? The word superpower means to exert influence or power on a global scale, but is it possible to exert a different kind of power and influence?

Perhaps these words from Indian spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are worth pursuing, “love and serve others without wanting anything in return.” Perhaps adopting that mind set will filtrate around the world. Perhaps

2

Diplomacy and Smooth International Relations

India has been steadily working on improving foreign relations, and Indiatoday.com highlighted several areas that India improved on from 2018.

“India welcomed Trump’s tough message for Pakistan to stop its policy of supporting cross-border terrorism.”

“India gave financial assistance of USD 1.4 bn to Maldives amid worry over its China debt.”

The article, written by Geeta Mohan, also mentions that India became the 43rd member of the Australia Group, which aims to prevent the growth of biological and chemical weapons.

Of course, there are many challenges that lie ahead – like Cross-border terrorism, India’s CAATSA Sanctions, which means the US could pose sanctions against India due to India getting military equipment from Russia, and Chinese Expansionism.

If soon India is a superpower or not, relies massively on the fact whether if India can cope with all of the aforementioned facts.

3

Focus More on Their Gains Already Accumulated

If you consider what India has managed to do since the end of colonial rule in 1947, it’s pretty impressive.

Despite years of colonial rule, India moved in the right direction with unifying its diverse population. Considering that India has 2,000-odd castes, 8 “major” religions, roughly 15 spoken languages with different dialects and many tribes and sects… it can be quite a challenge to have everyone live 100% harmoniously.

Some areas of concern are ethnic conflict in Assam, Sikh-Hindu conflict in Punjab, Muslim- Hindu conflict and anti-Christian violence. There’s more but acknowledging how far they’ve come could motivate India to continue working on abolishing divisive cultural and religious issues, which we’ll expand on next.

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4

Practice Equality

If India could encourage equality in diversity, it would be a vital step in becoming a superpower. If, instead of fighting each over religion, castes, and gender; people came together to fight for each other and issues that directly affect all Indian citizens, it wouldn’t be long before things could turn.

When its people are divided, progress is difficult. Coming together to eradicate illiteracy, poverty, and environmental issues, off the bat, would benefit all.

Regardless of religion, gender, nationality, caste and so forth, treating everyone equally is a goal that will help India develop into a superpower. And this goal is not just for India, it’s a goal that every country worldwide should be aiming for.

5

Education

Most developed countries have a great education system in place.

The literacy rate in India according to knowindia.gov is 74.04 per cent: 82.14 for males and 65.46 for females. And according to oxfamindia.org, “India is ranked at 123 out of 135 countries in female literacy rate.”

The reason that India is so far behind in literacy is due to the social and economic divide in the country and it’s a repetitive cycle that needs to be eradicated.

6

Healthcare

In an article written by Arvind Kasthuri titled, “Challenges to Healthcare in India” he focuses on 5 A’s of the healthcare system:

  1. Awareness or the lack of it.
  2. Access or the lack of it.
  3. Absence or the human power crisis in healthcare.
  4. Affordability or the cost of healthcare.
  5. Accountability or the lack of it.

He adds the results of a study done in 2012 which revealed, “many of the primary health centres (PHCs) lacked basic infrastructural facilities such as beds, wards, toilets, drinking water facility, clean labor rooms for delivery, and regular electricity.”

Working on these two areas are essential to India becoming a superpower.

7

Ensure Implementation of Laws and Acts

Implementing and enforcing laws in India has always been a battle. Despite the correct legislation in place, the rules are not enforced.

For example, there are rules in place to reduce violence against women – but are they enforced? Sadly, not. The National Family Health Survey reports that 30% of women aged 15-49 have been the victims of physical violence.

In an article by Neha Chauhan called, “How gender-based violence in India continues to rise,” published on yourstory.com – she explains that “The widespread socio-economic dependency of women underlines this unbalanced equation with their husbands and other family members.

The fear of social exclusion and banishment, and the lack of effective response to violence sees the Indian woman face continuing violence and intimidation.

Laws regarding land rights, environmental degradation, rights of farmers and so on are not adhered to. These issues have to be paid the right attention for India to become a superpower.

According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, India ranks #66 out of 113 nations in terms of effective and timely enforcement of laws.

8

Prioritise Basic Necessities of Its Citizens

What are the basic needs of all citizens?

Food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education and healthcare.

McKinsey Global Institute released a research report documenting the minimum economic cost that would meet these needs. Their results showed that “680 million Indians, or 56 per cent of the population, lacks the means to meet their essential needs.”

So, if India wants to become a superpower, then their people’s absolute basic needs must be met. The very people that are building the empire need to benefit from it. They deserve easy access to all basic necessities and then some.

9

Work on Building a Strong Economy

In our video, Can India Overtake the US and China as the Strongest Economy, we ask several questions regarding India’s economy.

How strong is India’s economy?

Can India overtake the US and China as the strongest economy?

Where is the Indian economy headed?

What is holding back India’s progress?

So, be sure to watch this video for an in-depth analysis of India’s economy.

Syed Saleem Ali contributed to groupdiscussionideas.com on “How can India become a superpower?” He felt that even though foreign investment is picking up, it’s mainly to capture Indian markets. He added that Indian products could not compete globally and was only used by locals and that needed to change.

India is the 4th largest economy in the world, producing $9.4 trillion in goods and services in 2017. However, it still trails behind China, the EU and the US.

10

Execution Strategies for the Benefit of India

One of the ways that India can help their economy and increase their chance of becoming a superpower is to maintain excellent relations with their neighbours but to also ensure that any countries benefiting from India’s growth, also support India’s strategic goals.

And that is not currently happening with China. As published in the New York Times in June 2020, Maria Abi-Habib brought forward that India would probably lean on the USA more after Indian and Chinese troops clashed on the Himalayan border, leaving 20 Indian soldiers dead.

As she says, “For years, the United States and its allies have tried to persuade India to become a closer military and economic partner in confronting China’s ambitions, painting it as a chance for the world’s largest democracy to counterbalance the largest autocracy.”

As Tanvi Madan, the director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution added, “China doesn’t particularly want India to succeed. A weaker India will do less strategically in its own neighbourhood, allowing China to step in more; and it will engage less in places like East Africa or in regional institutions, posing little challenge to China.”

11

Using Their Large Population to Their Advantage

As Indian politician Shashi Tharoor once said, “Ultimately, what matters in determining the validity of a nation is the will of its inhabitants to live and strive together,” and with a population of 1.35-billion inhabitants, India is a force to be reckoned with.

India has 50% of its population below the age of 24 which means there are plenty of fresh, young minds with a lot to offer the country. It’s a massive workforce that could last a few decades.

India will never have a problem with a decline in their workforce, and with 125-million English speakers, their global impact will be huge.

12

Focusing More on the Environment

India is not scoring well on their environmental issues and with so many young people, it’s time to start fixing these problems.

The 2018 Environmental Performance Index ranked India 177 out of 180 countries when it came to their handling of environmental issues.

An article published on lowyinsitute.org written by Aarti Betigeri titled “Choking point: India’s environmental crisis,” said, “For a country with global leadership aspirations, India’s woeful environmental ranking could be a particularly embarrassing result.” He paints a grim picture by explaining that each January, the pollution is so bad in Delhi that visibility is only around 2-meters.

They are making small strides to repair damage, but given the current situation, will take many years to repair.

In case you are wondering where most of the pollution in the world comes from, check out 15 Biggest Polluting Industries in the World.

13

Freedom of Speech Must Be Encouraged

If government supported this 100%, it becomes easier to see where people are struggling or are dissatisfied, and they can work on proactively fixing the problems.

When this question, “does India have freedom of speech?” was put forward on Quora, several contributors left a firm “no.” Many stated that Indian’s only have “freedom of speech” if they’re saying what the government wants them to say.

Aakar Patel affirmed this on South China Morning Post claiming, “Free speech in India, while apparently guaranteed by the constitution, is in many cases forbidden in practice.”

14

Embrace Science and Facts

Any country on their way to being a superpower needs to embrace science and facts. Like many countries that come up with a few bizarre explanations for things, India is no different.

As “Overrated Outcast” submitted to scroll.in, “If there is one pervading emotion that defines us as a country, it is denial. Denial is actually our national sport, but we’re too chicken to admit it, so we pretend it is hockey.”

Strange utterings have included blaming Chow Mein for hormonal imbalance, the denial of peacocks’ ability to reproduce and Narendra Modi claiming that it wasn’t the climate that changed, but the people that had changed. For growth in the 21st century, it’s ultra-important to embrace science and facts.

15

Industry Must Be a Key Focus

The richest man in India is Mukesh Ambani, whom we featured in our video, 15 Business Lessons from Mukesh Ambani. He said, “I think that our fundamental belief is that for us growth is a way of life and we have to grow at all times.”

This applies to industry in India too, and India is making great strides. Between 2011 and 2015, 90-million people rose out of extreme poverty according to statista.com. They are a rising economic power and are large suppliers of pharmaceuticals, cars, motorbikes, machinery, tools, tractors, and forged steel. There’s gems, gold, asbestos, marble, coal, oil and gas – just to name a few of India’s big exports.

By keeping these industries as the key focus for growth, Mukesh’s brother, Dhirubhai Ambani’s dream of seeing India as a great superpower could become a reality. As he said, “I dream of India becoming a great economic superpower.”

Question:

Aluxers, what do you think India needs to fix to become a superpower? Let us know in the comments below.