Friday, August 13, 2010
India celebrates it's 63rd Independence Day on August 15th. The world has been reading the India Shining story for the past few years. Tom Freidman's book, The World is Flat, shines a spotlight on the rapid pace of development and growth in India and has put India on the radar of global business leaders. Bangalore and Hyderabad have become household names as companies like IBM, Microsoft and Cisco have setup large development and research centers in these cities. India's GDP growth has been immune to the global meltdown and continues to register impressive increases.
Being on the ground, the effect of growth and development is very much evident to us. But you can't miss the fact that a large number of Indians continue to live in poverty. Lack of education and malnutrition for millions of children is still a serious problem. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase giving rise to discontent. Local governments continue to remain oblivious to serious development issues. Cities are bursting to accommodate growth and the infrastructure can barely meet the current demand. India has more billionaires today than it has ever had but philanthropy is sadly lacking.
As we sit here and watch the two different Indias, we wonder where things will be in another decade. Which path will the country choose as it moves forward? Will the development remain chaotic or will it be managed effectively for long term sustainability and prosperity?