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INDIA AS A SUPERPOWER

The term “superpower” is often used loosely in popular discourse to describe anything that
achieves unmatched dominance from the status achieved in international affairs. A somewhat
more precise definition: a “superpower” is a country that has the capacity to project dominating
power and influence anywhere in the world, and sometimes, in more than one region of the globe
at a time, and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemony. The basic components of
superpower stature may be measured along four axes of power: military, economic, political, and
cultural. For India to become a super power the year 2020 is probably a bit optimistic, as this
development could likely take until 2035 or 2050 due to economic reasons.

India already holds some of the requisite characteristics of a "superpower". India has 1/5 of the
world's total population and is ranked as high as 4th in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
It also possesses nuclear weapons. The Indian Navy is the strongest in its region, and may be
able to project sea power globally within a decade or two. However, the per-capita GDP of India
is low, ranked 128th among the world's nations, and pressures will increase to provide domestic
consumer services and goods. It remains to be seen how internal economic and governmental
changes will affect India.

India is already moving up economic league tables with the 12th largest economy in the world,
according to the World Bank. It also ranked 45th in the internationally respected 2009 Legatum
Prosperity Index - which embraces social and political data to provide a wider measure of
national success. Total Indian GDP has risen 193% per cent in the past decade, from USD 416
billion in 1998 to USD 1.22 trillion in 2008. According to respondents in the new survey of
Indian entrepreneurs and business managers, India is now on course to outstrip the USA, Japan,
Germany and the fast-emerging economic giant of China over the next two decades. India can
become the superpower of the world in a matter of 15-20 years if we can elect a good leadership
to lead us and rule us. It is the leadership of the country that moves the country forward or
backward. Indian President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam in his famous book written in 1998 envisions
that India can become a developed country by 2020. The evils that we see in India today like
corruption, public sector inefficiency, religious tensions, lack of development, poverty, illiteracy,
poor infrastructure, and corrupt leaderships that place their interests over the interests of the
Nation cause shortages. Corruption is the root causes of India's backwardness. The damage
caused by corruption on the country's economy and progress is unimaginable. India has all the
human and material resources that are required to become a superpower; it is only a question of
management.

In a first step towards becoming superpower, India can displace the United States as the global
software superpower by 2020, a report by IT research firm Gartner has said. The report says that
to become numero uno in the software field, India will have to maintain competitive advantage,
build infrastructure and soft skill development. The Indian IT industry needs high growth of
economy, primary education revamps, high quality labour pool and increased global geopolitical
influence in the country for the growth to sustain, the report suggests. People must be ambitious;
they must have high desires. India is pretty strong on the first three requirements and that is why
India can become a superpower.

Indians are among the most intelligent people of the world. India has an immense resource of
experienced, high caliber professionals in all spheres of knowledge and technology. There is no
goal that these professionals cannot achieve, if the right conditions are provided, because they
are as good as anyone else in the developed countries. The achievements of India and Indians
worldwide in areas of space technology, nuclear technology, agricultural research, and software
development gives a glimpse of what this sleeping tiger is capable of. India has economically
and industrially advanced to a level from where further development can be much more
accelerated.

India has immense capital that is lying dormant with individuals due to lack of awareness about
investment instruments as well as trustworthy avenues for investments. Gold in the possession of
individual families is an example as well a result of this situation. The Indian market is very huge
and it can support any degree of growth. The country has much more natural resources in
comparison to many other developed countries. Considering these strengths, if India is ruled well
with the right economic and social policies, India has all the potential to achieve a growth rate of
13% which would take the 1999 per capita income of $1600 to $34,000 by the year 2025, which
would be equal to the UK per capita income in 2025, assuming that the 1999 UK per capita
income of $22,000 grows at 2%. This 2% growth rate is considered to be a realistic long-term
growth rate for a developed country like UK. Empires rise and fall.

The British Empire where the sun never set does not exist any more. The mighty USSR has
disappeared. There is no historical reason to believe that the richest and the strongest nations of
today will remain like that forever. India and China are poised to take those positions. Why India
has not achieved the goal yet and what will prevent India from achieving this goal in future? We
focus too much on social and religious matters and too little on economic matters. Non-economic
issues like temple-mosque disputes determine the outcome of national elections in India. This
trend is now changing and focus is turning to economy and that is why India has good prospects
to develop economically. As a result leaders who focus on economy and the country rather than
religious and social issues will rise.

The ascension of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam and Manmohan Singh as President and Prime Minister
is a clear indication of this welcome phenomenon. I would define developed country status as
follows. Over 90% of the population will be living in modern houses having toilet, electricity,
pipe water, fans, cooking gas, television, telephone, and a fridge. More than 50% of the
population will have a family car. The roads will be of international standards. Buses and trains
will be neat and fast, keeping time. Electricity will not fail and telephones will work always.
Towns and cities will be clean. People will get good and affordable education and healthcare.
Taxes will be reasonable and prices affordable and stable. You will not have to bribe any one. To
achieve all this in a short span of 15-20 years, in a predominantly rural economy like India,
agricultural produces should fetch much higher prices, similar to industrial products. Therefore
farmers will be able to pay high wages to agricultural labour, thus elevating the masses of India
to a higher economic standing. The increased buying power of the rural sector will boost the
industrial and urban sector, thus setting off a chain reaction of economic development,
catapulting India to superpower status.