Mystery of ‘The India Story’

India will be 2-trillion economies this year, and as persons such as Mr. MV Kamath and Anil Ambani predict, by 2015 0r 2020 India, may be a 5-trillion economy. Further, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit recently in India said, “Whichever way you look — consumers, innovation, spending, globalisation — India is at the centre of the thing.” I wonder what all it constitutes this figure or that of the country’s GDP. And how should we access India story?

Does GDP constitute the hawala money going out of the country every day? Some estimates it to the extent of Rs 3,00,000 crore annually.

Does it take care of the wealth of persons such as Hasan Ali Khan in banks in foreign countries? The government can only assess it correctly. As reported, a Liechtenstein bank has shared a list of 26 Indians who hold foreign accounts there. But how many banks in tax havens are having the stashed account of Indians and what will be the total wealth involved? Can there be a right estimate?

Does it include the wealth such as one discovered from the muth of Puri? Many mutts in Puri or in the whole of India are having such wealth? A similar report also claimed that the gold and other valuables with Jagannath temple are worth Rs 500 crore. The whole of India knows about the wealth of temples in South such as Tirupati. Stories of persons such as Bachchan and Ambani offering crores worth of diamond and gold keep on appearing in media. How much the country’s gold and valuables are stocked with thousands of temples and shrines?

Indians love gold and silver from ages. What will be the gold in India of 1 billion plus population if every family numbering even 30 million posses just 1 once of it?

I remember the news report about MP Birla’s wealth in his house. He had huge amount of gold and silver coins with jewels starting from Chandra Gupta Maurya period. It got reveled because of a legal case. Can someone access the wealth of the thousands of business families in India? Stories of other former kings such as Nizam, Maharaja of Darbhanga, and hundreds like them keep on appearing in media.

If one takes into considerations all the wealth already existing and getting accumulated, India may get much nearer to the top position or even exceed. India may thus be a much larger economy than what it’s officially.

Coming back to other India stories, it is really a great one. In every sector and facet of activities in every corner of the globe the persons of Indian origin are achieving the heights never scaled by their ancestors in that number. It’s something to be proud of. Many Indian companies are today really MNCs. The world recognizes today the role of Indians in R&D. It is evident from the number of R&D centres set up by so many of many Fortune 500 companies in India. In every part of the globe Indians are making their presence felt. Many CEOs are becoming visible worldwide as better managers.

But when MPs like Bimal Jalan or NK Singh and many international agencies start telling the miserable stories of the people of India, one get a shock of life. How can a nation be developed with 60% below poverty line? How can the news of the multi-million dollars residences of Mukesh or Mittal be rightly accepted and assimilated for the aam aadami?

Will ‘aam aadami’ keep on living on the doles of the government, may be through Adhar or UID or be empowered to live his own life with a sense of achievement and enjoy a better quality of life with his hopes and joy?

However, there is some hope too. Many are trying hard to change the rural India that has a much larger canvas. Young men and women are getting involved in it. It was clear from more than 400 of them joining Tata Jagriti Yatra and many such endeavours of individuals and enterprises.

I wish the politicians and bureaucrats change themselves fast enough with their acts to change the popular perception of theirs, otherwise the aam aadami will change them in the way it’s happening in some part of the world today that none had imagined.

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