“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother
of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition”
– Mark Twain
India as a society has undergone massive transformation in the past few decades. A nation which was predicted to fall apart by political scientists after its independence has now established itself as a global power. As a nation which gave world Gita, Veda and Buddha to world, a civilization which gave asylum to the persecuted sects anywhere in the world and a nation which rose from the crumbles of colonization India’s morality can never decline. When it comes to the economic parameters India is the third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) and fifth in terms of normative GDP. Even though India’s fundamentals are strong in a globalized economy the domestic economy is interlinked to the global market and hence the international factors play its part to determine the condition of economy, which for the time being has slowed down. It is very much part of the recurring cycle of expansion, peak, contraction and trough. Since the government at the centre is intervening at necessary juncture to boost the economy, the speculation of an economic crisis rather remains politically motivated.
How can India’s morality be evaluated? Morality is itself a relative concept with people inferring diverse opinion on the very same incident. Hence, I prefer to gauge the constitutional morality on the nation and its public. The foundation of Indian republic was done on the ideas of Secularism, Fraternity, Liberty and Democracy. India is the only nation in the region that hasn’t undergone a military coup and has never persecuted its minorities. India has a firm judiciary to monitor the activities of the state and its adherence to the constitution. The spirit of democracy had been reflective in the elections and a smooth transfer of power was always ensured by the ruling setup. India has been performing phenomenally well in ensuring female representation in all the spheres. Initiatives like Swatch Bharat and Namami Gange were launched for realising the Gandhian aim of cleanliness and environmentalism.
At the same time it is sure that with globalisation an exchange of culture has also taken place. Western cultural has somewhat become a monolithic universal identity. Fancy for westernisation is a reality with today’s youth which infiltrates the notion of materialism to their minds. Spiritual decline is the obvious result of the process. This happens at a time when many in the western nations have developed interest in Indian traditions and family values. The Indian culture has always incorporated multiple cultures due to which the idea of a moral decline remains just in theory and it never declines as such.
As economist Gurucharan Das said “India grows at night while the government sleeps”, with or without the state’s interference India’s economic growth is promising. It is a fact that India’s economy has come down to 4.5% and industrial production data also shows lesser demand but there is a possibility of recession at the global level. Even during the recession of 2008 India largely remained unaffected. Multiple levels of much needed reform were carried out during NDA 1 including demonetisation and Goods and Service Tax. Demonetisation and the subsequent digitalisation have resulted in waging war against the parallel economy which aids terrorism and other anti-India activities. With a single stoke the entire counterfeit currency was flushed out of the system. GST simplified the tax regime and the data shows increase in revenue for the government after its implementation. Any such big bang reforms will take time to adjust with the system and hence a slowdown was impending.
Due to the global trade war between China and USA and the fluctuating price of crude oil the rupee and the currencies of other growing economies depreciated further. Even then the government has been able to prevent price rise of essential commodities and hence inflation. Their fiscal deficit targets are genuine and are reasonably taken care of. Reserve bank has maintained a decent amount of foreign reserve to absorb a sudden shock in the economy. Public Sector Banks having larger non-performing assets have initiated procedures against defaulters and reducing their NPAs by attaching their property. Central government has been trying to disinvestment its share in multiple public sector undertakings to raise its public spending caliber. There has been no allegation of any corruption against the present government and hence investor sentiments are building up slowly but steadily.
NDA 2 started their innings by targeting to reach the nation’s economy to $5 trillion by 2024 while the current size of economy is $2.9 trillion. The target seems to be ambiguous but a necessity. With 65% of the total population under the age of 35 it is important for India to use this demographic dividend rather than making it a demographic disaster. As an outcome of NDA’s Make in India initiative many of the manufacturers have established their bases in India and India is even producing defense equipment domestically. There are many economists who question the qualification of GDP data to analyse an economy. There was even a research paper published by Arvind Subramanian in which he stated that India’s growth rate was always inflated by 2.5 points, a claim that Prime Minister’s office rejected immediately. Since the data is released by the government(s) themselves the authenticity cannot be proved by an independent agency.
Overall India’s economic outlook is bullish and also Foreign Direct Investment is coming at a good rate since India has done exceptionally well in the Ease of Doing Business Index. India has a huge advantage of a stable government unlike the UPA era. India’s biggest strength is its Diaspora flourishing in all major economies. In the era of multi-polar diplomacy trade play a key role. Many of the economists and Indian industrialists have made it clear that the economic slowdown is a temporary phenomenon and India’s growth story will be back on track in a year or two. Hence there is no possibility of an economic crisis for the time being. Indian philosophy and the ‘spiritual being’ are revered throughout the world. Our civilizational commitment towards non-violence and dharma is well known. India’s medieval history is marked by successive invasions aimed at plundering and uprooting of culture. Invasionalists were triumphant in looting our resources but culture couldn’t be conquered. Any form of moral decline is not possible for that civilisation which braved sword. As it is said in Mahabharata, “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshitha” (Dharma will protect the one who protects Dharma) reminds us of close knitting of Indian lives with the conceot of Dharma which works an invisible hand which controls the social life of Indians. Hence it could be concluded that India is not facing either economic or moral crisis.