12 May, 2021

A Stolen Momentum

Lesson for the GoI-to-be: growth is not a panacea, but if it falters, all else does too, even a re-election

A Stolen Momentum

As India approaches a general election, much agitation, tumult and uncertainty have seized the land. Many different apprehensions are casting a shadow on its promise. That India has become apprehensive is itself a surprise. After all, the country had recently experienced a record decade of growth. Millions have been lifted out of poverty and are on the move. Its democracy, for all its rough edges, looked vibrant. Its entrepreneurs were ready to take on the world. Its civil society was teeming with experiments. India had a youthful energy, cla­mouring to take its place at the world’s high table. Even the millions still not fully participating in this growth story could, for the first time, believe that India can change. And yet how swiftly did that confidence vanish. It was almost as if a climber on a steep rock, having made steady progress on her ascent, suddenly decided to look down, and was struck by a sense of vertigo. In the resulting headiness, she could not decide whether to go up or down. There was a deep sense of confusion, a loss of resolve and direction. She...

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