12 May, 2021

India, By Its People

Our huge population is not an economic albatross. Today, India's growth story is increasingly the story of its young population.

India, By Its People

In Delhi this Monday morning, it is chaos. Despite its pristine new metro and expanding highways, the city can barely contain the morning hubbub, the swarm of people all trying to get somewhere. By the time I reach Kaushiak Basu’s home—set a little apart from the highway, on a quiet street that is empty except for a single, lazy cow who stops in front of the car, in no hurry to move—I am very late, a little grimy, but exhilarated.

Kaushik and I chat about how the crowds in the city look completely different compared to, say, two decades ago. Then, you would see people lounging near tea-shops, reading the morning paper late into the afternoon, puffing languorously at their beedis and generally shooting the breeze. But as India has changed—bursting forth as one of the world’s fastest-growing countries—so has the scene on the street. And as Kaushik points out, it is this new restlessness, the hum and thrum of its people, that is the sound of India’s economic engine today.

Kaushik is the author of a number of books on India and teaches economics at...

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