The Namo Decade: When India Performed as per its Potential

Shantanu Sarkar

There was a time when a certain GDP growth rate was termed as the Hindu rate of growth. Many academic discussions on Indian economy centered on how India has the potential but is unable to actually achieve it. There were signs that India has come of age and is ready to leap only to be brought down to reality by a scam that shook the nation and sometimes even bringing down the government and plunging the nation into instability and at times requiring preponed elections. Frequent elections were unnecessary events but were essential for continuing democracy and were costly in every sense for such a large democracy that lacked adequate capital to achieve the developmental goals. The desire of becoming cabinet ministers and plum ministries occupied the majority of precious legislative time. Navigating India’s political landscape might be more demanding in comparison to other democracies but nevertheless much more time could have been allotted to the primary functions of the executive and the legislature. Corruption, a byproduct of failed governance had become the norm for people in power and it was expected and tolerated that certain degree of kickbacks were socially and politically acceptable.  

The country that was once known for its wealth and attracted plunderers from around the world was made to believe that it had lost everything under the foreign rulers who had for centuries drained the country of its wealth. Since all the treasures were looted, Indians could only crib for its loss and think what it could do had it not lost out on its wealth. The wealthy could also visit the museums of the erstwhile colonial rulers to have a glimpse of our looted wealth and crib more. After independence, the government both at the centre and in the respective states tried to rebuild the nation with leftovers which were inadequate to run such a big country having a large and impoverished population. Hence, the country and its economy crawled for decades. There were events in every decade that made Indians proud but they were outnumbered and overshadowed by those that were not welcome. The colonial rulers were able to drain most of India’s wealth but they were unable to destroy India’s greatest strength which was the intellectual ability of Indians. However, poor governance and support resulted in migration of the brightest of minds to the developed countries, termed as brain drain. Devoid of material and intellectual wealth, India struggled to crawl towards the developmental goals when contemporaries were beginning to run fast towards higher economic growth rates.

Foreign rulers had governed the country for centuries with the intention to destroy the morale of the Indians as that made it easier to enslave and use them for governance. The mindset that those who governed did not intend to work for the welfare of the general public was deeply ingrained in the psyche of Indians. Scams became synonymous with power and governance, until a Son of Bharat Ma came and declared Na khaunga Na khane dunga. People voted wisely and entrusted in him the responsibility to steer the nation out of the grim situation. Even before he could be elected, news about the potential instability and danger of social disturbance were spread by the opposition who had sensed their incapability to compete with the Namo wave. The political elite could not digest a common man who had risen through the ranks with sheer hard work to achieve such political clout.

When a true Son of Bharat Ma is given the opportunity, he works with all his might and gets support of his fellow citizens from every nook and corner of the country. Over the Namo Decade, he has burst so many Myths that were age old and which had created hurdles for citizens of India to prosper. Some of the major myths are as follows:

  • The Prime Minister of India needs permission to speak and is actually a symbolic head of the government.
  • Ease of doing business in India is too complicated to be achieved.
  • Union Ministries work in silo and against each other.
  • Article 370 cannot be touched.
  • Ram Mandir cannot be built legally.
  • The country would become so religiously intolerable that there would be mass exodus.
  • India is not a sporting nation and winning medals are like winning lotteries.
  • India is economically fragile and diplomatically weak.
  • Northeastern states drain the country’s economy due to security threats and developing them is not possible.
  • World class roads in India are too costly to be constructed.
  • India’s infrastructure cannot become world class.
  • Innovation and manufacturing are alien for Indians.
  • Cleanliness is impossible in public places.

Indians love their heroes and most of our heroes are either from the entertainment industry or cricketers. There are others from different professions such as soldiers, police officers, bureaucrats, social workers, doctors, sportspersons, politicians etc. who might have entered the list of heroes but they are in minority. Indians worship their heroes who win them world cups and matches against arch rivals Pakistan and Australia. Such hero worshipping is synonymous with Indian fans and are fondly recognized as their love and respect for the idol.

Similar love and adulation have been achieved by our beloved Son of Bharat Ma through his sheer hard work in the Namo Decade. Such fans are called Andh Bhakts. Fans cry when their idols fail in an innings or their movies flop, but we continue to love them through their journey. Our beloved Son of Bharat Ma has performed continuously over the Namo Decade for the welfare and development of India and has carried the aspirations of crores of Indians with honesty and sincerity. His energy and spirituality have encouraged so many to change their lifestyle to a healthier one. Healthier Indians can contribute better to India’s success. He might have been unable to provide a few of his promises as they require a longer time period to achieve, but his family members firmly believe that he will deliver them in the coming decade in which India would be nearer to achieve the Viksit Bharat status.

The political strength of our beloved Son of Bharat Ma is displayed by the strategy of the opposition regarding winning a specific number of Lok Sabha seats. How many times in Indian political history has the Lok Sabha elections been fought with the opposition not focusing on stopping the incumbent political party to achieve the magical majority in Parliament but stopping it from crossing the 370 seats in Lok Sabha.

Focusing on the missing ingredient that was the major reason behind India’s underperformance is stability and clear vision of the Government at the Centre which was abundantly visible in the Namo Decade. India has risen economically due to the stability that the country has enjoyed during this period and it cannot afford to lose sight of the goal of Viksit Bharat. Similar fear is being created that Viksit Bharat is a myth. However, Indians are smart enough to not let this myth gain strength and they would choose their destiny wisely because the citizens of new India have tasted the nectar of stability and decisiveness. The Son of Bharat Ma has ignited the dream in crores of Indians that the dream of Viksit Bharat is achievable and the path although tough needs stability and far sightedness. The new India’s consistent economic performance in the Namo Decade has propelled the nation to become the world’s fifth largest economy by overtaking the erstwhile colonial powers and has given the right opportunity to modify the Hindu rate of growth which is almost double of the earlier one. India has actually performed consistently in the Namo Decade unlike any other despite the economic headwinds and global disruptions.

    Source: World Bank

Rise of India’s GDP, current prices (2018-2022)
United StatesUnited StatesUnited StatesUnited StatesUnited States
China, People’s Republic ofChina, People’s Republic ofChina, People’s Republic ofChina, People’s Republic ofChina, People’s Republic of
United KingdomUnited KingdomUnited KingdomIndiaIndia
FranceIndiaIndiaUnited KingdomUnited Kingdom
ItalyItalyItalyItalyRussian Federation
Korea, Republic ofCanadaKorea, Republic ofRussian FederationItaly

Source: IMF

It would be suicidal to consider that India is on auto pilot mode and no matter what it will achieve the economic heights that are being predicted by international agencies. India is positioned to become the fourth largest economy by 2027 but it has been often seen how things go downhill when focus on self-wealth creation by those in power outweighs a nation’s developmental objective. Therefore, India cannot afford anything less than the good work achieved during the Namo Decade.

*Author did his MPhil from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2008. Presently he is a Senior Research Analyst in a Private Research Organization in Delhi.


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