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Saturday, June 30, 2012

India: The Underachiever

For over 10 years now, India has been mentioned in the same breath as a lot of other emerging economies. It's right there in the middle of the BRIC acronym, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China. BRIC has now gone on to become BRICS with the addition of South Africa.

Yet the sad reality is that we have a democracy which functions well for the most part, (because we leave it to our various Gods to rescue us?) but lately has just been limping along, with our leaders unable to do the right thing by the citizens or the country they are supposed to be governing.

I found the below table on the Catalyst website and decided to share it, as it spoke volumes about how we have been lagging on every parameter, except in the first criteria - about how much percentage of women constitute the population of India. Here we beat China by a mere fraction. The numbers prove that without Indian women becoming empowered enough to take their place in the economy, this country will always be a laggard. It's a well known economic fact, that western countries have achieved economic prowess because their women have made progress and contributed to those countries' welfare. They have not been only riding on the shoulders of their male citizens.

With numbers like these, I won't be surprised if South Africa also manages to beat us on some of these economic growth and social improvement indices, in the future.

Can our so-called leaders finally get their act together and really lead India?  Or we'll be making it to covers of magazines like Time, which had Manmohan Singh on it, with 'Underachiever' written in red, across his photograph.

Table sourced from: http://www.catalyst.org/publication/214/women-in-emerging-markets. Also this video is a good watch - http://youtu.be/KMv-pzu9H2w

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