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Sixty Years Young

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India turned 60 today.

I usually don’t like the once-in-a-year-patriotism flavored ‘Happy I-Day’ emails, articles etc – either too sappy and sentimental or overtly patriotic for my taste. But I suppose this is a special birthday, so some indulgence is expected on the lines of my previous brief post.

So Swatantra Divas ki shubhkamnaeein and all that.

(Pic: Hindustan Times)
Interestingly, the time I left India was just after the half-centenary celebrations and since then I have had the opportunity to look at India from a slightly outsider’s perspective. The biggest difference between then and now I feel is a sense of confidence. I know its a very abstract concept that I am not really sure how to describe. But it is a sense I feel permeating from recent reports about/from India (both positive and negative), from talking to the folks back home and from the beats of the streets on the few recent occasions I went back there. I am not sure of what brought this about – economic success has a lot to do with it surely, perhaps helped a bit from the changing global geo-political, social and economic conditions. It is also true that we have numerous deficiencies – infrastructure, public health, literacy, female empowerment etc. to just name a few. But it is certain that India of today is far more self-assured and confident that problems can be tackled and the future is justifiably bright.

For a more detailed analysis of India at the cross-roads read Rohit’s excellent piece.


Written by BongoP'o'ndit

August 15, 2007 at 6:02 pm

Posted in India

One Response

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  1. Aapko bhi. Nice images.

    You know the Bajaj ad is pretty illustrative. 20 years back, a scooter carried such aspirational value! And when I look back at that ad, I don’t find it particularly sappy–at that period of time, we needed such artificial patriotism. Today, that kind of ad would be out of place. That to me is the biggest change.


    August 15, 2007 at 6:38 pm

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