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Sri Thiruvadanthai @teasri
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Wishing Indians a very happy independence day! I have never been more optimistic about India. Each day more and more Indians are exiting poverty, country and its institutions are becoming more inclusive--lower castes, women have more representation than ever before.
I see four major positive shifts in India's post independence history. First, was Green Revolution--ironically triggered by Lyndon Johnson's ship-to-mouth policy of keeping food shipment to India on a tight leash. In US circles India was written off as a no hope.
In 1968, the Paddock brothers predicted mass deaths in India by 1975. By 1975, India had become self-sufficient in food. The Green Revolution also marked the high point of the power of the Planning Commission. They lost out the battle on food prices to the Ag ministry.
The Green Revolution is also seminal because it laid the foundations for political change and deepening of democracy from the old patrimonialism.
The next major shift was 1973, when Indira Gandhi made a break away from socialism. People often think this happened in 1980. But this is not true. In 1973, SEEPZ was setup! Exports were promoted, some imports and licensing were relaxed.
Also, note that 1973 marked the peak in industrial disputes. There was a clear recognition that the old model was failing.
The third major shift was in 1991. This is too well known to recount. The fourth major shift is in my opinion 2014. It marks the shift toward toward a rule-based, formal society, away from exceptionalism for the rich and well-connected. The ramifications will be far-reaching.
India's achievement is remarkable because it has done it without repression, carrying a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual society, creating consensus, building state capacity, while creating a diverse economy.
The turnout in India election has gone up steadily from 46% in the first general election in 1952 to a record 66.4% in the 2014 election. Women in elected offices has also gone up. Although India does not collect data by caste, caste representation has also gone up per studies.
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