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The right moves today could make India a superpower tomorrow


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The right moves today could make India a superpower tomorrow

The situation looks particularly bleak right now - India is nowhere near flattening the coronavirus curve, there are horrifying - if anecdotal - reports of doctors not having enough protective equipment, communalization in the name of the virus is rampant, and we’re yet to see the fallout of the exodus of labourers back to the hinterland. And that’s not even taking into account all that’s happened pre-pandemic: economic issues, riots, rampant corruption, suppressed media and sycophantic polity - not exactly the ideal ingredients in a bid for superpowerdom.

But crises of the scale of the pandemic we’re living through have a way of shaking things up, pressing reset, fast-tracking innovation and culling bureaucracy - even if they are for survival rather than for capitalization. These changes can leave countries better off than they were, pre-crisis. It’s ironic, but a lot of today’s best-developed countries have a crisis to thank at some level, rather than “good times”. This could be partially because the latter is more conducive to doing things that serve a narrow set of the population rather than society at large : Think the technology boom of the last ten years, which has made founders and shareholders unbelievably wealthy while leaving the worker force worse off. A crisis universalizes innovation.

The poster boy of this is the United States during World War 2. While there’s no doubt the country suffered massive damage (it lost over 400,000 people and $4 trillion in today’s money), many of the efforts set in place during the war paid off handsomely in the long run, such as the establishment of new factories to help companies fast-track production of war supplies. Innovations spawned during this time from the country include synthetic rubber, jet engines and duct tape. After the war, the US continued to invest in military science, with a division called DARPA whose greatest invention was not exactly one built for war - the internet. So yes, in a way, you have World War 2 to thank for the internet and all that it gave us.
But more importantly , India doesn’t look like it’s going to see a leadership change anytime soon. Yes, I am an avowed Modi critic and not a fan of his more authoritarian leanings, but even I have to admit his hold on power for the foreseeable future could be an advantage. Normally, politicians are loath to kick-starting long-term projects whose completion and benefits might accrue to someone else, post their tenures. Here, Modi has a good chance to institute several reforms that could come to fruition by 2029 - the next time he could realistically be challenged at the center, given the spinelessness and invisibility of national opposition.

Last year, during his election rally, Narendra Modi said that only he and his party, the BJP, have the potential to make India a superpower. Now, thanks to a bizarre set of circumstances, he has the opportunity to prove himself right.

If only though, he could turn his attention away from rhetoric, optics, Islamophobia, statues, vilifying intellectuals and academicians, stifling free speech, attacking journalists, pillaging natural resources, delegitimizing science and helping cronies.

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I think the only super power now is the COVID 19.

The take home lesson of this pandemic isnt about any country being a super power but its about the whole world coming together as ONE to be a Super Functioning Unit.

The virus has removed the word power from everything on earth.

Even those of us who are not inflicted by the disease for now ..there is nothing extra special about us cos if we are alive and experiencing Covid 19 wreck the world that means we ourselves inherited this collective karma of this era.

Everyone is in this together.

No one is super power anymore.
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