By the time India celebrates its hundred years as a democratic Republic on August 15, 2047, this writer and many of the readers of this article might not be alive. Should that prevent us from dreaming big? For as our former President APJ Abdul Kalam said, “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep”?
As the 75th anniversary celebrations conclude, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the nation’s remarkable journey and envision its future. India has made significant strides in various spheres, from economic growth to social development. Looking ahead, it has the potential to become a global powerhouse, leading the way in innovation, sustainability, and inclusive growth.
By its centenary, India’s economy is poised to experience a significant transformation. The nation’s demographic dividend, with a young and dynamic workforce, will play a crucial role in driving economic growth. Technological advancements in areas like artificial intelligence and renewable energy will fuel innovation and create new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs. No one will have to go to sleep on an empty stomach.
With a focus on sustainable development, India can emerge as a leader in renewable energy, reducing its carbon footprint and contributing to global efforts to combat climate change.
India’s journey towards becoming a developed nation will also be marked by social progress and inclusive growth. Investments in education and healthcare will ensure that every citizen has access to quality services. Efforts to bridge the urban-rural divide will lead to equitable development across the nation.
Gender equality will, hopefully, be a priority, with increased opportunities for women in education, employment, and leadership positions. Social welfare programs will continue to uplift the marginalised sections of society, ensuring that no one is left behind in India’s progress.
India’s digital revolution will be a driving force behind its growth. By 2047, the nation will have achieved widespread digital connectivity, empowering citizens and transforming governance.
The digital infrastructure will enable efficient delivery of public services, including education, healthcare, and e-governance. Big Data will revolutionise industries, enhancing productivity and creating new avenues for economic growth. However, it will be crucial to ensure the security and privacy of digital systems, protecting citizens’ rights and data.
India’s centenary as a democratic Republic will also mark its emergence as a global leader with a permanent membership in the UN Security Council. With its strong democratic institutions, diverse culture, and diplomatic prowess, India will have a significant role to play in shaping global affairs.
As a responsible global citizen, India will actively contribute to global governance, peacekeeping efforts, and sustainable development initiatives. Its soft power, rooted in its ancient wisdom, civilization, cultural heritage, and Bollywood, will continue to captivate the world’s imagination. It will be known more for its tolerant, mutually accommodative society than for its military prowess.
While the future holds immense promise for India, it will also face several challenges. Rapid urbanisation, environmental degradation, and income inequality will require proactive measures and effective policies. Strengthening governance, addressing corruption, and ensuring the rule of law will be essential for sustained progress.
Additionally, maintaining social cohesion in a diverse society will demand continued efforts to promote inclusivity and religious harmony.
There are theorists who wrongly hold the view that democracy has slackened economic growth. A country of subcontinental size with so much diversities in race, language and culture can remain united only in a democratic set-up where the rule of law, equality, liberty and fraternity will always be upheld.
Nobody in 1947 could have imagined that a person of humble origins like Narendra Modi would be at the helm in the 75th year. Hopefully, someone greater would be in command when the national flag is hoisted at the Red Fort on August 15, 2047. Let’s dream big!
(AJ Philip is a Delhi-based senior journalist and columnist)