India turned 75 years young Monday, celebrating 75 years of independence after British rule ended in 1947. The traditional gift for the 75th is diamonds, and India would like some, please.
Prime Minister Modi is celebrating with some clear goals: he wants India to become a developed country in the next 25 years. (Diamonds would probably help).
“The way the world is seeing India is changing. There is hope from India and the reason is the skills of 1.3 billion Indians,” Modi said Monday. “The diversity of India is our strength. Being the mother of democracy gives India the inherent power to scale new heights.”
So where are they now?
While India is still technically non-aligned, it is not happy about China and could prove key to balancing China’s rise in the Asia Pacific. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India’s military spending was $76.6 billion in 2021, putting it right behind the U.S. and China.
The country also has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is home to some very wealthy people. India’s population is about to surpass China’s as the largest in the world.
But that brings us to the millions of Indians who are living in poverty. According to the World Bank, 60% of Indians were living on less than $3.10 a day in 2017, and inequality is rampant. Oxfam found that 80% of the country’s wealth was controlled by the richest 10% in 2017.
So, the country still has work to do. But don’t we all? Happy 75th!