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Challenging India


Some things are best left to the professionals! Air India’s order for 470 aircraft and options on 370 others is indicative of India’s potential aviation market in the coming years. As a government organisation, Air India could not have taken such a massive decision without having to face allegations of corruption, with every Tom, Dick and Harry becoming an expert on how the taxpayer’s money is being used. But, the Tata Group that reacquired Air India has a reputation for integrity and the ability to anticipate future developments. So, despite the enormous challenge involved, almost everybody is upbeat on the decision. (The reactions, however, of Mahua Moitra and Rahul Gandhi are still awaited!)

Other Indian airlines are also expected to make similar investments for expansion of their fleets. So, in a political environment that claims the economy is sinking and India’s future is bleak, how come companies are so upbeat? Aviation is a sector dependent on multiple factors – expanded infrastructure, a higher number of passengers, the price of fuel, the availability of pilots and staff, etc. As much of this will depend on a positive environment created by government policies and stable politics – confidence in this regard implies that the progress recorded, thus far, has been substantial and sustainable.

On the other hand, while the effort is mostly to raise India’s general quality of life by providing all that is necessary in the modern world, the country’s increasing global clout has created insecurities among certain forces. Instinctively, and by design, they are coalescing to form a front that seeks to thwart the goal. It suits them to have an India that remains a struggling economy and a subservient civilisation. So, the soft power of the world’s dominant nations is being used to damage India’s credibility and limit its growth story. Billionaire George Soros’ latest anti-Modi rant is just another event that reflects this mindset.

What is the reason for this? What stakes do foreign organisations and individuals have in India’s future? One explanation could be the increasing clout of Indian origin people in the western democracies. After all, was it not as traders and businessmen that the colonial powers had first entered India, followed by getting involved in local politics? It’s possibly the consequences of past karma they fear. A divided and weak India suits them. They promote it under various facades– concern for diversity, democracy, secularism, et al. The actual objective is quite different.