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Flying To The Moon, From Kennedy To Modi’s 5 Trillion GDP India: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow – OpEd

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The Moon Of Modi

  • We choose to go to the moon. (John F. Kennedy)
  • We want to reach the 5 trillion GDP for 2024 (Narendra D. Modi)
  • Not because they are easy, but because they are hard. (JFK)
  • It is not an easy goal, but it can be achieved, and we can win professional pessimists (NDM)

Indiscreet Speeches: The Chasm From GDP China

  • It took sixty years of untiring decline in Indian economic growth compared to that of the neighbor to open an abyss with China. We made it
  • Constancy and determination.
  • And now what does Modi do?
  • He wants to change the decline course.
  • Is that why he wants to make those 5 trillion for 2024?
  • He wants to stop continuing to lose a trillion of GDP a year towards his neighbor.

Leaving The Past, Stopping Sixty-Year Comparative Decline Of GDP To Neutralize Abyss From China

How difficult is it to understand some leaders! It is not enough for Modi to win the elections, then he wants to actually move the country forward! Unbelievable! And to do so he is ready to put his winning card, his charisma, into play.

That Modi is the greatest Indian charismatic leader after Gandhi (the Mahatma of course) is demonstrated by the breadth and solidity of his re-election that no one foresaw in those terms, let alone the last Gandhi (the one of the inherited name) because everyone had underestimated the intimate depth of the social messages that Modi had given to the Indians.

The first not to perceive this was the contending Gandhi, the one of the inherited name, perhaps also because he was too confident of the power of the name. But the various commentators had not understood it either, perhaps because they too were dazzled, or frightened, by a name (that of the contender) as happens in dynastic successions. But the charisma of Modi has had full success on the dynastic appeals and the reason why it is soon said. Together with Greece, India is one of the two cradles of planetary civilization. His religion, of enormous cultural depth, has fed the religions of the whole world, and like Greece, it is the cradle of world philosophy. The world often forgets this and as it has rightly been pointed out in a conference by the director of the Vivekananda Center, also India often forgets it.

But Modi did remind it his countrymen about it. In the right ways, and with the correct messages. He rightly appealed to Indian cultural roots to convey the essence of his political message of development and progress. He did it the right way, and it was understood. And the big winner was the economy, as we shall see in a future article, but because it came along with his charisma. And for this reason, as soon as he took office, he raised the bet.

Now his message on the GDP 5 trillion of 2024, and the indications of economic policy made show that in all probability he intends to use his charisma to begin to cancel one of the most disturbing political and economic phenomena in Indian history, which, to the opinion of a non-local observer often staying in India, is very little talked about: the unexpected, unjustified delay, and in many ways unjustifiable delay, that previous governments have accumulated day after day in economic matters against the most significant neighbor of Asia: China. The data: only to consider 2018 the differential of the two GDP was 10 trillion dollars! which will increase further in 2019. Which means that the distance between Chinese per capita income (9627) and Indian (2009) is abyssal.

But it hasn’t always been this way.

In 1978 (rise to power of Deng Xiaoping) the difference between the two GDPs was just 12 million! with a Chinese GDP prevalence of only 8%: while the Indian per capita GDP was even higher: $ 206 vs $ 155. That was a difficult year for China and to understand a little more it is preferable to structure the problem in a longer time frame. Let’s say 60 years from 1954 to 2014, the year in which a party other than Congress won for the first time.

Note that in 1954 China’s GDP was $33.02 billion dollars and that of India was $22.90 billion. China’s GDP was therefore higher, yes, but by 44%. But from 1954 to 2014, at the time of Modi’s arrival, China’s GDP in six decades had become $10.534 trillion and that of India was $2.034 trillion. Here is the abyss! In sixty years that 44% had become 517%, that is, the Chinese GDP had become five times that of India! Sixty years of disasters, continuous and uninterrupted, to say the least. The obvious question that must be asked is, how was possible that such a radically different path between these two countries had happened without this negative evolution being perceived as a national emergency by the governments in charge?

This is the starting point to evaluate the sense of Modi’s desire to bring the Indian GDP for 2024 to 5 trillion: to break the thread of a very serious negative trend and to do so he must necessarily rely on the strength of its charisma.

For Modi, on the other hand, because he has to deal not with the surprise of first satellite, but with the addiction to delay. Sixty years of uninterrupted higher growth in the Chinese GDP almost made it an inevitable problem, no longer emergency. And at the level of mass psychology this is worse, much worse then fight an unexpected challenge.

Call Attention For So Much Delay? How Is This Possible?

Therefore, the additional problem that Modi has to face in relation to the progressive delay of India’s GDP from that of China, is that it is not clear how the phenomenon of that continuous, incessant negative trend, in its double economic and security dimension has been neglected for decades. This is why to understand the effective strength of those Modi’s 5 trillion, we need to start from “yesterday”, because we need to understand why such a negative trend has had to wait for new ways to start looking for a reversal.

Trend and addiction! Those are the two great threats. With the same 7 %, growth trend of India and China, starting from a base of 2018 of 13.4 trillion, China earns almost a trillion a year, which naturally must be capitalized. And over the decade, 2019 – 2029 the difference becomes abyssal. Assuming a 10-year growth rate of 7%, China’s GDP in 2029 would be 31.7 trillion dollars while India’s would stop 6.4 trillion. The Chinese economy would have a differential of as much as 25 trillion. Only at the level of differential 4 times the GDP of India.

And here is the greatest difficulty for Modi. Kennedy had to revive the country from a sudden shock, that of having discovered to be surprisingly backward with USSR in the space race. The first satellite, the first man and the first woman out of the earth’s atmosphere, the first extravehicular walk. USSR was always ahead. This shock, as it was totally unexpected, automatically created fear and a spirit of mass revenge. To respond to these delays, Kennedy decided to play the higher bet game: the US would send a man to the moon and he found all the Americans by his side.

For Modi the danger is the same, a most challenging neighbor power, but the solution is much more difficult, because he must make the country aware that in the preceding sixty years, India has accumulated a delay with China which by its nature is destined to increase exponentially. The negative trend, sixty years, being well established in the governmental attitude, creates addiction, and this is a much more difficult problem to be perceived at the level of popular consciousness, compared to the shock for the unexpected discovery.

Urgent Breakthrough Needed To Stop The Trend

It is evident that the Indian governments before Modi have greatly underestimated this continuous deterioration between the economies of the two countries and have not wanted or perhaps more likely have not been able to find a containment. That created at policy level the risk of making it unstoppable.

And in fact the difference of GDP is now such that China can afford the financing of an OBOR infrastructure project that will basically put China in a situation of absolute infrastructural privilege in what is going to become the most important market in the world, and Asian one, and will offer special benefits to Europe and to Africa not only for China’s products, but also for the specific production of the countries of the Asian markets involved. That of course would limit the role of India to a minor operator and deliver the second most populated nation in the to a marginal role in the explosive Asian market.

At this point the question is the following: can Modi, accept and to self-certify in a corner his country and attend indifferently to the enormous GDP growth differential of his neighbor? For a leader of his magnitude this is obviously unacceptable. So the question becomes, how can he slow down this progressive negative economic shift in relation China? It obviously that to change the direction it takes a charismatic drive and immediate action is urgently needed to avoid making the trend irreversible. It is with this in mind that the objective of going beyond the current trend with the growth of GDP by 2024 of the 5 trillion announced are the ambitious goal that breaks the logic of trends.

But a trend of that magnitude so consolidated over time will not be defeated without radical innovations. And perhaps the true answer of Modi-Kennedy style goes beyond 5 trillion and must be sought in a resolution taken by Mospi, Ministry of Statistics, planning and implementation, at the end of a seminar held in Delhi on February 13, 2019. In that workshop it was discussed of GDKP India, Gross Domestic Knowledge Product, the first national product of knowledge in the world, strongly wanted for a long time by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI, the body that must restructure the Indian economic machine in more modern terms (the Chairman of which is Modi himself). And at the end of that seminar the head of Mospi statistics, Sri Pravin Srivastava stated that India would calculate the GDKP according to the model that had been presented.

There is no doubt that 5 trillion GDP for 2024, could be the real starting challenge of Modi’s Moon Landing.

Next Part Two: Flying To The Moon, From Kennedy To Modi’s 5 Trillon GDP India: Today, When Trends Are Not Enough – OpEd



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Umberto Sulpasso

Umberto Sulpasso

Umberto Sulpasso, senior Fellow of Center for Digital Future Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California has a Degree in Economics in Italy and MBA from Columbia University. Has been teaching in different countries Economy of Knowledge, and publishing books and directing ecnclopedias. His most recent publication has been Darwinomics where for the first time the model of GDKP was announced.

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