Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Sun has Risen in the East!

The G20 summit is underway in Toronto, Canada.
As the world leaders debated on the state of the global economy, it was indeed heartwarming to read about our own sardar (well intentioned pun intended), Manmohan Singh, standing tall and lecturing the so-called pundits, conscience keepers of the world on fiscal management.
Can anyone forget those days in 1991, when India was on the brink of default with foreign exchange reserves barely sufficient to meet 3 weeks of imports?

Those were very depressing times. It was a low point indeed, to hear about India pledging 67 tonnes of our gold reserves, which had to be airlifted to the Bank of England, a big psychological dent on our sovereignty.
I remember the newspapers of those days made for a very sad reading.
We never imagined then that the high and mighty G7, as it was called then, would cease to exist as the custodian of global wealth.
G7 became the G8 and in its present avatar is the G20 today, while the G8 lives on as a relic of the past, an aging and toothless tiger.
This is reflective not only of the shift of the centre of gravity to the east, primarily India and China, but also of India's ability to grow despite indifferent governance. The scenario was succinctly described by Gurcharan Das when he said "The economy grows at night when the government is asleep".
We have grown this far without a significant contribution from the system.
But the challenge is managing the transition to the centre stage of the world, from the fringes of the world economy. And we cannot meet this challenge without building robust governance structures within the country.
The sun has risen in the east and it's our time to make hay while the sun shines. Will we?

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