Resilient India

NEW DELHI – With the world’s most developed economies reeling under the incubus of what is already being called the Great Recession, India at the beginning of the year took stock and issued a revised estimate for GDP growth in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Its projection came out at a healthy 7.1%.

It is striking that even amid all the doom and gloom assailing world markets, there is no fear of a recession in India. Even the pessimists are speaking only of lower positive growth.

This is quite a turnabout for an economy that for years had crept along at what was derisively called the “Hindu rate of growth” – around 3% – while much of the rest of Asia shot ahead. For more than four decades after Independence in 1947, India suffered from the economics of nationalism, which equated political independence with economic self-sufficiency and so relegated the country to bureaucratic protectionism and stagnation.

But, since 1991, India has liberalized its economy and profited from globalization. Its tech-savvy information-technology pioneers, software engineers, and call-center operators have made the country an economic success story.