The world may be debating and even expecting India to become the next superpower in the future, but closer home industrialists and academics cautioned that India should not harbour such ambitions and should concentrate on solving its own problems.
“A country where the per capita consumption is languishing at $1,000 (R45,000) against some developed countries where it is as high as $45,000, we should not be even thinking of becoming a superpower,” said Rahul Bajaj, chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd, the country’s second largest two wheeler manufacturer at the India Economic Summit. “You cannot be a superpower going by the old definition which predominantly recognised military strength, but technologically we can be one. Rather we should try and address more key issues like corruption, governance, terrorism and bridging the rich poor divide.”
Coming out of the era of uni and bipolar superpowers where the Soviet Union and United States have shared the title, few believe there will be a single country influencing and dominating the entire world.
“With the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the US in the decline, the world will cease to be unipolar and the emergence of India and China underlines that we are setting in for a multi polar dynamics, where various countries will have significant influences,” said Anil Gupta, chair and professor of strategy, INSEAD Singapore.