It has been historically proven that whenever an economic system, backed by a political system of the same ilk, fails to deliver, it leads to despondency, dejection, even depression in the economy. After the nation suffers in this state of nadir for a while, there arrives an agent of change, a hope for a better tomorrow, the betterment conditioned on a major overhaul in the economic-political system being practised at that particular time. This new age of change, despite the opposition of a few who see the dark underbelly of the new system, thrives and grows big to lead the entire nation towards a completely different direction which could not have been predicted by any historian 10 years earlier. It reaches its acme, causes, atleast in the short run, irreversible disruptions in the economic structure of the country, before the degeneration sets in once more as the dark underbelly which was earlier difficult to spot, turns upwards for all to see. People lose faith in the existing system, anti-incumbency sets in and the demand for an alternative political-economic system leads to an emergence of a new leader exemplifying change, guiding by hand the hope of the citizens of the nation towards a new dawn. The cycle goes on.
Today India finds itself at the cusp of such a change. The existing system of attempts at betterment of society bottom-up has been vitiated, giving birth to corruption in all walks of life. People are looking for alternatives and this lacuna in the Indian political system has given birth to two leaders who have come to occupy this very mindshare of the Indian citizen. These two leaders may represent two different political orientations, but both offer substantially different ideologies from what the present dispensation debauched in.
As indicated by the already pent-up expectations of the corporate class in India, reflected in the unprecedented rally in the country’s share markets, they have already chosen a new leader, a messiah who will lead India out of the muck it finds itself in. There is not a doubt that if these expectations come to fruition, which seems likely today with the biggest exercise in universal adult suffrage in the world just a couple of days away, our political-economic landscape is going to see changes in policymaking that are unprecedented. The focus of the economic thrust is going to shift towards a more top-down orientation with the corporate class expected to drive the growth engines of our nations. The expectation is also there that economic growth will serve to smoothen the bumps of class and caste deviations to provide a more level playing field to people from all walks of life, irrespective of religion, race, caste or community. There are sceptics too who, on the other hand, believe this growth will be at the cost of tearing away the carefully woven fabric of this nation, which till a couple of centuries ago, exemplified a way of life rather than differentiating one from another on the basis of religion. There are other concerns too whether if India is developed enough at the lower strata of society to shift gears to a more outward-oriented market-governed economic system to deliver the goods. We just have to wait and see. But one thing is certain. The India of the next 10 years is going to be very different from the India of the last decade. Which bad points from the previous decade are discarded and which good ones are maintained, and vice versa, remains to be seen.