What will Leapfrog India in the Twenty-First Century?

Happenings

“We can, in objective and dispassionate and holistic views, legitimately claim that India has come a long way since 1947. We should be proud of what we have achieved, though we can always argue that we could have done better, but we must not forget that we have miles and miles to go,” says Ambassador Surendra Kumar (Retd)

Following his Masters degree in History at Allahabad University, Ambassador Surendra Kumar (Retd) joined the coveted IFA services in 1972. After Beyond Diplomatic Dilemmas, the diplomat has now come with another book, aptly-titled What will Leapfrog India in the Twenty-First Century?

Edited and conceptualised by the former ambassador himself, the book deals with India’s ambitions, challenges and opportunities.

Thanking the contributors, friends and the audience, he began with a perceptive analysis of the responsibilities of the governing body in the world of today. “Securing national borders, ensuring political stability, maintaining friendly and productive relations with the world outside, putting the nation on the path of economic, social, educational, scientific and innovative advancement and meeting basic needs of health, shelter, education, hunger of billions of its people and bringing about a positive change in their lives has always been a challenge for the government of the day, more so in today’s globalised and inter-connected world, exploding with aspirations and characterised by unprecedented transformational technology. We can, in objective and dispassionate and holistic views, legitimately claim that India has come a long way since 1947. We should be proud of what we have achieved, though we can always argue that we could have done better… but we must not forget that we have miles and miles to go.”

Talking about the still-prevalent worries of hunger, literacy rates and poverty in the country, he emphasised how ‘India is on the move…’ on the growth front as all economic indicators put up a promising picture. “PM Modi will have to ensure that his concept of sab ka saath, sab ka vikas don’t remain mere slogans but become a reality on the ground, so for India’s sake, let’s hope that he succeeds in his endeavours,” he said. The book comprises 24 articles written by eminent personalities such as Ambassador Surender Kumar (Retd), classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, Shashi Tharoor and Meenakshi Lekhi, Professor Meghand Desai, veteran journalist H K Dua and Chairman Hero Corporate Services Sunil Kant Munjal.

Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu, Chief Guest of the event, said that the growth of a nation should encourage holistic development of a society and its culture rather than just the economic growth. Launching the book, he said, “We should grow as a society and not just as an economy, as a nation not just as a state. And if we want this, we have to look at much larger canvass and many other issues of the society...a growing society reflect the growth of its culture. The book not just talks about growth in GDP only or the conventional parameters by which we actually judge the progress of a society, but goes beyond it and talk about other things like art and culture, science and technology and environment.”

Insisting for the end of the gap between political process and the participation of the Indian youth, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor encouraged the government to capture the energy and enthusiasm of the young. “The enthusiasm of the young people needs to be captured. We sadly do not open doors for those who are young enough to bring new ideas. We have aspirational young generation who are under 35 and form 65 percent of India’s population. We need to end the gap between the political process and the participation of India’s young generation in it,” he added.

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Diplomatist Magazine was launched in October of 1996 as the signature magazine of L.B. Associates (Pvt) Ltd, a contract publishing house based in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi, India, the National Capital.

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