Indian elites, official forecasters, and international media have piled into the narrative that India’s economy is booming and positioning the country to become the great success story of the twenty-first century. But looking past the illusion created by headline GDP numbers, nothing could be further from the truth.
PRINCETON – Indian elites are giddy about their country’s economic prospects, and that optimism is mirrored abroad. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that India’s GDP will increase by 6.1% this year and 6.8% next year, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Other international commentators have offered even more effusive forecasts, declaring the arrival of an Indian decade or even an Indian century.