With the famous “Tryst with Destiny” speech given by Pandit Nehru on 15 August 1947, India technically got freedom from the colonial rule. Recently the country has celebrated its 70th birthday. In the last 70 years, India has seen 14 different regimes at the Centre, from Mr. Nehru to incumbent Mr. Modi. In all these 70 years, India has seen many socio-economic transformations. In this blog, I will tell you some of the watershed moments which India has seen since Independence, in chronology.
Birth of a Republic
26 January 1950 was the most proud moment after Independence, which India had felt. On this date, Indian constitution came into effect and India became a Republic nation with a democratic government system.
There was a time in India when drought and shortage of food supply led to millions of deaths. No one can forget the infamous “Bengal famine of 1943” in which 2.1 Million people died due to hunger. But today India has transformed itself into a “food surplus nation” from a “food deficit nation” and that only because of the Green revolution.
Construction of bigger dams for irrigation, usage of high-yielding seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, advanced machinery and agriculture credit system has shaped the success of the green revolution.
Out of all these factors, the biggest contributor to Green Revolution is “Bhakra Nangal” dam project. On October 22, 1963 construction of this dam got completed. It was one of the largest dams in India at that time. While inaugurating this dam, Pandit Nehru famously described it as the “New Temple of Resurgent India”.
Nationalization of Banks
On July 19, 1969 fourteen commercial banks were nationalized by Government of India. Until then the banking system was under the control of a few rich people. Most of the common citizens were not in any way connected with the banking system before nationalization. For an overall economic development of the country and to connect common people with the banking system, “the nationalization of banks” was a much-needed step at that point in time.
India’s entry into the Elite “Nuclear Power club”
India had seen 1962 Indo-China war and 1965 Indo-Pak war as well. To defend its north-western and north-eastern boundaries, there was a dire need of a strong deterrence mechanism. On 18 May 1974, India successfully conducted nuclear bomb test in Pokhran, Rajasthan and joins the elite league of few nuclear power states. It was a milestone for Indian defense system since it strengthened the country’s defense system.
End of Dictatorship and Triumph of democracy
On 26 June 1975, Emergency got declared. Since then for the next 21 months, India had lived in the darkest era since Independence. In emergency, top opposition leaders had been sent to the jail. Many people were forced for sterilization and some civil rights got suspended as well. There were some accusations of the misuse of government machinery also. All these had created an outcry.
After emergency, the first election happened in March 1977. “20 March 1977” was yet another important date in Indian history to remember as, on this very day, results started coming out for the 1977 General elections. On this historic date, Indian people threw out the rule of dictatorship and restored democracy.
1991 Economic Reform
Before 1990, due to “License Raj” and “Red Tape”, investments in India was very low. To abolish these and to make Indian economy a global one, series of economic reforms had initiated in 1991. Fiscal reform, Monetary and financial sector reform, Reforms in capital markets, Industrial policy reforms and Promoting foreign investment reforms are some of the known reforms which got initiated in 1991. The objective of these reforms is to make Indian economy more business friendly and expanding the private and foreign investments.
India gains much from these reforms. The result of these reforms you can gauge from the succeeding fact; ‘foreign investment in India grew from a minuscule US$132 million in 1991–92 to $60.1 billion in 2016-2017’. Presence of big malls, multiplexes, MNCs, lucrative jobs, high growth rate, metros etc. are the fruits of series of such economic reforms that were initiated in 1991.
In 2013, a proud moment came for India when WHO announced that, after Jan 13, 2011, no new cases of polio has been registered in India. The contribution of government’s health schemes, NGOs cannot be forgotten for making India a polio-free nation.
India’s Entry into Mars
24 September 2014 is yet another date to be remembered. On this date, Indian space agency ISRO created history by successfully inserting “Mangalyaan” spacecraft into the Mars orbit. Until now, “India is the only country” who has succeeded to enter the orbit in its maiden attempt. With this achievement, India has portrayed its technological and intelligence capacity to the entire world.
In the past 70 years, India has thrived to attain greater heights in every field. With these achievements, it is not hard to believe that India has the potential to become a global superpower.
– Ashwini Deshmukh