Education About Asia: Online Archives

India: The Changing Economic and Cultural Landscape

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As I sat down to write this essay on the Indian economy, I realized that for me India was home, a place to think about warmly, a place to visit for a few weeks every other year. India was about cricket, food, Bollywood films, and family. When I got to thinking about why it is that India is so highly regarded by economic commentators the world over, I thought about what I knew of the India I had left behind, and I quickly realized that India’s economic landscape today is dramatically different from the one I left some twenty years ago. Social and cultural changes during the same period were occurring as well, though arguably at a slower pace. This essay is intended for instructors and students who are unfamiliar with recent developments in India. What follows is a discussion of India’s changing economy and how society and culture both impact and are being impacted by those changes, and India’s future economic prospects.