India Remains Greatest Rising Power Despite COVID-19 Tragedy, Says Report

New Delhi: Despite the damage caused by the record rise in COVID-19 cases, India remains the “greatest rising power” on the planet and has a number of fundamental strengths that will make it one of the “most powerful” countries in the world, according to report published in a Saudi daily.

Rebuffing critics of India’s handling of the pandemic, American foreign policy expert Dr John C Hulsman in an op-ed for ‘Arab News’ has said that India’s political power structure is stable and both Modi and the BJP are politically secure in a way that other “developing countries can only envy,” media reports said quoting ANI.

Due to a substantial rise in virus cases, India has witnessed a strain on its health infrastructure and subsequent rebuke from some sections of the western media.

Hulsman argued that the analytical danger is to look at India’s tragic problems of today, but not at the enduring changes lying beneath the surface that will continue to make it the “greatest rising power” in the world.

“First, India’s political power structure is remarkably stable. Surprising most of the foreign policy commentariat (but in line with my firm’s political risk predictions), the BJP actually gained seats during the May 2019 national parliamentary elections,” the American expert said.

“Coupled with these political advantages, India’s demography affords it a mighty relative advantage. It is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by 2024. Crucially, more than 50 percent of India’s population is below the age of 25 and 65 percent is under the age of 35,” he added.

Pointing to India’s sturdy figures, the foreign policy expert said that economic numbers “simply do not lie.” “By 2050, it is estimated that India will account for a startling 15 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). Coming out of the COVID-19 economic abyss, the subcontinent is set for a golden era of renewed growth,” Dr Hulsman said.

He also reminded how the International Monetary Fund estimates India’s economy is on course to grow by an impressive 11.5 percent this year, which is the only major global economy predicted to experience double-digit growth.

“Long-term political stability and an economic and demographic lift off already in progress make the essentials of India strikingly clear. This is the rising power in today’s world — one that will only grow in importance as the years progress.”

There will often be chaos on the surface but India’s enduring and essential political risk trajectory is decisively favourable, the expert concluded.

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