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India’s Lack of Economic Growth

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The first thought that comes to mind when India is mentioned is its overwhelming population. India is such a big body of land and is home to over one billion residents. Then one also realizes that it is considered a third world country. This paper will attempt to describe how a nation with so much growth potential could not catch up to the western world in terms of national wealth and prosperity. The primary reasons that India is lagging in terms of wealth compared to first world countries include the trade/business policies created by the British, the institution of the caste system of India, and the phenomenon known as brain drain. The British imperialism and the caste system have been in place for a while now, and they are both factors that led to India’s brain drain problem.

Since the eighteenth century, the British began coming into India on business ventures, seeking any opportunity they could to make money. This influx of British foreigners continued and started to influence India as a whole. This persisted for some time and eventually led to India being declared a colony of Britain. This period is known as the British Raj, and took place starting in 1858 and extended until 1947 (Muczyk, Holt pg. 278). While the British Raj was present in India, they were the ones that controlled all the inflows and outflows of trade.

Britain had been one of India’s main trading partners, along with China. The main commodities that these countries traded amongst each other were textiles, tea, and opium. Opium was India’s greatest export by the middle of the nineteenth century (Maddison pg. 16). Although Britain had taken over India, they were two vastly different countries. Britain had experienced the European Revolution and ...

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