Will Narendra Modi’s Economic Reforms Put India on the Road to Being a Superpower?

Here is a link to my 49th column on Quartz, “Cheer Modi On: Why you really want India to join the US and China as a superpower.” I kept my working title as the title of this companion post, since it better reflects the content of the column.

Important Note: Thirumaran makes the case in these storified tweets that Narendra Modi has been given a bad rap for his performance during the Gujarat riots in 2002.What I say in my column about that incident is based entirely on the Wall Street Journal article “Why Narendra Modi Was Banned From the U.S.” I would be glad to hear reactions to Thirumaran’s additional perspective.

Populations of the Most Populous Nations. I found the population figures in Wikipedia’s “World population” for the most populous countries very interesting.

  • China: 1,364,970,000
  • India: 1,245,280,000
  • United States: 318,201,000
  • Indonesia: 247,008,052
  • Brazil: 201,032,714
  • Pakistan: 186,709,000
  • Nigeria: 173,615,000
  • Bangladesh: 152,518,015
  • Russia: 143,657,134
  • Japan: 127,180,000

I hadn’t realized that the US was the third most populous nation. All of Europe, including 110,000,000 in the European part of Russia, is only listed at 742,000,000. The reason it makes sense to focus on population figures is that catch-up economic growth up to the cutting-edge level of income per capita is much easier than the economic goal of the US of pushing income per capita to levels the world has never seen before for any large nation.

I was clued into India being headed for beating out China in overall population by Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century. It is a fat enough book that I am only partway through. And I am glad I am reading it on a Kindle.