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Who said India is a super power?

POPEYE-Sailor

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Ok, the title may be click-baitish, but this is not a rhetorical question. It is a real question, in the sense that I am enquiring, when and by whom did India start being called a 'superpower'. The use of this word in the Indian context generates a range of emotions - ridicule, sarcasm, surprise, pride and bravado.

In my entire existence I have never interacted with an Indian (face to face) who has said that we are a superpower. Online Indians are a different category and I believe they feel compelled to defend a narrative that has been strung around their neck. Back in my teens and early 20s, only the US and Soviet Union were considered superpowers. Somewhere in the early 2000s, international publications and think tanks started using this word for China and India by adding the prefix 'emerging' to it.

Initially for me, the image of a super power was purely based on military aspects. I would imagine huge ballistic missiles, bombers, destroyers and heavily armed soldiers when I thought of super power. Therefore even when the Soviet Union collapsed, I considered Russia to be a super power. When I started reading in magazines that India is an emerging super power, I thought they were being very generous and even patronizing, a typical exoticization of the poor. Nothing around me in the real world suggested that we are remotely close to being a super power even in the next 40 years. Even right wing Hindus were not peddling this narrative.

Meanwhile a collection of entities - credit rating agencies, investment advisory firms, business consultants, writers and media houses started focusing their attention to the east, and this word acquired common usage. Some Indians started believing this hype but were outwardly more realistic and continued to be critical of the slow pace of reforms and decision making. It was when social media became a monster that this delusion started compounding, both organically and by design. Super power became a casual, all-encompassing word, just like 'awesome' and 'amazing' are used to describe pretty much everything.

Even Indian politicians do not use the word super power for India. It may be uttered in their presence, for example when a gora chief guest at a conference after being garlanded and lighting diyas will describe India as a super power in his/her inaugural address, and some neta will clap and acknowledge the compliment. People living in the rural areas, who constitute about two-thirds of the population aren't even aware of the concept, let alone understand the word. Now you will say that it is not people in the rural areas who construct narratives. This is true and precisely my point.

Super power is not a technical or official word, like say, credit rating. It does not automatically attract investment or scare your neighbours into submission. The reality is what it is. Business people are aware of it, so are politicians. So why are so many Indians claiming they are a super power? Or are they? Or is it just a bait being thrown at them to draw them into a fight?

Non-Indians on the forum will be surprised that the average person in India does not care for the super power tag even remotely. There is perhaps some truth in the argument that there is an over compensation for the years of underestimation that Indians have been prone to about themselves, and with some people this manifests in an unrealistic way. Right wing Hindus will say that this underestimation was a deliberate strategy by the Congress to nurture a 'maai-baap' culture and they are only doing a recalibration. The problem is that for some people this recalibration has no limits and has become an escapist fantasy.

For manipulators this works well, because by declaring India as a super power, they have created a 'single window clearance' for all thorny issues. Did we win in Galwan? Of course we did. Why? Superpower. Will Americans come begging to us? Yes they will. Why? Superpower. Did we mismanage Covid crisis? Absolutely not. Why? Superpower. Can we ever make mistakes? You got to be kidding me. Why? Superpower.

To be fair, super power believers can be skeptics too, but it takes so much convincing and evidence to change their opinion that it is at best a lot of hard work, and at worst, not worth it. There are many sitting on the fence types who will turn believers if poked by an outsider and go back to the fence after the skirmish is over. It is also important to realise that people who are on social media regularly are a small minority of the total population, and among them, those who engage with strangers actively in a troll fest are still smaller. One needs to have a sense of proportion of what they are dealing with when they encounter such people.

Personally, I am neither a blind critic nor a bhakt. I am proud of my country and people on many accounts, and not on some. One thing I can say unambiguously is that we have underperformed by a huge margin historically and continue to do so. Some Indians advocate patience on the grounds that 70 years of rot cannot be undone in 5 years. People who advocate this line of thinking are only destined to be disappointed because they believe that government is the solution to everything.
India Is Super Power bcz you guys have these flying elephants


:girl_wacko::girl_wacko::girl_wacko:




245622040_5078999632113513_5706936087915570584_n.jpg
245460458_5078999732113503_2768553338908765724_n.jpg
 

SuvarnaTeja

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Ok, the title may be click-baitish, but this is not a rhetorical question. It is a real question, in the sense that I am enquiring, when and by whom did India start being called a 'superpower'. The use of this word in the Indian context generates a range of emotions - ridicule, sarcasm, surprise, pride and bravado.

In my entire existence I have never interacted with an Indian (face to face) who has said that we are a superpower. Online Indians are a different category and I believe they feel compelled to defend a narrative that has been strung around their neck. Back in my teens and early 20s, only the US and Soviet Union were considered superpowers. Somewhere in the early 2000s, international publications and think tanks started using this word for China and India by adding the prefix 'emerging' to it.

Initially for me, the image of a super power was purely based on military aspects. I would imagine huge ballistic missiles, bombers, destroyers and heavily armed soldiers when I thought of super power. Therefore even when the Soviet Union collapsed, I considered Russia to be a super power. When I started reading in magazines that India is an emerging super power, I thought they were being very generous and even patronizing, a typical exoticization of the poor. Nothing around me in the real world suggested that we are remotely close to being a super power even in the next 40 years. Even right wing Hindus were not peddling this narrative.

Meanwhile a collection of entities - credit rating agencies, investment advisory firms, business consultants, writers and media houses started focusing their attention to the east, and this word acquired common usage. Some Indians started believing this hype but were outwardly more realistic and continued to be critical of the slow pace of reforms and decision making. It was when social media became a monster that this delusion started compounding, both organically and by design. Super power became a casual, all-encompassing word, just like 'awesome' and 'amazing' are used to describe pretty much everything.

Even Indian politicians do not use the word super power for India. It may be uttered in their presence, for example when a gora chief guest at a conference after being garlanded and lighting diyas will describe India as a super power in his/her inaugural address, and some neta will clap and acknowledge the compliment. People living in the rural areas, who constitute about two-thirds of the population aren't even aware of the concept, let alone understand the word. Now you will say that it is not people in the rural areas who construct narratives. This is true and precisely my point.

Super power is not a technical or official word, like say, credit rating. It does not automatically attract investment or scare your neighbours into submission. The reality is what it is. Business people are aware of it, so are politicians. So why are so many Indians claiming they are a super power? Or are they? Or is it just a bait being thrown at them to draw them into a fight?

Non-Indians on the forum will be surprised that the average person in India does not care for the super power tag even remotely. There is perhaps some truth in the argument that there is an over compensation for the years of underestimation that Indians have been prone to about themselves, and with some people this manifests in an unrealistic way. Right wing Hindus will say that this underestimation was a deliberate strategy by the Congress to nurture a 'maai-baap' culture and they are only doing a recalibration. The problem is that for some people this recalibration has no limits and has become an escapist fantasy.

For manipulators this works well, because by declaring India as a super power, they have created a 'single window clearance' for all thorny issues. Did we win in Galwan? Of course we did. Why? Superpower. Will Americans come begging to us? Yes they will. Why? Superpower. Did we mismanage Covid crisis? Absolutely not. Why? Superpower. Can we ever make mistakes? You got to be kidding me. Why? Superpower.

To be fair, super power believers can be skeptics too, but it takes so much convincing and evidence to change their opinion that it is at best a lot of hard work, and at worst, not worth it. There are many sitting on the fence types who will turn believers if poked by an outsider and go back to the fence after the skirmish is over. It is also important to realise that people who are on social media regularly are a small minority of the total population, and among them, those who engage with strangers actively in a troll fest are still smaller. One needs to have a sense of proportion of what they are dealing with when they encounter such people.

Personally, I am neither a blind critic nor a bhakt. I am proud of my country and people on many accounts, and not on some. One thing I can say unambiguously is that we have underperformed by a huge margin historically and continue to do so. Some Indians advocate patience on the grounds that 70 years of rot cannot be undone in 5 years. People who advocate this line of thinking are only destined to be disappointed because they believe that government is the solution to everything.

No Indian considers India to be a superpower. But having said that all Indians have an aspirational goal to see India develop. This may take another 50-100 years.
But your ex president said that you are a superpower since 2012


India to become superpower by 2012: Kalam

It was his aspirational goal not reality.
 

Beast

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Just search "India superpower" on YouTube. All of those videos irrespective of the nationality of the uploader has a target audience... The Internet Indian. The word superpower for some reason has embedded itself in to the Indian psyche. Whenever they believe they are excelling in a certain field, they think they have become a superpower in that field

Here of all the video titles BBC could have chosen, they chose this:
Look back now, this video is just a bad joke that poke fun at India...
 

lonelyman

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No Indian considers India to be a superpower. But having said that all Indians have an aspirational goal to see India develop. This may take another 50-100 years.


It was his aspirational goal not reality.
name one country where people don't wish to be rich and their country to develop?

why only Indians utter supa powa shit?

why are you hurt so much? :rofl:
 

lonelyman

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Ok, the title may be click-baitish, but this is not a rhetorical question. It is a real question, in the sense that I am enquiring, when and by whom did India start being called a 'superpower'. The use of this word in the Indian context generates a range of emotions - ridicule, sarcasm, surprise, pride and bravado.

In my entire existence I have never interacted with an Indian (face to face) who has said that we are a superpower. Online Indians are a different category and I believe they feel compelled to defend a narrative that has been strung around their neck. Back in my teens and early 20s, only the US and Soviet Union were considered superpowers. Somewhere in the early 2000s, international publications and think tanks started using this word for China and India by adding the prefix 'emerging' to it.

Initially for me, the image of a super power was purely based on military aspects. I would imagine huge ballistic missiles, bombers, destroyers and heavily armed soldiers when I thought of super power. Therefore even when the Soviet Union collapsed, I considered Russia to be a super power. When I started reading in magazines that India is an emerging super power, I thought they were being very generous and even patronizing, a typical exoticization of the poor. Nothing around me in the real world suggested that we are remotely close to being a super power even in the next 40 years. Even right wing Hindus were not peddling this narrative.

Meanwhile a collection of entities - credit rating agencies, investment advisory firms, business consultants, writers and media houses started focusing their attention to the east, and this word acquired common usage. Some Indians started believing this hype but were outwardly more realistic and continued to be critical of the slow pace of reforms and decision making. It was when social media became a monster that this delusion started compounding, both organically and by design. Super power became a casual, all-encompassing word, just like 'awesome' and 'amazing' are used to describe pretty much everything.

Even Indian politicians do not use the word super power for India. It may be uttered in their presence, for example when a gora chief guest at a conference after being garlanded and lighting diyas will describe India as a super power in his/her inaugural address, and some neta will clap and acknowledge the compliment. People living in the rural areas, who constitute about two-thirds of the population aren't even aware of the concept, let alone understand the word. Now you will say that it is not people in the rural areas who construct narratives. This is true and precisely my point.

Super power is not a technical or official word, like say, credit rating. It does not automatically attract investment or scare your neighbours into submission. The reality is what it is. Business people are aware of it, so are politicians. So why are so many Indians claiming they are a super power? Or are they? Or is it just a bait being thrown at them to draw them into a fight?

Non-Indians on the forum will be surprised that the average person in India does not care for the super power tag even remotely. There is perhaps some truth in the argument that there is an over compensation for the years of underestimation that Indians have been prone to about themselves, and with some people this manifests in an unrealistic way. Right wing Hindus will say that this underestimation was a deliberate strategy by the Congress to nurture a 'maai-baap' culture and they are only doing a recalibration. The problem is that for some people this recalibration has no limits and has become an escapist fantasy.

For manipulators this works well, because by declaring India as a super power, they have created a 'single window clearance' for all thorny issues. Did we win in Galwan? Of course we did. Why? Superpower. Will Americans come begging to us? Yes they will. Why? Superpower. Did we mismanage Covid crisis? Absolutely not. Why? Superpower. Can we ever make mistakes? You got to be kidding me. Why? Superpower.

To be fair, super power believers can be skeptics too, but it takes so much convincing and evidence to change their opinion that it is at best a lot of hard work, and at worst, not worth it. There are many sitting on the fence types who will turn believers if poked by an outsider and go back to the fence after the skirmish is over. It is also important to realise that people who are on social media regularly are a small minority of the total population, and among them, those who engage with strangers actively in a troll fest are still smaller. One needs to have a sense of proportion of what they are dealing with when they encounter such people.

Personally, I am neither a blind critic nor a bhakt. I am proud of my country and people on many accounts, and not on some. One thing I can say unambiguously is that we have underperformed by a huge margin historically and continue to do so. Some Indians advocate patience on the grounds that 70 years of rot cannot be undone in 5 years. People who advocate this line of thinking are only destined to be disappointed because they believe that government is the solution to everything.
why this daily shit? @DrJekyll

Why is India poised to become the next superpower?
Oct 16 2021
 

Ballal

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its largely a south asian mentality thing to think this way. To some extent the same mentality would occur in Pakistan had the conditions been switched but maybe not so extremely.

My mum told me that when she was in school (70s/80s) the teachers would condition students to believe that Pakistan is the best country in the world, and she genuinely believed them. The same happened to me when I was in school but not so overtly
 

Sainthood 101

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its largely a south asian cultural thing to think this way. To some extent the same mentality would occur in Pakistan had the conditions been switched but maybe not so extremely.

My mum told me that when she was in school (70s/80s) the teachers would condition students to believe that Pakistan is the best country in the world, and she genuinely believed them. The same happened to me when I was in school but not so overtly
Shouldn't every country think this way?
What's so wrong?

As long as you know your shortcomings and work towards fixing em

Grandiose delusions are wrong, thinking your country is the best place in the world is not
 
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Ballal

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Shouldn't every country think this way?
What's so wrong?

As long as you know your shortcomings and work towards fixing em

Grandiose delusions are wrong, thinking your country is the best place in the world is not
You are right in that sense, but I was talking more about being conditioned to think that pakistan is the most superior country in almost all the world
 

ahmadnawaz22

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Very well written piece sir.
Again as i always say, the problem lies in not recognising the state as being 70 odd years old. Instead, Persisting it to be thousands years old (This problem more or less exists in Pakistan as well).
For almost a millenium. Delhi along with major bulk of India have been ruled by Turk Sultans(Delhi Sultanat), Mongol Descendants of Timur (Mughals) and then British Raj (And short lived Maratha confederacy) . And the remaining India were independent kingdoms Having no connection with center rule.
And same goes eith Pakistan.
We locals were just subjects. for a MILLENIUM.
We finally got a break into modern nationhood just 70 years ago.

The sooner we accept this and move on, The better for both of us. Carvout a nee identity for us as a nation. Instead of finding roots in bygone eras.

People of subcontinent just choose their ancestor out of convinience and religious affiliation.
(I mean its hilarious a Hindu of utter pardesh thinks a Maratha king from south is his ancestor while an khwazimian King from west is a foreign invader :-) hell even Indian Born Akbar is a foreign invador and A Pakistani from Lahore Believes Gujranwala born Ranjeet singh is a foreign invader while Afghan born Ahmad shah Abdali is his own kin)
 

Dungeness

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Predicting the next 1 year itself is tough. Predicting decades ahead is crazy. Who would have thought world would see an economic crisis in 2008 and COVID pandemic in 2019?
The unexpected happens, but India differs from China in a very significant way, the collective mentality.

For Chinese, it's about setting realistic objectives, making executable plans, doing my part, no excuse allowed;
For Indian, it's about "Aspirational speech", Bollywood time, "Someone else will do it", "Not my fault".

Remember all "Plans/Aspirations" India proudly announced before?

"India to be a Superpower by 2012";
"Mumbai to surpass Shanghai in 5 years";
"India to have manned Space Flight by 2015";
"India to have a 132.8 exaflops super-supercomputer by 2017";
"India to perform manned Moon mission by 2020";

"India to have a 5-trillion economy by 2025";
...................


You guys never learn from your previous failures. " 'Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it".

India WILL remain as how it has always been, "mediocre"
 
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lonelyman

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The unexpected happens, but India differs from China in a very significant way, the collective mentality.

For Chinese, it's about setting realistic objectives, making executable plans, doing my part, no excuse allowed;
For Indian, it's about "Aspirational speech", Bollywood time, "Someone else will do it", "Not my fault".

Remember all "Plans/Aspirations" India proudly announced before?

"India to be a Superpower by 2012";
"Mumbai to surpass Shanghai in 5 years";
"India to have manned Space Flight by 2015";
"India to have a 132.8 exaflops super-supercomputer by 2017";
"India to perform manned Moon mission by 2020";

"India to have a 5-trillion economy by 2025";
...................


You guys never learn from your previous failures. " 'Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it".

India WILL remain as how it has always been, "mediocre"
Everything from India is a joke and fake
 

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