Four of the top ten in Forbe’s list of the richest men are from India. Wow! Are we impressed?
Sadly, I am not.
One is a person who has settled and made his fortune abroad. The other two are in India, brothers from the same family, expanding a fortune founded by their father. And the last one is a real estate person. Well done to them.
But this is not representative of the real India. I admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the richest Indians, and do not envy them their wealth. But it is a misrepresentation of our country. The message that is going to the world surely will be a distorted one – of wealth abounding.
A quick look at last year’s suicides in Andhra Pradesh by devastated and debt-laden farmers alone is enough to show that India is not there yet. A government which has written off Rs. 60 thousand crores' worth of farmers debts, could have, with a little foresight, prevented this.
I am not qualified to find a solution, and I would love to see India there as one of the richest countries in the world, side by side, just like Warren Buffet with Anil Ambani. But I fear we have a long way to go. Many people in the rural areas still do not get a square meal everyday.
Till this anomaly is resolved, we need not feel proud of Indians’ presence in that list.