India As A Third World Country

2504 words - 11 pages

Although only recognized as an independent country since August 1947, India has been widely known throughout history. Starting as early as the 27th century BCE with the birth of one of the world’s first highly sophisticated civilization, namely the Indus Valley Civilization, India has been recognized for its rich historical and cultural heritage. While it was only a lot later in its history, specifically during the rule of king Ashoka in the 5th century that the country started to unify; it was during the during the two hundred years of British colonization when this big mass of area in South Asia accepted a unified national flag and became the country that it is today. A country that is home to over 1.2 billion people. A country where its long history has left different layers of deposit that have neither totally merged nor ceased to influence the Indian people. India is one of the world’s most complex societies in which “centuries coexist”, however, this greatness in diversity and culture also seems to hinder development in this country. India has thus been labeled a “third world”, but before we go any further let us try and find out what that means. What is a third world country and how does a country like India fit the image? By 1921, about 84 percent of the world had been colonized since the sixteen century with approximately 168 colonies. During past two centuries the world has seen an increasing number of new nations being born due to the process of decolonization. As the numbers were increasing, especially after 1945, political theorists sought to find a term to categorize these new nations that were considered qualitatively different from older countries of Europe and Northern America and thus termed them as “Third World” or “developing” countries. But what exactly is it that categorizes a country under this term? Is it only the fact that most of these countries were at some point in their history colonized by a foreign power or is there more to it? The term “Third World” has both economic and political connotations. From the political perspective, these are the countries that have generally played a minor role in international politics especially during the cold war years. In the economic sense, it is those countries that have failed to develop economically after independence, although this does not include all third world countries. This is where India fits the picture. India played a very minor role during cold war years, in fact it was India who shunned both perspective and came up with its own Non-alignment movement. Since India also did not achieve substantial economic growth it was seen as an underdeveloped or developing country and thus labeled as a third world state. While theorists have come up with theories to alleviate the challenges that countries like India face, when it comes to actually implementing them they prove to be rather ineffective thus third world countries such as India are still characterized by societal...

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