Promised land: Is India’s future finally at hand?
1 For millennia, the subcontinent of India has straddled Asia, connecting East to the West, influencing and enriched by commerce with both regions. In antiquity, India prospered as a trade crossroads linking Rome and Egypt to China and the East; today, India boasts or laments of cities, harbours, rails, roads and airports bursting beyond capacity. With 1.2 billion people and rising living standards, India appears to be retaking its place in the world, admired for its democracy, stable banking system, low levels of private debt, legal system, tech sector, textiles, a massive and growing labour force, and even its movies, as in Bollywood. Investors around the world are eyeing India, often touted as the major nation with the most upside potential. But India is also infamous for governmental inertia, gridlock, uncertain regulations, inadequate obsolescing infrastructure and maddening legal entanglements. For institut