How should we assess India’s record as an independent country over the 75 years since Independence? The most obvious point is that it has marked a dramatic departure from the preceding 90 years of colonial rule, and the century of exploitative colonial capture before that. After close to two centuries of first rapid decline and then stagnation, with (to use a typical indicator) average life expectancy in 1947 of 32 years, India has emerged with new dynamism, imbued its freedom with a sense of purpose, and devoted itself to social and economic progress.
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