Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: India from Economics to Political Philosophy

Wednesday 01st March 2023 06:09 EST

Wow. To hear the amazing figures about India’s infrastructure growth in the sessions I moderated for the Indian High Commission recently.

 Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and India was £34.0 billion, in current prices, in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022, an increase of 51.7% or £11.6 billion from the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021. Of this £34.0 billion:

 • Total UK exports to India amounted to £14.8 billion, in current prices, in the four quartersto the end of Q3 2022 (an increase of 75.5% or £6.4 billion compared to the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021);

 • Total UK imports from India amounted to £19.2 billion, in current prices, in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022 (an increase of 37.3% or £5.2 billion compared to the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021).

 India was the UK’s 12th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022 accounting for 2.1% of total UK trade.

 Following in from my visit to Paris with my son and wife, I thought I better share with him the might of Indian political philosophers. Especially since clearly the future is Indian.

 The FATHER stands before his SON, his eyes ablaze with passion and his voice a symphony of conviction.

 "My beloved son, listen to the wisdom of the great Indian philosophers. They have gifted us with timeless advice that has the power to transform our lives and the world around us."

 He pauses for a moment, allowing the weight of his words to sink in.

 "Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate poet and philosopher, spoke of the interconnectedness of all living things, reminding us that we are not just individuals but are intimately connected with the world around us. He believed in the power of love and creativity to bring about positive change in society."

 He draws closer to his son, his voice now a soothing balm.

 "Sri Aurobindo, the spiritual visionary, believed that every human being has the potential to evolve into a higher consciousness, one that transcends the limits of the ego and embraces the universal consciousness. He taught us the importance of self-reflection and spiritual practice to attain this state of being."

 His voice rises, imbued with a fervent zeal.

 "And then there is Mahatma Gandhi, the great leader who led India to independence from the British Empire. He believed in the power of non-violent resistance to achieve social and political change, and his life serves as an inspiration to millions around the world."


He looks deep into his son's eyes, his voice now trembling with emotion.


"Son, the words of these great Indian philosophers are not just mere words, but a summons to awaken our deepest selves, to strive towards a world that is more equitable, more just, and more compassionate."


He stretches forth his hand, his voice soft and tender.


"Remember their teachings, son, for they have the power to guide you through life's darkest moments and inspire you to achieve greatness."


Father and son embrace, united by the vision of the great Indian philosophers, whose words echo down through the ages, a source of wisdom and inspiration to all who would seek to transform themselves and the world.

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