The Chinese economy ($13.4 trillion) is 5 times larger than India’s ($2.7 trillion) even though the countries are similarly sized in population. A small fraction of China’s large GDP can fund multiple Indian military budgets, and with large budgets, China is rapidly expanding its military capabilities.
India will become the fifth largest economy in the world this year. While that is reassuring, at no point in history of modern India has India been so weak relative to its neighbor in economic size. Even though India is growing at a rapid pace it is not growing fast enough. In the 2000s India expanded its nominal GDP more than three times. It should have expanded this decade even more, but this was a lost decade and in 2010s India’s GDP only doubled. During the same period China expanded its GDP by about six times in the 2000s, while in this decade it still managed to expand its GDP by about thrice.
Given the urgency of the situation, it is important that politicians prioritize economic issues over jingoism and cultural politics. Here’s the bottom line- patriotic slogans cannot fund India’s military. Only a growing economy can.