Historically, India was the largest economy in the world for most of the next three thousand years. Starting around the 1000 BCE and ending around the beginning of British Rule. What is the reason behind this? Let’s explore
Indian religion and culture played a very great role in the prosperity of India. Around 600 BCE, the Mahajanapadas minted punch-marked silver coins. At that time there was the growth of many religions such as Buddhism and Jainism which survived till date. All of the religion promoted Non-violence as their main idea. The period was marked by intensive trade activity and urban development. By 300 BCE, the Maurya Empire had united most of the Indian subcontinent.
Emperor Ashoka preached buddhism and united all the area of present day of Pakistan and Afganistan. Taxila (Present day Pakistan),Gandhar(present day afganistan) were major trade centers and very prosperous areas. Due to Buddhist ideals ruling class were moderate to their subjects and there was less deadly war in India.
The Maurya Empire was followed by classical and early medieval kingdoms. It included the Cholas, Guptas, Western Gangas, Harsha, Palas, Rashtrakutas and Hoysalas. During this period the Indian subcontinent is estimated to have accounted for one-third, to one-fourth of the world’s population.
India had the largest economy for most of the interval between the 1st century and 18th century.
India experienced per-capita GDP growth in the high medieval era after 1000 CE. During the Delhi Sultanate in the north and Vijayanagara Empire. By the late 17th century, most of the Indian subcontinent had been reunited under the Mughal Empire. It became the largest economy and manufacturing power in the world, producing about a quarter of global GDP.
During Muslim rule majority of Indian population were Hindu,Buddhist and Jain and philosophy of this religion revolve around Non-violence. These religions do not believe in proselytizing and neither they attack different faith for the propose of conversion. As a result, these people focused their whole energy on the growth and prosperity.
During medieval times, India was the world leader in manufacturing. India was producing 25% of the world’s industrial output up until the mid-18th century. Prior to British rule, Bengal Subah was the wealthiest province solely accounted for 40% of Dutch imports outside the west. It was a world leader in productive agriculture, textile manufacturing and shipbuilding.
Religion and prosperity
The Indian religion is very much alive to the fact that economic stability is essential for man’s welfare and happiness. The Buddha mentions that there are four kinds of happiness derived from wealth. They are:
1.The happiness of ownership.
2.The happiness derived from wealth which is earned by means of right livelihood,i.e. not dealing in the sale of harmful weapons, not dealing in the slaughter of animals and sale of flesh, not dealing in the sale of liquor, not dealing in the sale of human beings (e.g. slavery and prostitution) and not dealing in the sale of poisons.
3.The happiness derived from not being in debt.
4).The happiness of sharing one’s wealth. This kind of happiness is an extremely important concept in Buddhism.
A society prospers when there is freedom to express different ideas. Historically,India gave freedom to express any india. Carvaka who was against the Hinduism buddhism and Jainism got respect from all section of society.
The Society which allows prospering only one religion will die soon. we have live examples like Pakistan, Afganistan and other middle east countries. Oil-rich middle east countries will fall in a debt trap as the value of oil decline in the market because Islam as a religion obstructs the growth of other faith and culture.
Pakistan and many other than oil-rich Muslim majority countries are poor because they don’t believe in educating women and teach their children modern ideas. Indian economic history is a live example of a link between religion and prosperity.