It is widely known that China will use the 2008 Olympics to show that it has arrived as a major economic power, much as Japan did in 1964. Should India, too, start thinking along these lines?
London mayor Ken Livingstone said at a CII event in New Delhi on Monday that the UK would support an Indian bid to host the Olympics in 2020. Would that be too soon?
Look at one measure of economic power: incomes.
When China bid for the games in 2001, the average income of a Chinese was $890. In 2008, this will be around $2,400.
If India bids for the 2020 games in 2013, per capita income could be in the vicinity of $1,500. Finance minister P. Chidambaram expects it to rise to $4,000 by 2025, so we could assume a figure of around $2,750 in 2020.
The numbers look good. India will be slightly richer than China at the time of bidding and hosting. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by an Indian Olympic bid a few years down the line.