The “millennium bug”, once a techie thing, is still with us, it seems. Marketers chase millennials obsessively as a consumer class, even as 1,000-year spans animate politics. On 15 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid out a 1,000-year vision for India’s development, offered as a project of liberation in contrast with the millennium gone by. Our neighbours have had their own versions. In 2017, China announced a 1,000-year plan to build a grand annexe to Beijing, while Pakistan once threatened a war of that length with India in a fit of futility. In earlier times, such long-range planning had been the stuff of science fiction. Isaac Asimov’s 1962 novel about one man’s quest to save humankind, The 1,000-Year Plan, comes to mind, though the title may have drawn upon an earlier zeitgeist among civilization planners. A timescale that spans centuries does hold resonance with folks, no doubt, which may explain its use as a rhetorical device. It gets attention. It makes the five-year plans of India’s dreary days of central planning look myopic. The “long run” in economics is a span across which all costs and factors of production are deemed variable. Is it time to define a “mega run”?
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Updated: 15 Aug 2023, 11:41 PM IST