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Cyclists in a long-distance race usually form a peloton formation, like flying geese. The lead cyclist provides a slipstream that helps those at an angle behind to experience reduced drag. Every once in a while, some other cyclist takes up the burden of leading. Long-run economic growth has similarities with such a peloton, in that the lead sector which sets the pace keeps changing and thereby allows everyone in the peloton to sustain the pace. So it has been for India in the past three or four decades.
Following the acceleration of economic growth, from about 2.5 per cent in the crisis-ridden 1970s to about 5.5 per cent in the 1980s, a nascent middle class was born. This created the