A visible strand of public commentary on ‘India at 75’ focuses on the size of its economy, often followed by the proclamation that it is today the world’s fastest growing economy. This has encouraged speculation as to when it could become the largest. Now, while goods are essential for our existence, and the advances made in manufacturing them in India should rightly be considered an achievement, an exclusive focus on goods blanks out what should really draw our attention, namely people. In this talk I shall extract a strand of the global discourse on the economy which defines progress in terms of human development. I shall then evaluate where India is placed on this score today. Finally, I shall conclude by arguing that in India we should aim to channel the current economic growth appropriately or we stand to reap a dystopian future, both material and ecological.