India is a vast democracy of nearly one billion people. Before the British rule ended in 1947, the life span of an Indian was a mere 21 years. Within a short span of 50 years, it increased to an impressive 63 years, largely due to public health measures initiated by the government. This created a pool of more than 300 million middle class Indians who could afford the benefits of modern and specialized care when needed. Critical care medicine, as practiced in the West, is still confined to large Metropolitan areas. A large pool of expatriate Indian physicians from all over the world are helping bridge the resource gap between the West and India by transfer of technology and providing appropriate training to physicians and paramedical personnel. This article describes the history and current status of development of critical care medicine in India.