Saturday, January 6, 2018


On 15 August 1945 Japan agreed to unconditional surrender to United Kingdom and United State in the Second World War after atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that left Japan completely wrecked with its industry infrastructure entirely destroyed. Exactly after 2 years India earned its independence getting rid of the British rule governed by the United Kingdom and surviving a fate of partition that broke the spirit and backbone of its unity and integrity. Although completely different in many terms including geography, resources, culture and history; both these nations were more or less in a similar situation, India having an advantage of being Free and rich with Natural resources and basic infrastructure!

After 70 years the picture today is startling for India, if not completely pathetic, when Japan has become one of the most prestigious Brand of the Modern world by securing the position of World’s Third Largest Economy after United States and China. India claims the same position in terms of PPP but that ranking has many aspects, including but not limited to population, that need serious interrogation and profound reflection! So today let’s try to understand very fundamental things leaving the jargons to the experts and economists.

Nation building starts with two basic elements – Setting Relevant Objectives and Optimum utilization of available resources to achieve those objectives. ‘Growth’ or ‘Development’ could not be ‘Objectives’ in themselves as these terms are explicitly relative and implicitly subjective! One of the acceptable and balanced definition of ‘Growth’ could be ‘Developing the intrinsic ability to meet the needs (not wants!) of present and making provisions for common future (not own!) by any entity’, right from an individual to a nation. This definition in its word and spirit dismisses the theory of exponential growth as it is promised and projected for deceitful purposes of the proposers. Instead, it upholds the sanity of considering growth as the means and not the purpose while assumes development to be sustainable as well as inclusive. This definition and its intent also sets the right perspective to look at statistics by discarding higher GDP or bullish Stock Market as irrational and irrelevant when it comes to analysis of Economic performance – both these do not qualify to serve as Progress Indicators for a simple reason – rise in number of patients in a hospital also adds to GDP and stock market could be manipulated by any shrewd mind with strategic planning and analysis… remember Harshad Mehta?

Secondly, consumption based rise in the economy could not be considered as prosperous development unless the growing in numbers could be put under the investment column. Having more orphanages or old-age homes could be the need of the hour (seriously?) or it might add up to the numbers, but it certainly is not a Development Indicator; on the contrary it speaks volumes about the deteriorating social health and well-being – something that needs a serious attention and structural reform, not celebration. If few affluent members of the society are over-consuming, only because they can afford to, it is not a sign of holistic development by any measure or standard, as they could do so at the cost of masses continued to be deprived of their basic necessities and fundamental rights that their government owes to them. This Social and Economical disparity is critical to the Nation building as it has the potential of a sabotage when things go out of proportion and any anti-social element finds the opportunity to trigger the unrest!

Now, for some statistics to support the theory – Service sector has major contribution to the GDP with its four prominent players – Automobile, Construction, Finance and IT – all urban-centered domains with their stakeholders mainly in the Metros, Tier II and few Tier III cities of India. The entire urban population of India is about 30% which suggests that the population in the Metros and Tier II cities combined wouldn’t be more than 10%. The other 90% of the population is not benefiting from the growth in these sectors because, either it is completely ignorant of the status quo or it is being ‘maintained’ like that on purpose, some probing in the matter would reveal the secret, may be…!

About 70% of India resides in rural areas and about same percentage of its population is engaged in Agro-based occupation or industry. Agriculture in India remains the biggest unorganized sector by and large and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises industry is close second with a whopping 90% share in manufacturing sector but majority of it being unorganized. Mere percentages of these sectors are sufficient to exhibit their livelihood and employability potential in India. Despite the facts, figures and prospects, both these sectors have suffered severe negligence as far as planning, policy and projections are considered. All the technological innovations are useless unless they could facilitate development of crucial sectors. A serious analysis with a profound approach to these sectors could be a game-changer!

Education in general and meaningful education in particular, and health in general and maternal health in particular, are two major concerns India need to address on a war-footing – not firefighting – level. About half the women population having inadequate levels in majority of the health parameters is not only concerning but seriously alarming as the physical and mental health of future generations would be directly affected by the condition of mothers that would conceive and rear those babies. Proper nutrition of the newborns is the governing factor of the early childhood development and it is not only desirable but essential for the life-long effect it has on the holistic development of the children. Multi-specialty hospitals in the urban areas would contribute to the GDP, no doubt, but Public Health needs to be revitalized for the enormous population it serves; sound health is a basic necessity and not a luxury for every citizen of the country, no matter what type of Government a nation has.

Finally, various global reports have maintained it that India is the youngest country of this planet based on the average age of the working population and it would be even younger by 2020! Great news! We could be happy with this prediction, we could consider ourselves lucky for being the youngest country, we can feel proud of it OR we can ask ourselves a candid question – 'What are we going to do with all that youth we would have in 2020?' Make them either organize, play or watch T20 Cricket matches or we have something in store for them that they will take pride in doing and cherish the memories of their youth for years to come...?

Well, only WE should (and could) find the answer to it, the World is watching and the clock is ticking…

Way (2 years, to be precise!) to go…!

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