Yes and No!
Ground level realities gives hope and much optimism, we have to admit!
Yet, the new urban migration pace is a sure indicator of India’s strong growth potential!
From the budgets to target fixing to every department
From poverty estimates to fixing rate of growth to coal and oil blocks auctioning you see the fatigue writ large. To make economic policy making difficult is the state of the polity.
The new heroes like the just ousted Railway Minister, Dinesh Trivedi, the Trinamool Congress leader and the other unlikely hero, none other than the CAG, Mr.Vinod Rai who nspilled the beana about the government doing favours to some 100 private sector companies, all just big enough to create great suspicions in the mind of the people, have just make for a difficult time.
The Economist, just as with such mischief in its intentions to paint India in bad colours uses its only weapon, its twisted English style to say that India is a poor but a big country and economy!
Also, everything else in India goes wrong to this cheeky tongue-twister. Of course, we all know already that our rate of growth had slowed down, from 9 to 6 this year, so also we know how some of the social parameters of growth the status of the malnourished infants and so on and on.
But what is not left out of such prejudiced and pre-conceived foreign media is the fact that India is growing. India’s democracy is vibrant.
UP elections only highlighted some of the positive gains for India and even for the outside world.
Such a diverse economy and society is getting integrated. Getting strengthened, getting strong in its rapid industrialisation, in particular in the emerging area of infrastructure growth.
Even in the railways where the just resigned minister Mr.Dinesh Trivedi by presenting a progressive budget that in fact overshadowed what followed afterwards, the general budget, for the obvious reason the railway budget highlighted what was missing and what was needed in the very important infrastructure, railway lines. The railways are an old British legacy. Yet, the Indian railways, as pointed out by Mr.Trivedi, lags behind other national lines, the then minister said ,Indian railways lags behind that of China by 50 years. So, there cant be any two opinions what needs to be done.
Indian railways is now focused to grow faster than what we have done so far.
We had an American couple as our house guests for a few days. We found that even in the USA there are still deficiencies in the roads development and also in the railways! So, it was some comfort to know that when it comes to basic infrastructure like railways and roadways, it is a big job, a difficult job and requires lot of hard work and planning.
The railways reforms committee under some eminent brains, under Anil Kakkodar, the former atomic energy commission chairman and also the former Delhi Metro chairman, the redoubtable, yet so humble looking E.Sridharan has submitted a very comprehensive report.
Delhi Metro or for that matter many other upcoming urban metros, as in Bangalore (partially open) and in other cities like Chennai must transform the face of urban India in a few years time.
We just the other day viewed the video of the Delhi Metro and we wondered for a moment whether we were in India and were we seeing the new Indian in the making?
It was all so beautiful, so clean and neat and smooths the running of the Delhi Metro and its reach!
So too the building pace of the National Highways road network. Anyone driving through the India’s new National Highways Road would be surprised that Indians could build such world class roads.
So fast and so smooth the national scale activity.
There is now much talk about the urbanisation process. The JN Urbanisation Mission might have lost its stream, so to say. There is now less talk and no sign of any new initiative. For that matter, as we have said above, there is a fatigue in policy making and symbolically, the Prime Minister, at 80, is no more an young man nor has he any moral strength, given the recent series of scandals and also his lack of any political and moral legitimacy.
He also now, surely enough, fails to draw anymore any inspiration, be it moral or constitutional, from Sonia Gandhi’s style of leadership. Sonia Gandhi has lost the UP elections so badly that calls for very many unsavoury comparisons.
In one historic sense or perspective Sonia Gandhi and her presumed heir to the dynasty, Rahul Gandhi, are confined to a narrow territory, may be to their homes, as in the comparative historic period, during the late 19th century Delhi, when Bahadur Shah Zafar, the Mughal Emperor was so confined to his Red Fort premises when the outside the British army was stationed from 1807!
We don’t intend to sound so harsh but what then is left now, with both Sonia and Rahul don’t venture out nor they participate actively in Parliament and outside?
The Prime Minister himself is not a member of the Lok Sabha and he also doesn’t feel comfortable, it seems, from attending and participating in Parliamentary debates.
What is Parliamentary democracy, if it is not debates and interventions?
Yes, Parliament looks active in one sense. But in another, more substantive sense, Parliament is served poorly by our critical leaders, the Party leaders and the government leaders.
Also, no one mentions now, this is now a forbidden subject, it seems, namely corruption.
Corruption on such vast scale and that has landed the Cabinet Minister and a department secretary to long haul in Tihar jail and this has dented the image of this government do badly.
Anyway, there is fast growth, not in terms of small print, by quoting this or that economic measurement, be it poverty rate or growth rate. But we can see urban India is growing, poverty is decreasing, and urban migration fast and there is a free movement of rural labour from one end of the country to the other, from Assam to Kanyakumari. The railway express, Vivek Express, is a symbolic manifestation of this urban growth.
So, the new census, not just the 2011 one but the new and more state-level ones are taking surveys of other states’ migrants in search of jobs in cities like Chennai and Tirupur.
People, especially the ones, the rural families now willing to migrate are doing so owing to the new growth momentum.
The academic debate whether urban migration takes place owing to rural poverty is clearly out of date. It is the total Indian economy’s growth that propels urbanisation.
Urbanisation in India is a reality and urbanising India is transforming both the rural and the urban landscape.
There is optimism, hope and a rising aspiration in the face of every Indian today. Jai Hind!
Image Source : bengalnewz.com