Developed India by 2020?
Kalam Vision is more an inspirational wish, than a reasoned exposition of development in depth, be it economic and social development or human development as such.
APJ Abdul Kalam was such a popular President that it is too early to stand apart and take an objective look at some of his weightly pronouncements. One is his vision for a developed India by 2020.
There is a strong popular view and popular belief that India is progressing on a steady path towards a developed nation by 2020. One of the loud messages towards this goal is set of course by our much admired Abdul Kalam, former President. Along the way we are also believing that economic progress of the country is also proceeding towards such a goal.
In India, the public perception seems to be that India would become a developed nation, if we follow the Kalam path.
The point I want to highlight here is this: is the view of scientists, professional economists and technologists and others who are talking about turning India into a developed country by 2020 is based on any sound thinking?
My view is that it is not!
Why I say so?
One very important reason is that these gentlemen, scientists, technologists and professional economists are specialists, they have very specialised knowledge in their respective spheres. But when it comes to envisioning a future, the future of Indian society( and politics) as a whole their perspectives and insights, as such are found wanting in many critical senses.
Let me explain my view in this way.
A country is a complex mechanism, it has many facets, society, castes, religions, geographical peculiarities and much more than these is our history and our evolution as a nation, as a people. These complex issues can be studied and understood and appreciated only when we have a fairly wider grasp of the very many social and politicial and historcial aspects of our past and the present. Just to take one example. We have committed along with other countries to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, reduce poverty, illiterary etc. This is a better definition.
Simply as Kalam says in so much generalist sweep of language that let us dream and then we reach that status by 2020, is to say, in my opinion, very rhetorical only.
Kalam wrote an autobiography and once in office it sold in million. In many languages. Already, his successor in office has a full length 300 page biography in the market. Very likely this too might sell or made to sell in lakhs!
We can be proud of our democracy so far.But we can’t be complacent of our future.See the widespread restlessness and uprisings in our neighbourhood.
As one writer has observed,in the context of Europe,”it does not take much time- half a century or so-to turn a country upside down”! No one can’t be oblivious of history’s unpredictability.Social scientists and theorists only can explain and explore the issues of historicism or historic determinism. There are so many other issues over which I deeply feel.Indian society’s own political commitments. How serious are we about own freedoms?.The rising new classes,the new middle classes,the long-suppressed communities with new opportunities,longing to migrate at the first opportunity,are as disinterested in the country’s political future,as the current crop of unscrupulous politicians here are!
I often wonder,how it has come to pass that those who worked for division of India,worked for dividing the country now into communal polarisation,those of the Left who worked against India’s freedom struggle have now all come to the fore to rule India?To what future goals or destinations?
Yes,half a century without a major war,has given the world a sense of peace and progress.But again as I see (or rather foresee) ,a few bad decisions,a few and ineffectual leadership decisions,given the current international and national mood to trigger hatred and raw passions, so much can change so fast.
That much for entertaining any naivety about a developed nation status by 2020!
It is one thing to be a popular and populist president, Another thing your ideas are accepted by serious study and anlaysis.