Why not in agriculture and peoples’ growth?

This year’s human development index lets down India. India falls two steps downward! From 126 Indian slips to 128 rank! A national shame?

We ask the decision makers, the leaders in politics and the corporate world!
We read, day in and day out, in the urban press, in the business press, about the various corporate success stories. But India is a vast country, a vast population, over 60 per cent still engaged in agriculture, rural enterprises, our own micro, small and medium business are so large numbers. But there is the distressing daily reporting, again, in the urban press about farmers suicides. Distress in agri sector, the SMEs is crowded with sickness and there are no success stories to celebrate nationally?

You don’t read about the President or the Prime Minister celebrating any such people-centric growth successes, no award functions, no agro-entrepreneurs awards, no padmabhusams to any co-operatives or  co-operators, no more Amul is spoken about. Does this mean that no visionaries are available outside the cosy corporates, the five star hotel lobby halls or the well-dressed and well-heeled only can make success in India?

Yes, it is a rather disappointing thought to think that neither our President nor Prime Minister of the various party leaders have any imagination whatever. They don’t celebrate where celebrations must be in order!

They don’t find it worthwhile they have to spot talents and achievements beyond a very narrow number of persons and corporates. Why you only celebrate the billionaires? Why only you reward the bureaucrats and big businessmen with padmabhusans?

There are, luckily, in India, right in our time and in our midst  great many new talents and new dedicated persons and individuals who have turned out unimaginable products and services and also new business models like the Ela Bhats and the Dabbawallahs and the very many co-operative enterprises, even co-operative banks that are run very successfully.

What is vision? To spot talents and opportunities where none exists, right? Then, why not you spot those who work among the farmers, among the tribals and among the rural folks. Why dont you draw people from Naxlite and Maoists infested areas and give them projects and funds so that they could transfer a violence culture into productive enterprises.

Mr.Subodh Kant Sahay, our food processing minister says there are not enough trained entrepreneurs to take up the business opportunities in food processing sector. Yes, all our food parks have been failures.

There is any number of failures and yet for every failure there is any number of successes.

Take floriculture. When this magazine was launched there was no floriculture. We promoted the sector in a big way and today we at least talk proudly of a floriculture sector. There are many government bodies that do good work, in horticulture, medicinal crops and they all dispense subsidies. Unfortunately, the ministries, agriculture, food, co-operation and even finance all are so huge and with huge responsibilities that there are not enough men and women in positions of power to nurture small enterprises.

We need to identify new Varghese Kuriens and new Ela Bhats! Only individuals with enormous willpower can become leaders, more so, outside the power structures. So, the government, more so the leaders in high offices must always seek for what is being done in the remote parts of India.

This is now not happening, unfortunately. Every leader seems to be Delhi-centric or self-centric!

Yes, corporates have to take up social responsibilities as they make huge profits. As for the decentralised sectors, it is social responsibility that comes first.
What is achievement? It is to create a fulfilling life for every citizen. This comes only when there is a sense of fairness in the society at large.

Now, this sense of fairness is not seen by the public from either of the power centres : politcal power centres or the economic power centres.

We need to create a caring society. The latest Human Development Index shows India slipped to the 128th rank, two ranks lower than what we were last year!
So, there is lot of soul-searching for the government and the corporate to do. They haven’t done their jobs enough!

Our GDP per capita ranking in the over-all human development index, is minus nine last year, this year we are minus eleven! Certainly Mr.P.Chidambaram must become more moderate in his bullishness about the GDP rate! One hopes the PM has some explanation to do about the latest fall in our HDI!

So, the point is that  the leaders, political and corporate, have to turn their attention to integrate our agriculture and our rural hinterland to the otherwise fast growing Indian economy and our development agenda must have a broader definition!

That definition should include agriculture. That is what the magazine is advocating all these years.

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