A dose of scepticism is also good at the same time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done once more! He does things in a grand manner. The invest-soliciting for Gujarat state was done in an impressive way. All the top Indian industrialists, some known for long as close to the PM, the likes of Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani had pledged huge investments in Gujarat. The international faces, US Secretary of State, UN Secretary General were all there and so the show made a great splash in the media. Of course the participation of the US President Obama gave Modi further endorsement.
The Indian economy, the visitor-cum the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, endorsed that the Indian economy has the potential to grow 6.4 per cent. Of course, the World Bank chief warned an enduring “bias” on caste can impede prosperity. This is indeed a very encouraging endorsement. So too them, it looks, the global economy is also looking up. The world’s great economy, the US ,is also predicted to grow at 3.2 per cent, after waiting for 15 years to see China and the emerging markets take the lead.
In fact, it is now after 1999 we see such a US turnaround. The IMF data, the Labour Dept statistics about jobs growth, payroll and the drop in unemployment etc show this resurgence of the US economy.
This is good news and the US as the driver of the global economic engine must also impact to India’s advantage in the present and emerging political climate in India.
Of course, It is very important to note how the World Bank chief has alluded to the caste discrimination in the sharing of the prosperity across all the caste groups. May be he was also cautious he didn’t mention the BJP’s penchant for communal polarisation. He didn’t mention the exclusion of the minorities.
This is a timely warning.
Indian economy is not strictly a free market economy as it is understood in the West.
In the US in particular where the big corporations had enjoyed lots of freedom.
In India, the big corporations are only now coming into the public domain when the PSUs are shrinking and the new liberalisation of the economy under Modi sees so much talk about the really bigger corporations, like the Ambanis and the Adamni group.
While we are all for supporting Mr.Modi in his endeavour, for the first time, let us admit this, when we hear so much of optimism for economic growth. Ironically, under the UPA-II all we saw was a depressive atmosphere where we saw the big corporate went a brisk and corruption had a free run.
So, this time we might see a sea change, hopefully so. The issues of corruption and back money haven’t gone off the radar, we hope. And also the cronyism is also would be brought under tight watch.
Anyway, it is early times for such topics. But already there are some other irritants. One is the spate of ordinances. One on the land acquisition act is also causing serious concern within the Sangh Parivar. The Swadeshi Jangran Manch is also worried and also the labour unions within the RSS.
Will it be all about big business or is there any area for small and medium enterprises and the grass roots employment opportunities.
Again, it is too early for these minor quiblings?
Anyway, it is a fact, a hard fact indeed, that India with all its great growths in many areas, it is a country with the world’s largest poor; the largest population of malnourished children, the health indices of the infants and maternity are very shameful.
So, it is not just the slogans about Makr in India, Clean India and good Governance, it is also the unspoken ground level reality of India as the most inequal, inequitous and also the most exploitative society in so many critical indicators.
The point here is not to decry, it is not our intention. The point is that when we see the very high and mighty on a stage we, Indians seem, to be carried away.
We are a people of great many fantasies, not rooted in sound scepticism.
A dose of scepticism does enormous good, especially in the light w of what happened when we really believed when the UPA-II was tellis the people.
So, we welcome the Modi’s grand show and the same time, it our duty to warn the government as well as the people.