My ten points for awakening India

A cub of a lion got lost and it was reared by a group of goats. It forgot its real identity. As it grew, it started identifying itself with the goats and mingled with their family. Once a lion saw it and got astonished to see it behaving like a goat. Lion was thinking about what to do? Lion was not able to get any idea. How to remove the illusion of the cub? The country called India is also in a similar illusion. The really important question is how to awaken the inner soul of this great nation.

Some people are using the word "Transformation". I would prefer to use the word "Awakening". We can transform someone in a new form. But to reinstate a person to his/her real form is awakening.

Who estranged the giant called Bharat into India?

Bharat has been enslaved into India. Bharat, a great sub-continent has been subjugated into the present form over a long period of time and it has been repeatedly destroyed and demolished, but its real spirit is still able to survive. The last few decades have witnessed a combination of corrupt bureaucracy and government machinery combined with inept leaders which have resulted in mass deterioration of this great country. Awaking this country is not an easy task.

Is India really shining?

A recent research paper highlighted that India is growing because India's GDP is now the 3rd largest in the world. Another newspaper highlighted that the per capita GDP of India is not rising and it lamented the government for its failures. I lament on both of them. To measure the progress of a great country like India in measures like GDP itself is lamentable. What does GDP represents? It represents consumption. Does more consumption signify development? Does a country represent development by its total consumption? Just because India has the 2nd largest population and therefore it is able to consume more. Should this factor alone be considered to compare India with the developed countries? Should India continue to increase consumption in order to remain in the race of developed countries? Should our objectives be to encourage people to consume more and more (and what they consume doesn't matter - if they drink more liquor - it will also contribute to the GDP)? A country, which was contributing 80% of the global trade and commerce (400 years back), has been reduced to less than 1% of the global trade and commerce. A country which was the source of knowledge, a centre of academic discourse, and the ultimate standard in art, culture and aesthetics, has been shattered to a mere imitator. Is this what they call progress?
my ten points for awakening India,awareness
Search for real India

India is an amalgam of great civilizations and great cultures. It is a great socio-economic platform. The Indian subcontinent has witnessed some of the best thinkers and philosophers of the history and their ideas are still found scattered in different folklore and practices. It would be inappropriate to compare a great country to other countries on the basis of its total consumption. India has been a source of ideas for the globe. India has significantly contributed to art, heritage, literature, and business. It should continue to shine in these fields and any talk of development should take into account its contribution to the intellectual spheres of the world.

Why India is not progressing?

At the time of independence, we were not having adequate infrastructure. Our resources were inadequate to help us in achieving our progress. We progress in the directions of our goals. If our goals are mis-placed, our progress will also be misplaced. This is also happening in India. For the last six decades, we have been experimenting with different mis-placed goals, never sure of what we wanted to achieve. We still continue to experiment. This is the time to understand our priorities, and set clear goals for ourselves. For the last few decades, we have been dreaming to achieve higher and higher GDP (which should not be our first priority) and we are witnessing massive increase in consumption in India. This massive increase in consumption may benefit some multinational companies, but it will not help us in achieving the real goals - the goals of achieving enlightened prosperity and equitable development of our country.

The true pillars of India

The real pillars of India have been and will continue to be its rich knowledge, practices, skills and belief system. These have been shattered to pieces over a period of time and need to be refurbished. We have to re-build this great country by strengthening these again. Let us recognise the traditional knowledge and practices. Let us again impart the skills to our people so that they can again become techno-entrepreneurs that they were in the earlier times. Let us again strengthen our infrastructure to help our common people and keep the common people in our priorities.

The economic fabric of India's superior business model

India was a country where entrepreneurship was built in each family. Every person was encouraged to be an entrepreneur and was trained as an entrepreneur from childhood. People were imparted skills which were based on the principles of proximity to nature and principles of balanced economic development. Whether it was a Kumhar or a Lohar or a Sonar, they were all highly skilled craftsmen as well as entrepreneurs. They were able to take India to its golden periods and they were the real economic champions. They practiced, learned and innovated amazing technologies which were based on the principles of sustainable development. India was always able to create huge wealth because of the entrepreneurship which was spread out in every nook and corner. The entrepreneurship in India was linked to grass-root technologies and these technologies had developed over a period of time through continuous practice and applications. The economic fabric of India's economic system collapsed after the attacks by Britishers and it has not been supported by our government after independence.
What needs to be done?

Any great country is great if its people are willing to accept it and practice it. The ideas of greatness come from the people and leader has to raise this awareness and live the great life himself. The challenge is before the new government to introduce reforms which recognise the role of small entrepreneurs, craftsmen, innovators, farmers, and the common people of India. There is a need to raise general optimism and build a sustainable business culture which can come from the Indians only. There is a need to invite Indians in the task of Nation Building. We don't require money for this. We require change in attitude, approach and goals. We have enough resources to build this greatest country again.

The priorities should be very clear and focused, and should put the common people in the front. I would suggest the following issues to be addressed as top priorities (only 10 points for the time being) with major thrust on 3R (Reduce or Remove or Restructure) :-

1. Introduce 3R in all the government departments which hinder entrepreneurs, particularly small entrepreneurs
2. Apply 3R to all incentives for people to join government services and encourage people to become entrepreneurs
3. Apply 3R to all laws to make them small, meaningful, simple and available in common language
4. Apply 3R to all government machinery which is doing the task of regulations in some or the other name (except Army, Air force, Navy and Police forces)
5. Apply 3R to all inter-state trade and other barriers which are creating countries within country
6. Introduce massive and amazing reforms for entrepreneurs (especially for small entrepreneurs of India), so that it is simple, easy and convenient for people to become an entrepreneur
7. Apply 3R to all subsidies, incentives and other such schemes which are some or other forms of deactivating people
8. Apply 3R to all taxes to make it minimum tax possible thereby removing possibilities for people to become corrupt
9. Introduce e-governance at an amazing pace so that people are able to use all government services through e-kiosks and online services thus reducing possibilities for corruption
10. Introduce massive reforms in administration system by applying 3R to most of the government departments and concentrating only on a few departments which can deliver the best services. All government departments and officers should face independent ratings and reviews on the basis of their working and must be reviewed on those ratings. The departments which are getting consistent ratings as highly corrupt must be closed. A few such harsh measures are necessary to improve this great country again. Probably, mere announcement of such measures will force the government machinery to improve its working.

The path ahead......

One goal can have multiple paths. The goals have to be clear and should be really motivating ones. Our goal has to be to again to achieve enlightened prosperity through involving common people and through keeping a balanced developmental perspective. We should develop our own measures of prosperity and should shun the measures like GDP. It would be better to quote the King of Bhutan on this matter- "Instead of GDP, we should use the measure of happiness to measure the progress of a country". Thus we should re-awaken ourselves and show the light to the entire world and transform the global system.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 21st July 2014.
Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain
Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.