Saturday, June 09, 2007
Yesterday while I was reading an old article by Tarun Khanna Professor, Harvard Business School, I messaged Prasoon that our country’s growth is not be propelled by the rich Indian diaspora as it is in the case of the Chinese and though the eminent author expected our country to follow the same.. Its rather the frontline Indian conglomerates who are leading from the front in the race to go truly global.. And now number of Indian companies in different sectors, like the software, mining, renewable energy, oil and gas are investing heavily and acquiring firms to break into the top few in their field.. Once I messaged him all these (for people who are wondering how I could messages so many things, well thanks to Airtel as it provided free sms service here in TN circle) I went on feeling happy that our companies proved the Harvard Professor wrong and very soon the TATA Steel will be among the top 3, TCS into top 10, SUZLON and HINDALCO into top 3 and so on.. without much favour from the people of Indian origin settled in various parts of the globe.. And within a decade we will overtake the Japanese and emerge as the 3rd largest economy in the world.
But all my happiness got lost the moment he replied “Dude but our country is still very poor. I saw a picture of a begger on the front page of Hindustan Times, drinking water from a roadside puddle.. while we celebrate the success of the corporate there is a vast population who are still unaffected by these success”.. His next message said “I want to eradicate poverty.. I know its very tuff.. But it is possible”..
I was totally moved by his words and his observation.. for the moment I replied that “Our generation has been awakened and new and better politicians and bureaucrats will evolve and things will improve soon..
But then I couldn’t stop thinking over the issue.. I noted a very shocking statistics every fourth poor person in the world is an Indian..
I heard many foreigners travelling to India saying that the one thing the recognises here is the big division between the rich and the poor in the country.. But I never expected it to be such a serious issue and just assumed that these things are common in all countries and just because of our excessive investment in arms and ammunition due to the unrest across our borders since independence, we are not able to address the issue well.
Now I feel its as if we have two Indias existing simultaneously.. While the rich are getting richer and getting good support by the government, the poor are getting poorer and been deprived of the small benefits the governments in trying to provided them. It so shameful that billionaires like Bachchans are occupying farmlands calling themselves farmers..
The states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh which are home to cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad trying to prove themselves as world-class and comparing themselves with Shanghai.. these are the same states which have the highest farmer suicide rates.
And though Indian GDP is growing at a healthy rate of close to 9 since we entered the 21st century problems states with large populations like Bihar, UP and MP are not well attended.. also the north-eastern states are yet to get their due share..
Quite a number of people from these states have done remarkable things and made the entire country proud and everyone knows each others capabilities but still these people are associated with paan marks and milk traders.
So for the country to really grow, development show benefit all parts of it.. no state should be treated with step mother attitude.. And the politicians should realised their duties and responsibilities and concentrate on improving the conditions of people of their region rather then his monetary gains..
The government should stick to its election propaganda and work for the aam admi and gareeb admi.. they need more support now and even they are the ones who are more loyal and will vote for the party during the elections..
The finance ministry wasn’t as much bother by the rise in the inflation as its now due to the rise in the value of Rupee over the dollar which is a big loss for the exporters..
I don’t blame the government’s quest to attract greater FDI and its investment in proving the infrastructure and other plans but the only thing that would make it complete is that all the plans should be inclusive of benefits to poor and needy.
And I am not calling for eliminating poverty to a perfect zero but the percentage could be well brought down to single digit as in most other developing countries compared to ours which close to 25%.
And then I was thinking how interested and dedicated people like Prasoon could help in this font without joining politics and the best example that comes to mind is none other than the Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank.. his model might help in eliminating poverty to a certain extent.. we had similar success in the form of women self-help groups in Andhra Pradesh, milk producers of Anand, and the SEWA women, to mention a few.
Our people need financial help and quite a lot of moral support to be bold and try out their own venture with assistance from banks.. most Indian are conservative in nature and are little nervous and not aggressive in nature to try out of their own something different and innovative though we are very capable of..
Yes indeed I am very hopeful that our country will fight poverty and will indeed be a perfect world leader in future..