Narendra Modi’s is as complete a vision as I have seen for a while. But it will only be building castles in the air until the question of resources is addressed. Resources will have to be mostly generated internally which means more taxation and/or better revenue collection efficiency and transfer of subsidy sums to capital investment. It will also mean running our utilities and psus to make profits. Unfortunately, there’s not a thought on this.
Mr Modi and his team think that since the allegedly high rates of income tax are the root cause of corruption, what is actually a relatively low incidence must be made lower. Also, the idea that small teams can deliver with greater speed and efficiency is an old one. My problem is that PMs and CMs have too little time and too little expertise to micromanage long-term and giant projects. There is a deeper disease at play, and Modi still has no ideas on how to treat that.
To get a consensus on labour reforms and land acquisition, his party needs to evolve an internal consensus first. Any national scheme requires national consensus. We have many areas in which we have policy consensus. For instance, it is agreed that manufacturing should account for a bigger share of the GDP, yet there is contradictory consensus on not having labour reforms. Modi also makes no mention of the foreign investment regime he favours. His RSS mentors and ideologues like Gurumurthy abhor foreign capital. While FDI might be a small component in overall investment, it plays a critical role in exports and technology absorption.
Also, the discourse on policy, so essential for a democracy, never happens in India. The BJP is as guilty on this as others. Our intensely adversarial politics tends, by its very nature, to preclude consensus. The problem with Modi is that he is a creature of the RSS ideological hothouse where only intellectual bonsais can grow. He is sworn to the establishment of a Hindu rashtra and is a full-time RSS apparatchik. Vajpayee and Advani outgrew their RSS moorings and got out of its straitjacket and imbibed liberal ideas. They treated the RSS with bemused disdain.
Modi has shown no inclination on creating a more inclusive, just and harmonious society. He sees change just in economic terms, in terms of roads and buildings, power generation and industrial output. But people, while wanting growth, want to retain their collective and individual identities too, they want justice and equality and, above all, they want their freedom. Modi has no vision on this. The India First slogan is just an attempt to steamroll all these ideals with the deadweight of narrow nationalism. To arrive at a notion of India First, he must define India first. To me, his India First is just a cloak for a Hindu rashtra that he will define with his limited vision.
The author is chairman and founder of Centre for Policy Alternatives; E-mail your columnist: mohanguru AT gmail.com
Apropos the Jump Cut Define India First (Feb 3), for Modi to become prime minister, he needs to change much of his thinking and behaviour. He’ll succeed only if he is able to handle India’s diversity without riling them. The Congress is unlikely to win, since it doesn’t have the strong leader the youth seems to aspire for. In the end, we’ll have a khichdi government.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Mohan Guruswamy is a well known Saint Sonia Cult Pracharak, waste of time reading him.
[[The RSS/VHP prachar is doing havoc to our national ethos.]]
Our national ethos was thrown to a pack of wolves the day the first Muslim stepped onto the sub-continent.
This article presumes Modi stands for growth. He doesnt. He stands for handing over the economy to the Oligarchy, irrespective of whether it leads to growth. For all the hype, Maharashtra and many other states grow as fast or faster than Gujarat.
Re: 3/D-26: Economy is a prerequisite to freedom. That is why economy is called Sukha-adharum, meaning Happiness Basis, in Tamil.
Hinduism has been most secular, starting thousands of years ago. One of Asoka's pillars has the rights of man inscribed on it.
Muslims are most happy only in India. It allows their own law to operate insread of the common civil law. In no other country do they have that freedom.I actually think it should not be allowed because it is bad for women. Muslim women are also women.Other Islamic countries do not allow religious minorities any frredom at all. Some have conflicts based on minor variations of Islam which different sects practice and is a source of constant conflict. See Syria, for example.
Anyway muslims were all Hindus before they got converted. They are the same people as us.
The economy must be correct whether or not there is a consensus. What we have is fiat money and works this way..The real balance isIndia creates money. It iscalled the DEFICIT.
DEFICITS- NET IMPORTS = NETPRIVATE SAVINGS, is the balance.
There are almost no limits toDEFICITS = CREATED MONEY
This is verified graphically by Prof. Stephanie Kelton using published US data in Openhttps://twitter.com/StephanieKelton/status/389441574993526784/photo/1close
You have to cut and paste this in a new page to see the data with “open” and “close” cut off.
Or select the part between open and close and open in a new tag
Have a look and see this balance
and how easy it is to grow the economy. Be impressed.
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