Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Outlook.com

Bharat Inc.

Aatma Nirbhar is Swadeshi Plus…and the Covid crisis is an opportunity, writes Naveen Jindal. But challenges remain: of 1,000 companies planning to exit China, only 300 were thinking of India.

Bharat Inc.
Bharat Inc. Bharat Inc.

India witnessed the urgency of self-sufficiency in the early 20th century. Mahatma Gandhi launched the Khadi Movement in 1920, which later turned into a comprehensive swadeshi campaign. Today, India perhaps needs the same swadeshi spirit to face one of its toughest challenges going forward. India is a beacon of stable democratic governance. Peaceful and sustainable rise of India at the global stage is imminent. Yet, India today also faces one of its toughest challenges. If you thought every crisis brings with it an opp­ortunity, the world has presented India with one, and the impulses shown by the government indicate that we have reasons to be optimistic in these extremely challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic is once-in-a-lifetime challenge. It impacted lives, livelihoods, economies and businesses, India being no exception. Countries with far greater resources and better economic health were imp­acted far more severely.

I would say that the government, supported by the states, res­ponded well. The clarion call for an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is a much-needed, welcome initiative that will help India take a lead in manufacturing, and make up for the missed opportunities of the past. Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is a swadeshi-plus philosophy. Today, the thrust is on ‘Make in India; Make for the World’. To be fair, the idea of self-reliance is not exactly a new one. Successive prime ministers since Independence have talked of India being a self-reliant nation. I have some first-hand experiences of this. The founder of O.P. Jindal Group and my father, O.P. Jindal, talked of and worked tow­ards a self-reliant India half-a-century ago. It’s a matter of pride for us that we, at JSPL, are wedded to the idea of an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. Given the Covid-induced contraction of the world economy, China’s rise, its hostile posturing tow­ards many countries, including India, and overdependence on China in the global supply chain have led global enterprises to look for new manufacturing bases outside China.

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