Acknowledge Farmers, Labourers in Make in India: Tushar Gandhi

Acknowledge Farmers, Labourers in Make in India: Tushar Gandhi

Real 'Make in India' is in the hands of labourers and farmers of the country who have the potential to deliver the best but the need is to acknowledge their importance and make efforts to empower them, Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson Tushar Gandhi said tonight.

Expressing sorrow over the approach of governments and politicians toward "real issues" like empowerment of farmers, labourers, the poor and development of rural India, Gandhi said these classes were always neglected and index of the economy was never linked with the hunger of people which, he rued, was one of the major factors why Mahatma Gandhi's dream never came true.

Speaking on whether Independent India lived up to the vision of Mahatma Gandhi, at an event organised to mark the centenary of the return of the father of the nation from South Africa, Tushar said today government does not care much for small industries which feed the poor and the needy.

"Bapuji had a dream for (flourishing) cottage industries but what happened today with that we all know. Our farmers and labourers in rural India still have great potential and they can do good for the country. Real 'Make in India' is in their hands and the government should look at them," Tushar said.

The government talks of industries, which in terms of value or investment run in thousands of crores, and does not care for such small scale industries or business which actually feed the poor and the needy, he said.

"One thing which the country has brilliantly achieved in the years of independence is that we have created a great divide between people. Rich are getting richer, their surplus (wealth) never trickles down and the other sides are people, including children, who face hardship to get one time meal," Tushar said.

He said that industrialists can find their suitable market and make high profit but farmers can not sell their produce in free market.

"This is where the dream of Mahatma Gandhi failed," he said.

"There is 'lagaan' and 'lagaam' (tax and control) for farmers but not on industrialists. They need cheaper lands, tax benefits and other incentives and packages to set up industries but a farmer only wants a free market to sell his produce.

Tushar expressed anguish at the country's failure to provide basic education to all children and basic facilities like power and water to the people.

Talking about the issue of Maoism, Gandhi said that the governments should peep into themselves to find out that why force of few people is able to capture huge land of the country.

While claiming that he was not endorsing Maoism, which he termed as a danger to the nation, Gandhi said they have no option but to take gun and seek answers from governments about their grim situation.

"If I am suppressed and denied my rights and meal, I would have no option but to lift a gun. This is what is going on there. If the situation continues for a decade more, our country will not be a safe place.

Tushar expressed concern over the general perception that laws are not the same for the poor and the rich.

"This becomes a very serious issue when a perception is made that laws are only for the poor and not for rich people," he said.

About democracy, he said that power lies with people and people should realise their responsibility.

"Politicians are not powerful. It is the people who are powerful in a democracy and its example was seen in Delhi Assembly election when the party (BJP), which garnered huge votes (in Lok Sabha elections), failed in Delhi Assembly elections."

On the beef ban in Maharastra, Tushar said that there should have been arrangement of alternate work for those who "honestly and legally" were earning their livelihood from this industry before putting a ban on beef.

"In the absence of any alternate arrangement for income, those who were engaged in this work have options of either migrate or indulge in crime. We need to look these aspects too," he said.

Tushar recalled that the when the first interim government of the country was formed, the members went to Gandhiji to provide a talisman, a 'mantra' to govern the country.

"Gandhiji answered that whenever they were in doubt about their governance and administering the country, they should imagine if their action would benefit the poorest and the weakest. However, he regretted that the country today, even after six decades of independence, was still plagued with poverty and backwardness," he said.

He said Gandhiji's dream was different from that of Nehru's dream.

This he realised soon after independence when Gandhiji's suggestion for the national flag was that it should have the 'charkha' as the emblem.

However, Nehru differed and had Ashok Chakra as the emblem, for he felt that 'charkha' would represent backwardness.

The event also marked the birth centenary of the Clarks Group of Hotels' founder, Babu Brijpal Das, who was a Gandhian.

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