Last person reached and empowered
There is a paradigm shift in the philosophical belief system in Indian polity, writes B. K. Kuthiala.
The post-independence story of the common man of India is that of rising and falling expectations. Masses in large numbers helped leaders to force the British empire out in hope that rule by own countrymen will end their miseries, the outcome of more than a thousand years of foreign exploitation and loot. Determined to work hard for a better living, the poor masses of the nation got disillusioned within two decades of Independence. Masses once again ousted the ruling dispensation, after unprecedented repression before and after Emergency. Expectations for a just and better living once again rose high but the new system just failed to survive. After more than a decade of another severe desperation, the common man once again saw a bright light in the dark clouds of the nation when liberalisation and globalisation were launched with promises that the innovative change in the mindset of the governing machinery will bring the last man to the forefront of development and progress. However, Indian liberalisation failed to elevate the life of poor and our nation could not become global either.
Lok Sabha elections of 2014 saw a massive rejection of the political system that had brought the nation to a situation of extreme political, economic, social, and cultural bankruptcy. NDA led by Narendra Modi was given the clear mandate to make India once again Sone ki chidiya where there is neither poverty nor hunger. The mandate was for an integrated India where every person lives as an Indian irrespective of faith, caste, or region. It was a cry of the people for good governance and inclusive growth. Expectations have once again risen and every Indian is not only waiting for his share of good life but is also willing to be the change that was being planned. People of India have once again proved that they have full faith in the intrinsic strengths of a nation that is at least five thousand years old. On the Independence day of 2017, the nation looked back at the performance of the government that it elected three years ago. Leaving aside the chronic sceptics, there appears to be a massive sense of relief and hope. It appears that the nation is back on the wheels with instant positive changes and the initiation of measures that are bound to alter the socio-economic scenario of the country not in the distant future but within a few years.
A plethora of schemes and programmes have been launched by the Modi Government for the poor and marginalised sections of the society. For farmers and farm labourers schemes like Jan Dhan, life and crop insurance and village irrigation schemes are bound to prove as game changers for the majority of rural India. Subsidised cooking gas and construction of thousands of toilets in villages and priority lighting of rural households have already started showing results and improving the lives of rural women. For the young, both from rural and urban India, the schemes like Make in India, Digital India, Start-up India, Skilled India and others have opened doors not only for large scale employment opportunities but also for creating self-owned industry and business.
For the first time, people of India were witness to a massive onslaught of black money by the sudden announcement of demonetisation. Added to this is the success of the present Government by making Swiss disclose the names of the Indians holding accounts in that country. Most of our money, illegally accumulated by some people, is parked in other countries thus not available for our own developmental tasks. In three years, this money has reduced to one-third. Modi has promised total return of black money deposited with foreign banks, and experience so far indicates that Modi delivers what he promises.
There is also a paradigm shift in the philosophical belief system in Indian polity. India's rich knowledge traditions have thrown up a realistic and nature-friendly philosophy of Integral Humanism. The entire creation of living and non-living is an integrated organic being, every unit is interconnected and dependent upon each other. Diversities arise from the basic unity and not that the diversity creates an illusory unity. The practical formula of Integral Humanism has been amply explained by Deendayal Upadhaya, the ideologue of BJP. If this political philosophy is followed by the Modi Government in letter and spirit, in a few years a new India can be built where the last man has been reached and empowered and the issues of caste, minority-majority and deprived-benefited will just become the phenomena of the past.
(Prof. B. K. Kuthiala is Vice Chancellor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism & Communication, Bhopal. Views are strictly personal.)