Current fears about a sudden global recession looks highly suspicious and only the next few months will prove whether it was all stage managed for the elections in USA. Ordinary Americans are so much insulated from anything other than money that only talks about an impending economic crisis could have influenced their choice in an election. Ordinary Americans are always bothered about their money and with expenditures far in excess of income, they are always vulnerable to the health of their finance providers who are thriving on speculative markets. It is quite possible that someone who wanted a change of guard at the White House could have triggered a false alarm in the Wall Street for a brief commotion.
But the on-going fear about impending global recession provides a credible opportunity for looking at the health of our own institutions and the options available to us to avoid such scenarios again. Each country has to develop its own USP (Unique Socio-economic Panacea) to ensure a glorious future. Sustainable development is the key word in today’s world and it is the secret of stability in all spheres. In India, we had always stressed on considering the dharma aspect of our actions. And it is this very same dharma that we call as sustainability in current parlance. The one and only way to test whether an individual’s or nation’s action or policy is contributing towards sustainability is to ascertain about its dharma. If it is dharmic it will, otherwise it will not. If all the aspects of governance by a government are dharmic then the country will be stable and its economy will not be vulnerable to man-made problems. We will have to fear only the vagaries of Nature.
For anyone looking for sustainable actions that would guarantee progress of India (or any nation), the first and foremost point to note is that social and economic aspects are inter-related and not divorceable. We cannot achieve economic stability without ensuring social justice. Until and unless all sections of the society are assured of their basic minimum requirements (economic, social and now security also) no nation can step into the next phase of accelerated development and progress. Sixty years after liberation from the British, India is still languishing in this pre-phase, waiting for a break. Religions are India’s forte and religions are India’s bane. India cannot progress any further until there is concerted action to make a truly secular polity emerge and sustainable economic policies are adopted. The minimum requirements for emergence of a truly secular and sustainable Indian nation are the following:-
Reservation benefits only on the basis of economic aspects
For the last sixty years we have been spending great amounts of money for the development of Adivasis and SC/ST sections of our population. There are improvements but it is limited to pockets within these target groups. The only reason for this unwanted result is cornering of benefits by those who have already availed them. If the basis of dispensing benefits under any reservation (which can be only for a specific caste or group or section) is purely based on economic criteria the results will be spread out and far more effective in very short time. Thus the basis of reservation can be anything as the government wants but the basis of dispensing benefits under the scheme must be only economic. The target must always be on the poorer sections in any target group.
Only public schools and no religious education till the age of 15
Catch them young is the key word for progress and development of a nation. In India more effort is made on making each child proud of their religion than about their nation. Religion, God and Spirituality makes no sense to any child anywhere in the world. It is wastage of our time and their time to lecture about spirituality to anyone below the age of 15. Instead of making efforts for development of their physique and human values, millions are spent on brain-washing them about the form, size and nature of God. All unwanted aspects of their religion get embedded into those tiny minds at a very young age. In contrast, we need only far less money to educate all of them in public schools where they will learn to be good humans first, good Indians next and good religious followers later on in their lives.
Common civil code for marriages and family planning
I am making this suggestion fully aware of the fact that there are very big objections to enforcement of a common civil code in India. But a simple common civil code covering only marriage and family planning is a must for an overpopulated nation like us to reach for progress. If the population is uncontrolled India can never achieve prosperity whatever be our GDP growth and other achievements. The denominator has to be controlled and a common law for marriage and family planning is the least that all Indians can agree upon to achieve zero-population growth soon.
No profit in retail banking sector
Friendly retail banks in the neighbourhood are the only financial institution we need for most of our transactions. This is true of 90% of Indians. The fact that most of these banks fall in the government sector is a great relief for India during any financial crisis. But an unwanted and unnecessary tendency that has been developing in the case of such vital institutions is the suicidal race for making profits year after year. Banks must concentrate on promoting savings and provide loans to all those who require. They must always operate on no-profit and no-loss basis. Efficiency of retail banks must be measured on how much savings they have promoted and how much loans they have disbursed and re-collected.
Complete ban on religious conversion
India is a democracy and will remains so for ever. Power in a democracy is purely based on numbers and no section of the society will like and allow deliberate and calculated attempts to alter the status. What the Church is attempting to do in India is exactly this. As the upper strata of the Christian society in India is developing and getting richer day by day the emphasis and efforts are going into development of their religion and not on spirituality. Those who have climbed above the prosperity line (like poverty line) are not recognizing their social responsibility towards those stranded below the poverty line. Instead the attempt is to increase the numbers and capture power.
If these five changes are introduced now, India will truly become a super power by 2020. They form the corner stones of an Indian USP. It will no longer be dependent on bail-out plans and adversely affected by melt-downs in foreign countries. The billion strong human resources can become the real asset for a nation and civilisation that has survived all forms of conquests and attacks. No financial or economic crisis can affect a nation of billion strong contended humans. In fact this is applicable for all nations in this world. What is standing between mankind and complete eradication of poverty & misery is human greed and the lone villain of religious overdose.