India as a Nation
India as a Nation – Vartika Mittal-
Vartika Mittal (Sem 1 Lloyd Law College)
Seventy years after Independence, India has changed in many ways, but is more or less the same in one. In a democracy, politics is supposed to represent the voice of the people, wherein politicians are expected to fairly represent the expectations of the voters that voted them in. But this is an idealist perception. In reality, politics has become a business, often family business, where a group of people work for their own selfish gains.What began as an introduction to a new chapter in Indian history, a ray of hope to millions of Indians after decades of struggle against the imperialists; a ray of light at the end of the darkest period in Indian history; has now turned into a virtual monster eating into the lives of the very people who made it. In a country of over a billion people, there are many whose existence is not even accounted for. There are many people who are living below poverty line, many children are dying everyday due to hunger and thirst and many farmers are committing suicide every day. It’s a place where corruption is on heights, where nearly a fourth of the Indian parliament members face criminal charges, where terrorism, inflation etc are major problems. So, there is an urgent need for an extremely strong and clean political structure where all parties will work together to fight against all these evils prevailing in India.
Over the last few quarters, India has beaten China to be the fastest growing. Due to ‘Make-in-India’, there is a “giant boost” to investments in electronic manufacturing. GST, the most significant indirect tax reform in decades, is acting as a game changer. GST together with the move towards a ‘less cash’ economy will also give speed to the formalisation of the economy. Subsidy reforms have gone further and deeper than ever before, with Aadhaar being used extensively to eliminate fake and duplicate beneficiaries, direct cash transfers replacing physical subsidies in LPG, petrol and diesel prices being deregulated and kerosene being gradually phased out. But economy is yet to show a secular, upward growth trajectory. Biggest economic failure is generation of jobs. The government has been making all the right noises on utilizing money for self-employment schemes, to focus on skill development, in increasing apprenticeships and full-time employment but jobs are simply refusing to grow. According to HDFC Bank jobs report in 2016 India’s employment elasticity which measures the growth in jobs relative to every 1 percent increase in GDP has been dropping sharply.The problem is that, that the job creation is being challenged by the rise of technology and automation. Some recent initiatives that aim to enhance access, equality, quality, innovation in the area of higher and vocational education are the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme and the National Skill Qualification Framework. However, most of these centrally-planned schemes hardly had any positive impact on the actual creation of employment opportunities for the youth Now, we are very close to make the frightening term “jobless growth” a reality.
It is highly unfortunate that in a country like India where approximately 70% of the total population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, the cases of farmer suicides are increasing by the day. 11.2% of the total suicides in the country are farmer suicides. The government has taken quite a few measures to control the problem like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana i.e. to improve the irrigation in the country and enable the agriculture to become resistant to the vagaries of Indian monsoon, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojna that provides compensation for the losses incurred by the farmer etc. The initiatives taken do not seem to be effective enough. The initiatives taken until now have not been able to bring down these cases. This means the strategies being followed need to be re-evaluated and implemented.
There is no doubt that India is on a transitionary path to potentially realise greater economic success through the creation of multi-faceted opportunities for its people. However, a significant effort needs to be put in focusing on sustainable, long-term economic measures that focus on productivity rather than production, employability rather than employment, agricultural development rather than foreign-based industrial investment into India. To seal a durable path to political longevity, one has to use their unchallenged authority to roll back political divisiveness and focus on jobs and growth.