On the occasion of India’s Independence Day, Intellecap’s Chairman presents his vision for progress & development in a very special blog.
As the world’s largest democracy celebrates its 67th Independence Day, we are enthralled by the Indian National Sample Survey Organization’s remarkable finding that that the country has seen 138 million people walk out of poverty during the last 8 years. While disputes prevail around what constitutes poverty, and whether INR 33/ per day per person (on purchasing power parity basis) is enough to help a family subsist, I continue to believe that poverty is not an absolute line but a reality of scarcity. The way to tackle it is not to regale the economist with poverty lines made of numbers but by creating more and better opportunities for people through local business conception and by galvanizing the efforts that are creating livelihood opportunities.
As I join hands with many others in reflecting on “what Progress means to me?” Two critical thoughts hold sway over my mind.
Progress to me would be when India as a country finds a way to finally bring its entire population out of poverty and do away with the dubious distinction of holding the world’s largest number of poor and billionaires in the same country. My desire is not limited to just removal of poverty and surely not by sleight of hand or statistical gimmickry but by unlocking this very local wealth, the entrepreneurial ingenuity and the goodness of its people. To me Progress would mean that people truly understand the meaning of ‘For the people, By The people and Of the people”, and hold themselves accountable for where we stand, and understand that our challenges of today are of our own making rather than laying the blame at the doorsteps of politician, government and bureaucracy.
Progress to me means that our country develops a growth model that is comprehensive and while helping us take care of the aspirations of our billion plus people, does not cause stress to the remaining 5 billion people inhabiting the planet. Vasudev Kutmbham – The world is my family. This means much more to the world today and in this global village our actions have consequences across. As we continue our march towards progress and celebrate our achievements, we need to become cognizant of global challenges of climate change and global warming, and accept that these are our challenges as we potentially could be the largest contributor.
Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that we as people need to pause and reflect on the changes that are happening around us and question the need and desire of some of those changes. Progress may mean differently if we give ourselves the time to understand its true meaning.