India’s Development model and its potential crisis

India’s Development model and its potential crisis

विश्व में आज लोकतंत्र दो समस्याओं से जूझ रहा है~ लोगों का राजनीति से रूचि ख़त्म हो रहा है और राजनीति और नेता के प्रति बढ़ता गुस्सा।
20वीं सदी में यदि लोकतंत्र स्थापित हुआ था तो 21वी सदी में जनता के बीच लोकतंत्र के प्रति निराशा इसको आगे ले जाने में सबसे बड़ा रोड़ा बनके उभर रहा है।
इसके लिए ज़रुरत है आज हम अपने डेवलपमेंट मॉडल को जनता की ज़रुरत के अनुसार बनाएं।
काँग्रेस और पंडित नेहरू ये बात समझते थे~ उन्होंने आज़ादी और सबको समान मताधिकार एक साथ देकर विश्व में एक नए मॉडल की स्थापना की
पंडित नेहरू ने नए भारत के नए मंदिरो की स्थापना की~ IIT, IIM, डैम, इन्डस्ट्री।
 काँग्रेस इस विरासत को हर दशक में आगे बढ़ाया~ 60 की दशक में हरित क्रांति लाये, 70 की दसक में गरीबी हटाओ और बैंक का राष्ट्रीकरण किया, 80 के दशक में IT और संचार की स्थापना किया, 90 के दशक में बाजार का उदारीकरण किया,और 2004 में काँग्रेस ने right based governance लेकर आई।


Today,mass democracies face a potential crisis because of the scale of discontent surrounding the political process. Discontent comes in two main forms: disengagement from politics and frustrated activism. If the twentieth century saw the establishment of mass democracy the scale of discontent surrounding the political process in these democracies runs the risk of making these systems unsustainable in the twenty first century.

If you don’t believe ask any congressman- What did Anna Movemnet has impact on Congress party 2014 loksabha fortune.It’s another thing, now that members are identified with their political masters, all of us know it was a political movement and not social.

And what did the aspiration for change achieve? Delhi is reeling under serious crisis of Governance. Mr Kejriwal is seen everywhere as potential CM, except the state where he is CM. His governance is neck deep in corruption, sexual harassment, fraud cases. But lets leave it a side for now.

Let’s focus on how democracy and development go together-Existing academic and policy literature emphasises the causal linkages between democracy and development. Democratic nations create spaces for the wideranging socio-economic and political participation of citizenry which facilitates (re)distribution, which in turn further strengthens democracy and deepens participation.

Participation in everyday socio-political life and economic spaces is seen as a panacea for inclusive politics on one hand and mitigating socioeconomic discrimination on the other. Although the concepts of democracy, development and (re)distribution are interrelated, the existence of any one does not necessarily translate into the actualisation of the other two. An appropriate institutional framework can help create causal linkages between the praxis of these three variables as well as positively impact each domain in itself.

One of the big takeaways in Thomas Piketty’s much-discussed Capital in the Twenty-First Century was that deep gulfs of inequality are the historical norm, and the relatively low inequality of the mid-20th century was in fact an anomaly. There is no reason, in other words, to assume inequalities will flatten without policy changes.

Indian National Congress party understood this much earlier. How policy changes are key to development and meeting the aspirations of a New India.

In the 50’s Congress party inherited a improvished India, ruled by Britisher for more than 200 years. Pt Nehru faced classical dileman of nation building and strengthening democracy at the same time. To the credit of Nehru and his colleague he decided  nation building and universal adult franchise will go together. India is the only country to enforce “one man one vote” and nation building together immediately after the freedom.

Pt. Nehru government built “modern temple’s of India” the IIT’s, IIM, Space programme, Dams, launched massive industrialization programme etc.

Unlike today’s self acclaimed nationalist party Nehru’s modern temple helped India to developand not divide.

In the the 60’s major focus was laid on green revolution and making India self independent to meet its food demand. India fought war with Pakistan and we won it.

In the 70’s Mrs Indira Gandhi government worked towards elimination of “Garibi hatao”. Policy changes were triggered accordingly.Government focussed on nationalizing of resources, bank which till then was considered as priveledge of few.  Mrs Gandhi punished Pakistan for commiting atrocities on its own people in then East Pakistan. India entered in toa war with Pakistan and helped create a new nation- Bangladesh.

In the 80’s under Rajiv Gandhi government went ahead and started the Information and Technology revolution. Every one would recollect the iconic image of Mr Vajpayee going to parliament in a Bullockart to protest computers and IT Policy. And not to forget todays government making tall claim on Digital India.

In 1990’s under the leadership of Narshima Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress led government started the process of libarlization.

Economic liberalization triggered the process of policy changes across the governance model. Subsequent government of BJP led by Mr Vajpayee followed it and took forward.

But in the spring of 2004 when Congress led by Mrs Sonia Gandhi came back to the power, it realised the benefits of development is being pocketed by few. Mrs Gandhi understood the need to broaden the net and bring maximum number of people as benificary of development process

It was at this juncture when when Congress party led by Mrs Gandhi and Manmohan Singh as Primeminister  consciously decided to make major policy changes and bring better governance system in to practice. The Congress government gave in 10 years a right based governance system.

The government brough  some of the major policy changes as Right to Information, Right to Education, Right to Food,  reform in to corporate governance, Major tax reform as GST and DTC, for mass employment government introduced MGNREGA,  for health NRHM and several other scheme. To better target the benificary government started a major digital identification scheme by launching Aadhar and linking all scheme to it.

As a result-The poverty ratio in the country has fallen steeply during the UPA regime to 21.9 per cent in 2012 from 37.2 per cent in 2004. India saw a dip of over 14% in the number of malnourished children in the age group of 0 to 6 years — the sharpest decline in 25 years — a UNICEF survey has revealed.

During Congress led UPA government development model where policy was tweaked to meet the aspiration of young people.

But consider what did we have in last two and half years-Time was when India was made to dream of the “good days”. Like the horizon, the good days have receded as the government of Narendra Modi nears the second half of its first term in government. When Mr Modi came to power in 2014, he was carried by the strength of the mood and the slogan of ” achchhe din” (“good days”) and providing maximum governance and minimum government, the mood was of unbounded optimism.

But today his own minister (Mr Gadkari) denies to have his slogan. Rather he attribute this to Manmohan Singh ji.

The development model which this government is carrying doesnot augur well for nation. Where is the government creating spaces for the wideranging socio-economic and political participation of citizenry which facilitates (re)distribution, where are the administrative and institutional reforms?What reforms they are undertaking, is to benefit there select few corporate friends.

As a result what we are finding today is- Maratha uprising in Maharastra, Dalit and Patel uprising in Gujarat and a deep level of unsatisfaction among kisan, youth and small business man. A shadowboxing match with judiciary on judges appointment etc

So to conclude I would say we need to constantly update Development Model, there cannot be a singular model, as one size doesnot fit all.

Any development model need to be deeply scrutinized by civil society, political parties, youth etc.

In order to meet aspitaions of new generation, the development model need to be inclusive. It can’t be a case of rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.

We have to move from Right based approach to reform based development. India need a second generation of liberalization but before that a first generation of institutional reform i.e. Judiciary, police, bureaucracy etc

And last but not least we need states back in, it should not become fecilitator to the market. Rather it should paly a refree role between the market and people.

If we fail to create such Development model then Development will be reduced to what U R Ananth Krishna murthy says in his book Hindutva or Hindswaraj-“Development causes one to forget the past,it belongs to nobody,emaciates the earth,fills the canopy of the sky with smog through which the sun cant peep,chokes and poisons the flowing rivers, and also boost a state of excessive irresistible desire- inherent in all of us.”


Abinash Chaudhary is New Delhi based Public Policy professional. He can be contacted at @Abinashchy

( इस आलेख में व्यक्त किए गए विचार लेखक के निजी विचार हैं।)

Categories: Opinion