Vocal for Local – By Abhinav Singh
Human existence is evolving since last many millenniums. Mode of Production is also evolving along with human evolution. At around 18th century with advent of industry and capital fuel economic structure, Europe turned towards Asia and Africa, in the quest of raw material. These colonising powers pumped out raw materials and in turn dumped indigenous markets with their finished goods. This process of draining resources is categorically explained by Dadabhai Naoroji in his work,’Drain of Wealth Theory’.
After independence, successive governments tried developing heavy industries which had everlasting sociological impact i.e Out Migration of Human Resource from villages to few industrial cities. These industries were set up on the line of bureaucratic Soviet model. Menaces like Red-Tapism and License Raj were too prevalent. Absence of open competition and free market had detrimental effect on capacity building of India’s industrial power. This was the time when we as a nation were performing well in primary sector like agriculture also. We were not producing enough to feed the population and were forced to import low quality food grains from US. This was the time when two of the world’s most vibrant nations i.e India and China were not developing on their right trajectory.
China too had a same fate, once a pioneer of Silk Route was looted by colonial powers and then struck by blood bath of Cultural Revolution under leadership of Chairman Mao. Communist China was not even recognised by major Western power until 70’s. In 1971, China gave surprise invite to the US table tennis team to China, to which US responded by allowing China’s entry into UNSC. This later came to be known as Ping Pong diplomacy. In the background of Sino-Soviet conflict and later Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Chinese policy was more pragmatic and focused astutely on Western foreign investments and businesses with the US. These all factors under leadership of Deng Xiaoping contributed in industrial growth of China, by the end of 90’s China evolved as major manufacturing power.
On the other hand India did well in tackling shortages of food grains and became Aatmnirbhar through steered programmmes of Green Revolution. But weak and short sighted leadership was more interested in romanticism of Soviet Socialism and continued with License Raj system. In 1991, when Chandra Shekhar became Prime Minister. India had less than a week of foreign exchange left for buying energy resources like oil. Government was forced to take loans from IMF and several Banks by trading its confiscated gold. Our leadership took the step toward opening up the economy, when we were on the verge of collapse (China did it decade earlier).
Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG) regulations helped our economy in diversifying industrial growth beyond primary sector, but it was too late. Markets are flooded with cheap Chinese and we are buying it, which adds up to Chinese gross national product. This asymmetric balance of trade towards China continued till 2014. In last few years gap between export and import is falling on Chinese side, it’s a good sign. Between India and China there are too many irritants like issue of Dalai Lama, Trade Deficit, Border Road Initiative, China using Non-Tariff barriers and Territorial imperatives like Stapled Visa issue, Non-clarity of LAC and Aksai Chin.
Recently, Indian Prime Minister called the slogans of ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Vocal for Local’, both these in one form or another, were our main instruments against the tyrannical colonial regime. The invocation of same sentiments is done to tap the capacity of demographic dividend which we are having today, when we see that two-third of our population is below 35 years of age. This is our ‘China Moment’, with cheap indigenous skilled labour, better electricity, good transport infrastructure – our nation can be next manufacturing centre, without being Aatmnirbhar, India can not achieve endeavours which it thrive to be.
Aatmnirbhar Bharat depends on pillars of ‘Industrial Growth’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ programme,self sufficiency is required to tackle the huge industrial enemy state on the other side of Himalayas. Aatmnirbhar Bharat would be self sufficient to aid and help other small states like Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives, which will help in limiting China’s expansionist policy in these states.
In the life of every nation, there comes an opportunity when it can thrive and earn its true place by tapping those moments. In medieval times – Second Battle of Terrain, Battle of Khanwa and Third Battle of Panipat were such moments when we as a nation failed and in result, were doomed for centuries of political subjugation. But in modern time, Bharat tapped every such moments whether it is 1857 war of Independence, Indian Independence Movement or Green Revolution. History is again repeating itself and we as a nation are again going through a decisive period, if we managed to get hold of it, than there will be no limit of Nation’s progress and India will decisively emerge as Economic, Military and Political power.
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Vocal for Local By Abhinav Singh, Vocal for Local By Abhinav Singh