Belting up our Young Yuvrajs’ in India
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Belting up our Young Yuvrajs’ in India by Amit Bhushan Date 8 March 2012
The Elections in Uttar Pradesh are over and so is the season gloating of Television Journalists. A plethora of irrelevant ideas have been scanned, analyzed and presented for public consumption right from the future of the current Central Government though relevant numbers for central government haven’t/weren’t expected or changed; performance analysis of our Yuvraj Brigade though this is more a matter of fascination with people at an old age rather than burning issues for the youth of the country; reasons for failure of party ruling at the center such inflation, corruption even though the party has improved its vote share. I do not anyone among the youth who is even a bit concerned about Rahul, Abhishek or Sukhbir rather than his own job. The subject seems to matter more to media which wants to depict and maintain an image of ‘poor, innocent and a humble India’ among those who are fascinated by such stories, read gullible rich Foreign investors. Frequently you may come across journalists who really believe in the myth that that have created/nurtured and you may come across politicians as well who have ‘faith’ in such journalistic brouhaha. The myth is probably nurtured to impress foreigners willing to lend their ears and money for such stories. This confuses starkly with the reality of a hardnosed, hard working, young and professional India wanting to capture a piece of world for himself. The voting pattern of India’s largest state seems to have cleared beyond doubt any reason for such myth. It is clear that the scope to create and confuse people with such stories has shrunk with the defeat of one of the Yuvraj who is also the scion of one of the premiere political families. The myth which seems to have not done away with is about the gullibility of Indian population and their romance with impractical commitment/Poll promises of our politicians. This is because of the victory of another Yuvraj, the son of a veteran Socialist Politicians. The media is busy cooking another myth about the publics buying in the commitment of this Yuvraj to deliver Tablets, Lap tops, cycles et al. A more practical reason of this vote could be a straight forward admission of a negative vote against the incumbent government going to the party that could position itself as a credible alternative. However, that may be 1
simplifying a complex socio-political situation a bit too much and putting too much faith in maturity of the public with relation to the political process in the country. Meanwhile, the journos hell-bent to cook stories of a gullible public fascinated into buying hollow promises of a charming Yuvraj may continue to be in business for some more time. The fact is India seem to be changing albeit slowly. While the middle class may not be voting on its own but this class has ample time to influence voting pattern of the toiling masses. The toiling masses thus are steadily maturing and are not easily impressed for hollow promises. Their access to electronic media, schools and their interaction with system for jobs/MNREGA, ration shop, hospitals, government approvals (e.g. for Driving license, passports etc.) seem to be making them more aware about the lacunae of the system. The rise in aspiration of this class has not caught the fancy of media yet; however demand for Citizens’ Charter by social activists seems to resonating among the masses. The youth are clearly enamored by people delivering promises of jobs and promise of life with dignity. They are aware of limitation of their skills and resources and they know that these are not enough to get them where they want to be. They are looking askance to the leaders to provide them direction and facilitate them to achieve their goals, however at the same time they are looking beyond sloganeering and would not allow anyone making mockery of their misery. It may be advisable that the young Yuvraj become aware of this changing face of India. Instead of lending their names to media stories of the ’Ol World Charm’ that ‘a Rural India’ is, they need to come to the top of the situation. They need to explore options in hand to improve the lives of the people in real sense and their ability to deliver even in small proportions would allow people to understand their vision and abilities. The young politicians need to learn their lessons that people can now see through to understand their vision/or lack of vision; they can also look through delivery of promise; ability of politicians to empathies with the masses. The youth brigade may not find its way easily through the alleys of corridors of power in case they try to intervene with the government. It is not only Political opposition, but dealing with opponents from within as well as bureaucracy which has much disdain for feudalism would bring forth every trick within and outside the trick book to make life miserable for these people with little experience of dealing with the Rules of conduct. The young politicians need to prove their mettle in order to deal with bureaucracy in an even kneels. It may be advisable for the youth brigade to look at identifying
Job growth opportunity may be among the multi-nationals. Till now politicians have tried to mesmerize people by pleasing the MNCs by allowing them to cart their wares among India’s masses. For this largesse, they manage to get loans from Multilateral and Bilateral agencies which are utilized to build infrastructure. The infrastructure built is apparently to improve lives of the people; however in a way it helps these MNCs to further deepen the market. To some extent, the loan is expected to be paid through increased revenues of the government and this is to be further supported by exports of these MNCs from India. In practice, the politicians and the bureaucrats are able to find plans for expending these revenues from where the leakages are well known. The MNCs contribute only a minuscule proportion of the country’s exports and may be importers on a net basis. They young politicians should try to look at issues which may impact our current and long term competitiveness and job prospects of our youth. They can perhaps work to convince these MNCs to move the services jobs such as those in the global procurement, supply chain management, research, business intelligence space among others. Most politicians have tried to enamored the public by bringing to them the products of MNCs like McDonalds, Coke, Pepsi etc. The rich have access to glitzy cars, toiletries and electronics from these MNCs. The loans from government and multilateral institutions are being used to provide electricity and roads so that the rich can enjoy these fruits of such growth. Fr the public there is little job creation as a result of these policies. The growth policies have an euphuism i.e. Domestic consumption led growth. The government and bureaucrats who criticize the Europeans for their profligacy and having brought about the current crisis; have not ever talked about India steadily moving towards the same situation. The youth of India is not just yearning for a McDonald Burger, he perhaps want education a la the Hamburger University where he not only receives education for himself but is also able to share experience with pupils of other developing countries, he also wants to champion McDonalds growth in emerging markets by being able to sell architecture and interior design/décor services, marketing and supply chain services etc. The youth wants the same from Coke, Pepsi and other Car and Electronic MNCs. The young politicians may perhaps begin by engaging with these MNCs to bring jobs for the youth of India and in order to prove their mettle. This would also lead foundation for a more sustainable growth in India. The challenge may not be easy to tackle with tough negotiations from MNCs, 3
Foreign Politicians and Diplomats. It may also evoke bureaucratic skepticism, political challenges and some real and some deliberate misunderstandings, brinksmanship and elements of personal interests of those involved. All this may sound to be a big challenge and the players involved may resort to deploying tremendous money and muscle power to protect their turf and may indulge in malign, taint and controversy around those involved provided it suits their interest. However, this has potential for some real gains for the people of India, and also the least complicated challenge for the young politicians. The domestic politics may probably be more complicated with very little gains. The chance that the gains from domestic politico-economic problems are missed by public is much more. The Yuvrajs’ whether those who are victorious or those who are yet to prove their mark; both need to make some beginning. The people will be following them only if they begin from somewhere. The publics seem to have made this clear to a large extent. Some other areas which can be focused upon by Young Turks are revisiting areas where most of other emerging countries have depicted tremendous progress over the last few years but India has not. These are pertaining to mining and ores, agri-commodities, renewable energy and energy saving products and devices. Most of the developing countries have moved up the value addition parameter in these areas over the last few years on the back of buoyant demand across the globe. The governments across the world have become more matured and have been able to evolve more effective policies and implementation mechanics. A supportive investment climate across the globe with propensity of investors to take risk has ensured that countries have moved across the value addition layer. India, on contrary has been hostage to crisis both at policy as well as implementation level. Need is to analyze potential to add value across supply chain, anticipate which of them can be achieved within our limited resources, support measures required and addressing challenges on the way. Domestic political compulsions have ensured that India has not been able to bring any strong value addition norm to mandatorily apply for export of ores. The result is some of entities with political backing are able to corner mining leases or capture mines forcefully and are able to profiteer from exports; often illegal exports have caused disproportionate environment damage and negative impact on communities. The country has gained little in terms of job gains or economic clout. Politician across all hues and colours may be indulging in hara-kiri but have taken little action within their control at municipal, state or at central level to rid India of this ailment as often this
may involve making tough decisions and political sacrifices. The youth is able to see through all this and is unable to take on and challenge the practice as he finds the state supporting the same. Similarly, across the world buoyancy in agri-commodity prices have ensured that large agri-states are able to consolidate gains further by investing in production, storage and processing and are able to generate large employment. India not only is a large producer, but also a large consumer for these commodities. Some of its close neighbours and trade partners are importers of agri-commodities including countries like Bangladesh, China etc. India is also negotiating trade treaties with these neighbors and should be in a position to seek market access for its processed food in areas in which may have a surplus for a foreseeable future. Also, India is a large market for energy as well as energy saving products. If India’s per capita energy consumption is to rise to the level where China is currently and with any decline elsewhere in the world, then chances are that world energy prices would skyrocket with considerable pressure on fossil fuels prices. Supportive policies for renewable energy resources needed across the sub-continent as well as development of market with suitable fiscal policies for energy efficient products. India can look at economies of scale production capacities for such products on the back of a large domestic market. This may have spin off for its manufactured goods exports as well. However our policy framework again is hostage to domestic politics where state governments have supported smaller power development projects rather than taking large projects which may involve considerable political risks. The central government has also not been able to rise to challenge. Similarly, lack of incentives as well fiscal framework for energy efficient products manufacture has ensured that these projects are flourishing among India’s Trade partners but not in India itself. Guess people are requesting for details from their politicians this time round.
Political analysis and challenges
Description: Political Yuvrajs in India are object of public fascination- so it seems or media would like it to be; Is it just a stereotype projection or is there something else.
Political Analysis basis though process - training for MBAs, a must for budding MBAs