After repeatedly praising China and its political model for a while, wannabe ‘Desh ki neta’, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) chief and Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), turning his attention to India, proclaims: ‘It is an aimless, goalless Bharat’. If one follows the chronology of his arguments, it is obvious that KCR is fascinated by China and its authoritarian political model on the one hand and oblivious to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government’s vision for India on the other hand.
Even casual followers of Indian politics and the country’s economic track record under Modi’s leadership can tell you two things. Firstly, the grand vision for India over the next 25 years – the ‘Amrit kaal’ – envisages India as a developed country by 2047. That is, India@100 will have been transformed: from a developing country into a developed one. Secondly, the current government has already put in execution its solid plan to realise that vision.
India’s achievements over the past nine years vindicate both the vision and the present government’s ability to execute plans tailored to achieve that vision. To sample, India today is the fastest-growing large economy on the planet. Over the past nine years, India’s economy has overtaken those of Russia, Italy, France, Brazil, and lately the UK to become the fifth-largest economy in the world. Under Modi’s stewardship, India has received the highest-ever Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) every year for the past eight years – including the pandemic years. India hosts the third-largest Startup ecosystem in the world and its digital transformation over the past nine years has been nothing short of a miracle. From being a digital laggard, India logged 48 billion digital payment transactions last year and took the number one spot on the planet. China came a distant second with 18 billion transactions.
This progress has not been by coincidence. The BJP-led government’s concerted efforts to improve on the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) parameters, opening even strategic sectors for private participation and stress on unleashing India’s creative potential, especially that of its youth, combined with its technology-driven transformation template have placed India on the trajectory of growth.
India’s aims, goals and the Modi government’s focus and ability to execute those aims and goals have been acknowledged and trusted by the international community and most of the foreign governments. The proof of their trust is visible to everyone except those who chose to be wilfully blind. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The fact that we not only received a record $ 83 billion FDI last year but that it came from investments made by corporates in more than a hundred countries suggests that there is broad consensus in the international community about the opportunity India provides and reflects their faith in the current government’s ability to deliver on the opportunities they see.
The India@100 vision is not limited to the economic sphere. This year’s budget clearly visualises what a developed India looks like both economically and socially. And how, when, and with whose participation that vision will be realised. The grand vision for a developed India includes providing world-class public infrastructure, ensuring dignity for every citizen by fulfilling the necessities of every citizen – from housing to health and social security, and providing the skills and resources to access opportunities. It envisages a green India that’s in harmony with nature. In addition, it also provides an alternative to the public-private sector duality of economic power centres to empower those outside their purview through a robust cooperation/cooperative sector.
KCR and his party’s wilful ignorance would have been taken lightly or ignored as political posturing if not for the disastrous consequences Telangana suffered by not becoming a part of the country’s growth story. Even sadder is that this ignorance results from the arrogance of the family party’s brass.
The fact that Telangana did not receive even 10 per cent of what Karnataka received in FDI last year, or that KTR, the CM’s son and Telangana’s IT Minister, could not score even 10 per cent of what Karnataka or Andhra did in terms of MoUs signed at Davos last year, or the fact that Pune received more investment promises than the entire Telangana State in this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos, stands testimony to the damage wrought by the BRS government’s lack of alignment with India’s aims and goals aka the vision for India@100.
(The author is BJP TS spokesperson)