That the world has been hit by a global crisis, a killer virus and then a depression of the minds following one of the economy, jobs, money, business, health, et al. Security of the future were at tenterhooks with both the formal and the informal sector reeling in an abyss called “don’t know what to do, don’t know what is gonna happen!” India was probably one of the worst affected but the resilient leaders promptly popped up “impromptu ideas” leading more than a million Indians to believe in themselves – the self, the self reliant self – yours truly the concept of the “Atma Nirbhar.”
And they said that “Atma Nirbhar” is an Abhiyan perse Mission which was announced in May 2020 at the helm of the pandemic or the COVID 19 crisis wherein the Hon’ble Prime Minister of the country stated that, “The state of the world today teaches us that (Atma Nirbhar Bharat) “Self-reliant India” is the only path. It is said in our scriptures — EshahPanthah. That is — self-sufficient India.” Followed conscientiously by the Finance Minister saying that the aim of this policy is not to cut off the country from the rest of the world which was further reiterated by the Minister for Law and Information Technology who took it a step forward by inviting foreign direct investments to enable this Self Reliance Mission. This announcement did add a bit of zeal and enthusiasm to the mental well-being of the people making them believe that things are gonna change economically and that business is going to boom inspite of the global crisis. Infact they already had the “Make In India” initiative to lean on when this Atma Nirbhar came in the picture together with the “Vocal for Local” which was just another wraped version of the Make In India initiative. The sound bytes blarred a loud and clear positive message but the reality bites?? Well the less said the better, atma nirbhar or making ourselves self reliant is generally thought of as an equation which goes as follows – atma nirbhar = entrepreneur = start up = a group of professionals without jobs = intelligent ideas = software development = an app = some bull*#@” idea of selling tee shirts, mugs, key chains, organic microgreens, atta and the works!! And mind it there are probably a zillion apps doing the same thing. This is the new mission and vision of a nation which sadly was on the self reliant mode many moons ago when we got the freedom from the Brits. Post independence and with the emergence of the new India we had a nation full of people with new dreams and a huge number amongst them totally self reliant – there was no rush towards the cities or the metros looking for big dreams. We all owned a piece of land sufficient enough to grow the wheat or bajra with some legumes and vegetables (fully organic mind it), the slightly better offs would even have cows and goats giving them the milk and meat. Everyone worked in their own fields and earned their meals, whatever excess was sold off at local haats or markets which paid off the rest of the expenditure incurred in living a self reliant life. In fact the better of the better offs flourished by working in their tiny entrepreneurship ventures which were then known as the “cottage industry” so you had a plethora of industries ranging from making agarbattis, diyas, banana chips, pots, bandages and the works. This was a sure sort of a self reliant way of life not only providing for the self but also for others by providing employment in these small units or business ventures. India had been self reliant for ages but then it needed a Modi and Mission and also a pandemic to restart the “been there, done that” scheme of things.
And if you look at the announcement under the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan you will probably need a financial geek or a Chartered Accountant to make you understand the nuances of the schemes offered. Has the Government given a thought that self reliance is the need of the hour for the informal sector, the lower levels of the Society who have probably lost jobs and their daily source of income due to the COVID crisis and that they do not have much access to the financial knowledge required for understanding what the Government has to offer. And if we speak of the lowest level of the Society then the Government has changed the scenario and taken it to a different level altogether – the rural poor or even the below poverty level types in urban areas who were probably the ones still tilling their lands and growing paddy, wheat or vegetables. They have stopped working – period! And why would they? The populist schemes of the Government gives them rice at a price of two rupees, your children are fed free meals at schools – the Midday Meal schemes, come elections you have blankets, mosquito nets delivered to your doorstep, students are given free texbooks, even bicycles, scootys and laptops, money is being deposited in your account – the Jan Dhan whatever shit! So where is the incentive to work? Oh that’s gone for a walk – work gaye tel lene as they say in Hindi! Come and enjoy the freebies and let the atma nirbhar be wherever the Government wants it to be…in hoardings, media announcements and the greater plan of the election manifestos. India is already rated poor when it come to the question of work culture and with this new age of freebies being thrown at your faces – work culture toh gaye not only tel lene but probably to Timbuktoo or Jhumri Talaya.
And that no one questions these bombastic missions and schemes that the Government oh so happily announces is surprising considering the intelligentsia that swarms the country but then enough questions and voices do come up with ample sound bytes for the jackass of a television commentator when he is put behind bars for a personal offence!!
And They Said….