The India growth story, with a few roadblocks

The India growth story, with a few roadblocks

first_imgOf late, there have been enough questions on the veracity of the new methodology to compute the India growth figure. Putting those concerns to rest, two economic thinkers and policy makers from opposite ends of the spectrum-chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian and former Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia-said,Of late, there have been enough questions on the veracity of the new methodology to compute the India growth figure. Putting those concerns to rest, two economic thinkers and policy makers from opposite ends of the spectrum-chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian and former Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia-said that the institutions that produce the numbers are of the “highest quality, unimpeachable credentials, with no question of political interference”. However, Subramanian himself had in the past expressed concern on the new methodology, which he clarified saying that in all systems, in all estimates, across the world, there is a normal range of uncertainty about the data. And given the current set of circumstances with low oil prices, CPI and WPI data off by eight percentage points, computing GDP data is difficult.What’s driving optimism for the Indian growth story is fiscal discipline, sliding corruption, passage of the Aadhar bill, using the JAM trinity to target subsidies and opening up of sectors to FDI. But how India tackles its banking crisis where banks finds themselves saddled with Rs 1.14 lakh crore of bad debt will determine its future. On the retrospective tax for Vodafone, Subramanian said “If you had gone the whole hog, you might have been accused of trying to favour one foreign company”. by Shweta PunjHomosexuality is not a punishable crimeWhen asked about the RSS vision for India in 2020, its joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said: “To see a prosperous India where basic needs of citizens are fulfilled; where there is no caste, religion or gender discrimination.”advertisementDattatreya Hosabale. Photo: Rohit ChawlaHosabale meant business, as he wants RSS to become an effective instrument to translate this vision into action. But when it comes to moving forward, change and adaptability are the key. And the change must come from within, and RSS is ready to embrace new ideas in a new environment. Though Hosabale wants a Bharat which takes pride in its cultural heritage and civilisational contribution, the way forward is not to be cowed down by the burden of heritage. The bottomline is clear: change is inevitable. “Hindu civilisation says that we must change according to the needs of the times.”He indicated that the organisation might not remain all-male for long. He admits that when it was founded, given the social environment, women were not allowed in the organisation as it involved some physical activity such as playing sports. But as times have changed, the RSS, which has recently replaced its khaki short uniform with full-length trousers, is open to accepting women in shakhas and today women are allowed in all activities except in the daily gathering. “Things may change even in the next one year. In fact, in some shakhas, we are experimenting with family participation where men, women and children are allowed,” he said.There were efforts to clear “misconceptions” around RSS and its vision around Hindutva. It’s a way of life defined by Hinduness and not Hinduism. Mahatma Gandhi was a proud Hindu, so was Swami Vivekananda, argued Hosabale. And he attempted to dispel fears among non-Hindus about a Hindu India. “Hindus never aggressed or enslaved anyone in the past in any part of the world. So the fear about Hindu aggression is misplaced,” he said.But for Hosabale “Bharat Mata” is sacrosanct and there is no debate over whether or not to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. “If someone doesn’t want to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, he is anti-national because he is allowing others to do the same,” he said at the Conclave.But the biggest revelation was the organisation’s departure from its conservative view on homosexuality. Hosabale said he did not believe homosexuality was a punishable crime. “It is not a crime as long as it does not affect the lives of others.” He wasn’t as liberal on the eating of beef, though. “It is not culturally correct in India. Mahatma Gandhi also opposed cow slaughter. Was he communal?” he asked.And obviously certain things are beyond the norms of change. The dream for a Ram Temple is still alive, though the RSS wants the court to take the final call. by Kaushik Dekalast_img

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