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|January 14, 1998||
The Rediff Election Special/S Gurumurthy
'The new government must ensure some safeguards for Indian industry'
The most important issue this election is the position of Indian industry. After Dr Singh, the then finance minister, opened up the Indian economy in 1991, Indian industrialists are losing confidence every day.
Indian industry is currently going through a bad phase. We have witnessed several takeovers and mergers of Indian companies by multinational companies. I believe the government must promote Indian industry over foreign companies.
The new government must ensure some safeguards for Indian industry by the rule of law. Indian industry has never suffered as badly in the last 50 years as it is suffering today.
Globalisation is a mantra which is being used by developed countries against developing countries. In fact, I would say that globalisation is nothing but a hypocrisy of the 12 developed countries. Today, these countries are telling India to open up the insurance sector and pass patent laws. I feel this must not be done.
These developed nations impose quantitative restrictions for goods from Third World nations and talk about globalisation! India should raise its voice against these things, but unfortunately because of a corrupt bureaucracy and ministers, we lack a voice.
In fact, the current southeast Asian economic crisis is caused by these developed nations. The philosophy of the developed nations was to 'borrow and grow'. Though this was good for South-East Asian countries in the first two decades it proved out to be a disaster in the long term. I am happy that India has never committed the mistakes which these countries committed.
These countries went for short-term loans and capital account convertibility. I will strongly recommend against implementing these two laws in the country. Though most of the economic writers who have sold out to the multinational companies say we should go for these two things, I strongly advocate against it.
We should revive our agriculture sector and non corporate sector. These two sectors play a very vital role in the economy. A lot of people depend on agriculture and the non-corporate sector which includes self-employment. Though the agriculture sector has been given importance the self-employment sector has never been given much importance.
Besides this, we must ensure the construction of the three temples at Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura. This should be one of the most important priorities of the new government. If someone tells me I am communal because I mention the construction of these temples, I will call them idiots. People should understand the importance of religion in our country.
Today, the Muslim stand on these three temples is still not clear. I strongly feel the Hindu and Muslim communities must come together and solve this problem amicably. In fact, the Left intellectuals who criticise me for this lack conviction. They are far removed from the ground realities.
Removal of poverty should be on our main agenda. But you cannot say that we should not construct these temples because our country is poor. After all, religion plays an important role in economics. You cannot deny that people take holidays during religious festivals and a lot of money is spent during these seasons. The entire economy starts picking up because of the buying and selling activity. How can you deny these facts?
The Swadeshi ideologue spoke to Syed Firdaus Ashraf
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