Modi embodies the best of Indonomics. He will ensure that India's sovereign interests are never compromised even when collaboration is sought on matters where India doesn't currently have strength, says Pramod Kumar Buravalli.
Is Indonomics a Utopian dream of the nationalists who constantly wish to see a paradigm shift in how resources are managed? Or is it a middle path between capitalism and socialism?
2012 has been a sad year for India. Political turmoil, economic insecurity, crimes against women and the recently inconclusive debate on Foreign Direct Investment in retail are all examples of the rot within society.
FDI in retail was a disastrous decision rammed down the throats of the Indian public.
Simplest analogy for FDI in retail is Kolhapuri chappals will now be made in China and sold back in Kolhapur for Rs 50 less than the street price.
My observation has been that the Indian government had (covertly) been trying to bring black money back into India through safe investment vehicles chief among them FDI in retail. Their intention was to hurt no-one (particularly themselves) in these efforts and yet be seen as doing something concrete against the backdrop of all the corruption allegations they have been facing all through their second tenure.
The government's strategy was to kill many birds with one stroke. Here is what they perceived FDI in retail would achieve for them in the near and long term:
Create low cost employment -- thus keeping unskilled/low skilled resources happy. Their only way to win back votes for 2014!
Take the sheen out of the black money issue -- if all the illegal money stashed abroad is routed back via FDI in retail and other channels, there won't be humongous amounts of money left in offshore accounts. Thus all the heat with respect to black money and corruption accusations will die a natural death!
Make the real estate lobby happy -- shops and establishments abutting main roads and highways in every part of India will vanish gradually thus leading to plenty of real estate becoming available for road expansion, office space redevelopment etc. So, more money for contractors and indirectly their supporters!
These inferences may seem outlandish but listening to Manmohan Singh's explanation in Parliament on why FDI in retail was needed, gives way to the only explanation that there was undue pressure from all sides to open up retail.
ROI numbers on retail are abysmal. Most of the Indian businessmen who have ventured into large scale retail over the past decade are desperately looking to exit retail.
So, my 4th inference from this wily decision was that the government wanted to make Indian businessmen (who are seething with anger on account of policy paralysis), very happy by providing them with a safe exit route via FDI.
Anyway, how is that connected with Indonomics and the recent win by Narendra Modi in Gujarat?
Indonomics by all definitions is undefined yet very specific in certain areas. It's an idea that operates around karma and dharma and very little on what can be made or should be expected in return for any sort of investment -- time, energy, resources or intellect.
Take for example, Narendra Modi and his 10 year run as India's most successful chief minister ever in its democratic history. Did he invent solar technology? Did he usher in any innovation that can be attributed to his government's investments into science and technology? No!
But he operated within the system and within the constraints that are imposed on him on account of his area of influence and authority. Modi best practiced Indonomics by using a mix of all economic and social principles that he could implement as a state authority. Gujarat's list of past achievements is a long list and his plans for the next five years are even grander:
Lalu Prasad Yadav had recently commented in the Indian Parliament that technology cannot be ostracised. He went onto say that since L K Advani uses Twitter; the opposition cannot condemn FDI in retail!!!
It is a very strange analogy because Mahatma Gandhi traveled extensively in third class compartments during the Indian freedom struggle but, did he not use the British mode of transport (railways) yet fight colonialism and forceful subjugation using the same tools?
Blind supporters of capitalism and socialism can never gauge Indonomics.
Indonomics is centered on Sanatana Dharma. It has been around for several centuries prior to capitalism and socialism. Although never put on paper or seriously researched in the Left-dominated academia around the world, Indonomics is centered on the pursuit of all round happiness and unflinching adherence to duty and responsibility.
According to Dattopant Thengadi (founder of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh), one of the staunchest proponents of Indonomics; unless the third way of social, political and economic renaissance is ushered into India, the concept of independence from outside influences is not complete. Thengadi espoused independent temple economics, expanding local manufacturing and most importantly wanted industry to go away from profiteering and turn towards social enablement.
Modi embodies the best of Indonomics. He will ensure that India's sovereign interests are never compromised even when collaboration is sought on matters where India doesn't currently have strength.
Or for that matter any politician who understands that capitalism and socialism have many fallacies will ensure that Indonomics continues to survive no matter what.