"You have to dream before your dreams can come true." This famous quote of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who himself turned his dream into a reality as a nuclear scientist and has "ignited" many minds with his ideas, is perhaps the most appropriate theme for present day India aspiring to become an economic and knowledge superpower.It is the culmination of the dreams of 1.2 billion people that has led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ideate his plan of making the $2 trillion economy a $20 trillion behemoth within the next two decades, eradicating poverty and making India a knowledge society.
Since independence, all governments of India have been committed to gradual rather than revolutionary means for spreading democratic and socialist principles (as attested notably by the Preamble to the Constitution of India). Independent India averted the revolutions (and most debates), which shaped the role of the state in the western world for some 500 years.
It's really a pity and a challenge to the system particularly those who are in power, that even after 67 years of Independence, we have a lot of people living below poverty line. We have issues like rural-urban divide and serious economic disparities. Then we hear of farmers' suicides and sometimes of hunger deaths here and there. And then we get criticisms about the system not being sensitive to the vulnerable sections.
Welfare measures are not freebie. Hence, the policy culture must keep an effective balance between passion and compassion, to make the impact of underlying much more robust than in the sloganeering confine of 'greater common goods'.
It has been 10 years after P V Narasimha Rao, the country's Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996, died. India's history would have been different had Rao led the Congress to re-election in the 1996 general elections. Had it won, the Congress might have had the real chance to break loose of the Nehru-Gandhi family's vice-like grip. However, what followed a few years after the 1996 elections was political theatre. Within months, Rao had to quit as president of party, but his downfall was not complete until the representative of the first family, Sonia Gandhi, was anointed party chief in 1998.
The new government has started an ambitious financial inclusion plan that aims to bring every household under the banking net by 26th January 2015. Financial inclusion has been a buzzword for quite some time.
Vinod Rai is not just accountant - he is an impulsive writer too who writes diary to keep the conscience of the nation, as confirmed by him through the title of his truly sensational book.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been hawkish on policy rates for the past four years to contain inflation. The central bank has maintained tight monetary policy despite reservations from the elected representatives and the government. What's worse, the hawkish stance had little perceptible impact on the price rise, as the inflation remained stubbornly high.