Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a “tricolour” revolution (June 9), where he has laid stress on “skills, scale and speed”, needs to be approached with caution. India should develop by using its ethos, which is essentially spiritual and which perceives unity, reverence for nature and a prayer for the welfare of all mankind. Swami Vivekananda had cautioned us a century ago that “if we give up our spirituality, leaving it aside to go after the materialising civilisation of the West, the foundation on which the national edifice has been built will be undermined.”
I think what we need is a time-bound plan to change over to organic agriculture which has been proved by scientific studies to be able to produce enough food to feed mankind and enable the uplift of villages. We should also adopt policies to conserve the finite resources of nature, curb ostentation and conspicuous consumption and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. If this “tricolour revolution” has been an afterthought as a result of a desire to compete with China, it will only increase misery and worsen environmental pollution.
The Prime Minister seems to have thought about all the crucial sectors of the economy. It is also heartening that relations with neighbours are a priority as “those closest to India affect us the most.” “Love thy neighbour” is biblical, watch thy neighbour is political. Mr. Modi seems to know the difference between the two.
As India is largely agrarian, the lopsided growth in favour of industrial growth has affected small and medium farmers in particular. Agriculture is fast becoming a corporate affair. The White Revolution brought on by the legendary Verghese Kurien is slowly being forgotten and it is falling into the hands of those who make detergent powder and machine oil.
While the list of priorities by Mr. Modi is right, he has not spelt out the means to achieve it. Let us hope there is no hidden agenda to help corporates.