NO DEARTH!

The Hitavada - - THE OPINION PAGE -

PRIME Min­is­ter Mr. Naren­dra Modi has high­lighted once again that In­dia does not suf­fer from lack of re­sources, but needs good gov­er­nance to make the best use of all those. As he ad­dressed a gath­er­ing at the birth cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions of the late Nanaji Desh­mukh, an ide­o­logue of the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh (RSS) and a so­cial re­former, Mr. Modi stressed the im­por­tance of ap­pro­pri­ate man­age­ment of the re­sources at the na­tion’s dis­posal through good gov­er­nance so that no­body is kept de­prived of their ben­e­fit. This thought is at the core of the Prime Min­is­ter’s think­ing, which the na­tion has seen in the past three years.

This fact has been high­lighted by many thinkers since In­de­pen­dence and even ear­lier. His­tor­i­cally, In­dian lead­er­ship has stressed the im­por­tance of ap­pro­pri­ate man­age­ment of the avail­able re­sources so that they suf­fice the na­tional need on all counts. Most rulers of an­cient In­dia, too, stressed the im­por­tance of good gov­er­nance so as to en­sure the sup­ply of all re­sources to the last man in the re­motest places around the coun­try. Var­i­ous treaties and royal di­rec­tions and in­struc­tions, too, are avail­able to prove this point that In­dia has been one coun­try that has cared for good gov­er­nance as a sure-shot way to sen­si­ble man­age­ment of avail­able re­sources. Thus, the kings of the past took the re­spon­si­bil­ity of com­plet­ing that chore in the favour of their sub­jects. The Prime Min­is­ter’s state­ment comes un­der that cat­e­gory.

De­spite this, it must be ad­mit­ted that In­dia has suf­fered many times in the past cou­ple of hun­dred years on ac­count of bad gov­er­nance. In all those cases, the rulers were found want­ing in eth­i­cal man­age­ment of the re­sources. The mo­ment the is­sue of eth­i­cal­ity came up, it got ob­vi­ous that cor­rup­tion had taken place. As he wrote his the­sis on eco­nomics and ad­min­is­tra­tion, Chanakya in­sisted in an­cient times that re­source man­age­ment and mo­bil­i­sa­tion for larger pub­lic good was the pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity of the king; and that would be pos­si­ble only if the State en­joyed good gov­er­nance in the true sense. Good gov­er­nance, thus, has al­ways been the is­sue of In­dian in­ter­est for cen­turies.

Un­der the alien rule, the coun­try had suf­fered on ac­count of in­dif­fer­ent ad­min­is­tra­tion and bad gov­er­nance. The Bri­tish plun­dered In­dian re­sources and whisked those away to their land, push­ing In­dia into eter­nal poverty and squalor. In in­de­pen­dent In­dia, the peo­ple ex­pected good gov­er­nance from the na­tive Govern­ment. That did not hap­pen in suf­fi­cient mea­sure. In the past seventy years, In­dia saw many patches of ab­so­lutely bad gov­er­nance dur­ing which a lot of re­sources were squan­dered in­stead of be­ing sub­jected to as­tute man­age­ment for larger good.

The Govern­ment did for­mu­late many plans of good man­age­ment of re­sources, but did not take care to see that those were im­ple­mented in to­tal se­ri­ous­ness. Be­cause of the paucity of re­sources at all lev­els, cor­rup­tion crept in for cor­ner­ing those. The Govern­ment also did not do much to stop cor­rup­tion. Much to the con­trary, it be­came a party to cor­rup­tion when its lead­ers got en­gaged in on-the-sly abuse of re­sources.

When Prime Min­is­ter Mr. Naren­dra Modi talks of good gov­er­nance as the nec­es­sary con­di­tion for ap­pro­pri­ate us­age of com­mon re­sources, he high­lights the im­por­tance of cor­rup­tion-free and prompt ad­min­is­tra­tion that would be fully ca­pa­ble of of­fer­ing good gov­er­nance. This is an im­por­tant thought and needs to be car­ried for­ward by the na­tion in a log­i­cal man­ner. It is true that the Govern­ment will have to play the most crit­i­cal role in this re­gard. Yet, the im­por­tance of peo­ple’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in re­source man­age­ment also can­not be un­der-es­ti­mated. The Prime Min­is­ter has raised a very valid and valu­able is­sue.

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