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.