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Inventors of India: How AAP can transform industry by promoting ‘Indian Idol’ model

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Dr Kallol Guha

Would you have ever known about those hidden talents of India until ‘India’s Got Talent’ made its way to your TV sets? In fact, so many talented voices could not have reached their desired path till ‘Indian Idol’ made it possible for them. Yet, there are enormous hidden gems in India that are still looking for the Midas touch. Those gems are none other than our own artisans, craftsmen, potters, who are the backbone of India’s small scale industries. In real sense, they are the inventors of India.

Overview

The published narratives of European travelers unveil the fact that India, in the 17th and early part of 18th century, was economically more progressive than most of the European nations.

India had a burgeoning industrial sector, which produced world class products that were also low in cost. Merchants from various parts of world came to India and exchanged their gold, silver and precious stones with cotton textiles, rugs, silk, utensils and much more.

Therefore, when Europe was engulfed by the commercial and industrial revolution, India was still looked upon as the prosperous nation in the world.

It was this trade prosperity of India that distressed the Europeans. During this era, mercantilist European statesmen stood together against the export of bullion in exchange with Indian goods.

In a conquest to generate enormous moolah, the East India Company callously oppressed Indian manufacturers. Heavy tariffs were imposed on Indian goods. Moreover, speedy generation of machine-driven goods took a toll on booming Indian industries.

After India’s independence in 1947, India espoused a socialist-inspired economic model with rudiments of capitalism. India adopted USSR-like, centralized and nationalized economic programs called Five-Year Plans. This Nehruvian policy was stretched too far past its use and led to the decline in Indian economy.

Importance of Small Scale Industries in India

Keeping in mind the significance of Small Scale Industries in the Indian economy, all the industrial policies announced since the independence, have showered high priority on the development of the sector.  The industrial policy of 1956, which still is the lead standard, says:

“They (Small Scale Industries) provide immediate large scale employment, they offer a method of ensuring a more equitable distribution of national income and facilitate an effective mobilization of resources of capital and skill which might otherwise remain unutilized. Some of the problems that unplanned urbanization tends to create will be avoided by the establishment of small centres of industrial production all over the country.”

No doubt, the sector can encourage economic activity and is delegated with the liability of realizing various objectives – creation of more employment opportunities with less investment, reducing regional imbalances and so on.

However, small scale industries are not in a position to play their part efficiently due to various limitations, such as finance, raw material, technology, marketing, infrastructure and product planning.

Let’s start with AAP

Recently, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) offered a boost to small scale industries. The government announced that there will be no need of securing needed permits for setting up small scale industries in the national capital. Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will not require a consent-to-establish (CTE) certificate from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and a trade license from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), to obtain an acknowledgment letter under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006.

The Inventors of India

Ever since  forming the government, AAP has launched several schemes that are indicative of innovative ideas. They seem to be committed to the welfare of Aam Aadmi (Common Man). Therefore, the party might think of tapping the enormous pent up productive forces in them.

One way of doing this, is to encourage the common man to submit any invention they might have developed into its presentable form, no matter how rudimentary it might seem. Such presentation may be sponsored by the Government in the same fashion as that of ‘India’s Got Talent.’ The best five, commercially viable, inventions may be turned into industrial production and financially supported by the government and/or private entrepreneurs to be run in the form of a cooperative.

India has imitated such competition in areas of musical performance with very good result. Similar initiatives in areas of rural invention (there is a great deal of useful rural technology that is ignored simply because it is not Western) need to be given encouragement and opportunity to appear in the form of public performance. This could not only benefit development of indigenous small industry but could be a significant stride towards positive impression of AAP among the masses all over India.

Success of this initiative can be easily measured- considering its positive effect nationwide and benefit to AAP thereof.

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Kejriwal’s Door to Door Donation Drive is a Farce: Munish Raizada

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors' list on its website and then only seek new donations.

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Kejriwal
Dr. Munish Raizada along with his Chanda Bandh Satyagraha team outside the office of AAP MLA Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar). File photo

Chicago: The Aam Aadmi Party Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has launched a door to door campaign seeking donations for the AAP.  According to former overseas co-coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Munish Raizada, this is nothing more than a misleading campaign!

Raizada says that Kejriwal has no moral right to seek donations from common man as he has dismantled financial transparency in AAP by removing donors list from its website. Displaying donors’ list showing real time donations and making the income and expenditure accounts available online were the basis and the promise of the AAP, emphasised Raizada.

Now, after hiding donors’ list and its balance sheets from the public, the AAP cannot claim to be practising alternative politics.

Munish Raizada, kejriwal
Lack of financial transparency in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP prompted a group of NRIs, who once worked to mobilise funds and support for the party, to turn against it. (File photo)

It may be noted that AAP removed the list of donors from its website in June 2016. Moreover, since then AAP has been surrounded with controversies related to donations. AAP had also received Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice, last year in November, implying that all is not well with AAP’s accounts, says Raizada.

He further questions Kejriwal, that if AAP has nothing to hide about its accounts and if AAP is honest with its account keeping then why is Kejriwal hiding the donations?

Even the donation policy that was earlier the pride of every AAP volunteer has been done away with. The donation policy on AAP website used to state: “Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But rather than putting the donors’ list in public domain, the party’s corrupt leadership started blaming BJP and I.T. Department for harassing its donors.

 

munish raizada, kejriwal
Chanda Bandh Satygrah demands restoration of  lost values in AAP ( File Photo)

 

Opaque political funding is the fountain head of corruption. Further, Raizada says that if the party cannot be transparent in its political funding, then talking about fighting corruption and graft is a mere rhetoric. He said that the appeals by Chanda Bandh Satyagraha have fallen on deaf ears as far as the party’s

leadership is concerned. 

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors’ list on its website and then only seek new donations. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was started by AAP’s volunteers in 2016, with an appeal to the public not to donate to AAP unless it makes its donation lists open and transparent.