What development?

(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)

The people of India are sick and tired of government’s approach to economic and social development.

Development does not mean GDP growth alone; there are other factors that contribute to production and productivity growth. Most important factor in long term growth is the quality of education system. Instead of strengthening the school system and institutions of higher learning especially science and engineering, these have been weakened to a level where human resource quality is progressively declining in nearly all areas except those that are sponsored by multinational corporations.

Even adult literacy programme, started in 1951 with much hope promised by Dr Zakir Hussain, failed; the actual number of illiterate adult is perhaps more than the population of India in 1947.

In the National Development Council meeting the Prime Minister said he wants to remove farmers from farming. Would the Prime Minister assure the nation how is he going to employ these 148 million farming households. There are already 93 million slum dwellers in urban India; does he want to add another 740 million people begging in the streets? Where is the employment for the millions of farming community in the country.

Did it ever occur to him that only farmers can grow food for the nation? During his neo-conservative policies over one quarter million farmers have already committed suicide but he remains unmoved. Agrarian distress has reached such extreme level that younger generation does not want to be part of it. Does the government want another 740 million suicides?

It is worth pointing out that around five years ago, top executives of American seed and agriculture multinational corporations were in meeting in the Department of Science and Technology and they told the Indian officers that they can do with just one million farmers. When the Indian officers reminded them that 148 million households are engaged in farming, the MNC executives told them, as one insider said, “They are your problem.” Is the government taking orders from American and European MNCs? Who voted this party and him to power?

We do have a Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which should be renamed Ministry of Sickness and Disease. Look carefully: the main focus of this ministry for the past two decades has been family birth control and vaccination. Look at any document and these two issues predominate over all other issues of health.

Their main focus today is to vaccinate women and children knowing full well that vaccination induced debility are destroying the future of billions around the world.

Why is Ministry pushing vaccines when doctors have warned that it is causing autism in children? Is the price worth destroying millions of children at genetic level? Improvement in hygiene and sanitation can alone prevent most of the bacterial diseases and improved nutrition alone can prevent virus induced infection.

This is not rocket science; these have been known since 1900AD. Should big multinational pharmaceutical firms be allowed to play with the lives of millions of Indians?

Industrial development painstakingly built with public money since the 1950s are being slowly but inexorably privatized. It is again well known that strategic assets of a nation should not be privatized and these assets include ports, airports, railways, energy sources and energy infrastructure, seeds and infrastructure support to nation’s agriculture and food security system. Yet these are the very sectors which this government wants to sell off to multi- national corporations.

Every system that has sustained us for over 8,000 years as a highly evolved civilization is today under threat. Yet government economists continue to parrot our development in terms of just one single statistics called GDP.



(Editorial : Kisan Ki Awaaz Magazine)