News & Editorial Analysis 1 February 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – Economic Survey:
GS III Topic Indian Economy
After the President’s address on the opening day of the Union Budget Session 2023–24, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered the Economic Survey for the Financial Year 2022–23. India’s economic recovery from the epidemic is complete, according to the Economic Survey, and economic growth in the range of 6% to 6.8% is predicted for the upcoming fiscal year 2023–2024.
The Chief Economic Advisor, Dr. V. Anantha Nageswaran, added, “The analysis looks ahead to the medium-term because the pandemic reaction and recovery time is gone,” at a news conference in New Delhi.
How much will India’s GDP expand in the upcoming fiscal year?
India’s GDP is anticipated to increase by 6.0%–6.8% in 2023–2024, depending on the course of global economic and political developments.
The Economic Survey 2022-23 estimates that real GDP growth will average 6.5% for the Financial Year 2023-2024.
What is India’s GDP growth rate this year?
The Indian economy is anticipated to grow at a rate of 7% for the fiscal year that ends in March 2023. (in real terms). This growth follows an increase of 8.7% in the prior fiscal year. India’s growth rate is thus decreasing. However, there is a global trend that is either significantly worse or very comparable.
What factors are behind India’s GDP growth?
Credit growth to the micro, small, and medium-sized firms (MSME) sector has been unusually high, averaging over 30.5 percent between January and November 2022.
The central government’s capital expenditures (CAPEX), which increased by 63.4% in the first eight months of FY 2022-23, served as another growth driver for the Indian economy this year.
What is the current fiscal year’s inflation rate in India?
The RBI projects that headline inflation will be 6.8% in FY 2022-2023, above its target range.
How did the Indian infrastructure market do this year?
Due to the return of migrant workers to construction activities, the amount of inventory in the housing market significantly decreased, falling from 42 months in Q3 of FY 2022–23 to 33 months in Q3 of FY 2022–23.
Has the quantity of Indian exports grown?
Yes. The production processes switched from light acceleration to cruising mode in the first part of FY 2022–2023 due to the acceleration in export growth.
What is the current pattern of private consumption in India?
Private consumption as a percentage of GDP increased to 58.4% in the second quarter of FY 2022–23, the highest second quarter since 2013–14, as a result of a recovery in contact-intensive industries like business, hotel, and transportation.
What forecasts does the Economic Survey 2022 have for global trade?
According to a poll, the World Commerce Organization has revised its estimate for the growth of global trade from 3.5% in 2022 to 1.0% in 2023.
What about the economic survey for 2022–2023 is worrying?
The budget deficit is 6.4% of GDP.
CPI inflation is 6.8%.
WPI Inflation of 11.5%
Foreign money reserves are decreasing.
Reduction in GDP expansion.
Decreased rate of industrial growth.
2 – ECLGS Scheme:
GS II Topic Government Policies and Interventions
According to the Economic Survey, a significant increase in loan flow to Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) has resulted from the implementation of the Emergency Loan Linked Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).
According to data from the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company, 1.2 crore MSME units used the ECLGS plan to raise 3.6 lakh crore in collateral-free resources as of November 10, 2022. (NCGTC). 83% of the borrowers were micro-enterprises, and more than half of them had exposure of less than 10 lakh, according to a recent CIBIL report. The category of MSME borrowers who used the ECLGS had a lower NPA rate in banks when compared to borrowers who did not use the programme.
In 2020, the Center’s Aatmanirbhar package included ECLGS as a reaction to the Covid-19 problem.
The goal was to assist small firms that were finding it difficult to meet their operational obligations as a result of the statewide lockdown.
Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) include banks, financial institutions, and non-banking financial companies. The National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC) offers a 100% guarantee (NBFCs).
The Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line is the credit product for which a guarantee would be issued under the Scheme (GECL).
MSMEs that have yearly revenues of up to Rs. 100 crore and outstanding debt of up to Rs. 25 crore qualified. Additionally eligible were commercial entities, MUDRA debtors, and private individuals. 20% of their outstanding credit as of February 29, 2020 was made available through this initiative as extra, fully guaranteed, collateral-free credit for business purposes.
However, an update to ECLGS 2.0 in November 2020 eliminated the turnover cap.
The amended version concentrated on companies in the healthcare sector as well as the 26 stressed industries named by the Kamath Committee that, as of February 29, 2020, had credit outstanding totaling more than Rs. 50 crore and up to Rs. 500 crore.
A borrower account also required to be less than or equal to 30 days past due in order to be eligible for the programme as of February 29, 2020, because as of that date, no lenders had classified any borrower accounts as SMA 1, SMA 2, or NPA.
Special mention accounts, or SMAs, reveal early signs of stress and eventually cause the borrower to stop making loan payments.
Payments on SMA-0 accounts are fully or partially past due after 1 to 30 days, whereas payments on SMA-1 and SMA-2 accounts are past due after 31 to 60 days and 61 to 90 days, respectively.
In addition, the new plan provides a five-year repayment window as opposed to ECLGS 1.0’s four-year term.
As of February 29, 2020, it entails making loans up to 40% of the total credit outstanding across all lending institutions.
Any loans made under ECLGS 3.0 would have a 6 year term with a 2 year moratorium imposed.
Include companies operating in the tourism, hotel, transportation, leisure, and sports industries that, as of February 29, 2020, have a total amount of credit outstanding of less than Rs. 500 crore and any past-due liabilities with a maturity of 60 days or less.
Loans of up to Rs 2 crore, with a maximum interest rate of 7.5%, are made available to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other healthcare facilities for the construction of on-site oxygen generation equipment.
The exact duties of the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd.?
In order to serve as a common trustee firm for various credit guarantee funds, the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance established the private limited company NCGTC in 2014 as a completely owned business of the Government of India. It was set up in conformity with the 1956 Companies Act.
Programs for credit guarantees are made to spread out the risk of loans among lenders and make it easier for potential borrowers to get credit.
3 – Personal Data Bill:
GS II Topic Government Policies and Interventions
A new online data protection bill is expected to be introduced in the second half of the budget session, and the Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that it would weigh whether to hear several petitions challenging WhatsApp’s practise of sharing user data with the Facebook group of companies or to wait until the Parliament makes a decision.
In his testimony before a Constitution Bench presided over by Justice K.M. Joseph, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the court should not allow any debate of the Bill prior to the Parliament debating it.
What are the Seven Principles of the 2022 Bill?
The use of personal data by organisations must first and foremost be lawful, fair to the individuals concerned, and transparent to the individuals.
Second, only the data for which personal information was collected may be used.
Data minimization is discussed in the third tenet.
The collection of accurate data is stressed in the fourth principle.
The fifth principle states that acquired personal data cannot be “stored perpetually by default” and should only be retained for a set period of time.
The sixth principle states that there should be sufficient safeguards to ensure that “no unauthorised acquisition or processing of personal data” takes place.
The seventh principle stated, “The person who determines the purpose and means of the processing of personal data should be liable for such processing.”
What Makes Up the Core Elements of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill?
Data Principal and Data Fiduciary:
The individual whose data is being collected is referred to as the “Data Principal.”
Under the age of 18, children’s parents or legal guardians are referred to as their “Data Principals.”
Any person, company, governmental body, or other organisation that chooses the “purpose and means of the processing of an individual’s personal data” is a data fiduciary.
Personal data is defined as “any data that enables the identification of an individual.”
“The whole spectrum of processes that may be applied to personal data” is the definition of processing.
Significant Data Fiduciary:
Important Information Fiduciaries deal with a lot of private information. The federal government will decide who fits into this category based on a number of factors.
These organisations will be obliged to hire both an objective data auditor and a “Data protection officer.”
People should be able to “access basic information” in the languages listed in the eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution, according to the bill.
The right of consent:
Individuals must provide their consent before their data is processed, and the law states that “every subject should know what types of personal data a Data Fiduciary wants to collect and the purpose of such collection and further processing.”
People also have the right to withdraw their consent from a data fiduciary.
Right to Erase:
The right to request the deletion and updating of data that the data fiduciary has collected shall be granted to data principals.
Right to vote:
Data principals will also be allowed to choose a replacement in the event of their demise or incapacity.
The Data Protection Board:
The draft also proposed setting up a data protection board to oversee compliance with the laws.
If a consumer does not receive a sufficient response from the Data Fiduciary, they may file a complaint with the Data Protection Board.
Cross-border Data Transfer: The bill authorises the storage and transfer of data to “certain recognised nations and territories” across international borders, provided that they have a suitable data security environment and that the government has access to such data from within India.
For Data Fiduciary: The law considers establishing significant penalties on organisations that suffer data breaches or fail to notify users when breaches occur.
Penalties would range from Rs. 50 crores to Rs. 500 crores.
For Data Principal: A user may be fined up to Rs 10,000 if they register for an online service using false paperwork or make unfounded complaints.
The government may exempt some businesses from conforming to the standards of the bill depending on the quantity of personal data collected by the entity and the number of users.
When implementing this, consideration was given to the businesspeople in the country who had complained that the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was too “compliance intensive.”
National security-related exemptions have been kept from the previous 2019 edition.
The Centre has been given the authority to exempt its agencies from adhering to the Bill’s provisions in the interest of upholding India’s sovereignty and integrity, the country’s security, friendly relations with other countries, upholding public order, or preventing incitement to any cognisable offence.
Why is the protection protecting digital personal data significant?
The new Bill permits significant exemptions on cross-border data transfers, in contrast to the old Bill’s disputed requirement of local storage of data within India’s geography.
It has a comparably liberal position toward the requirement for data localization and permits data flow to a few select global sites, which is anticipated to promote international trade agreements.
Despite the Joint Parliamentary Committee’s proposal, the PDP Bill, 2019, does not recognise the data principal’s right to posthumous privacy (Withdraw Consent) (JPC).
How has India’s policy on data protection been improved?
Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v. Union of India (2017): In August 2017, a nine-judge Supreme Court bench decided unanimously that Indians have a fundamental right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution, which is protected by legislation.
2017 B.N. Committee of Srikrishna
A data protection expert committee led by Justice B N Srikrishna was created by the government in August 2017. A draft data protection bill and the group’s report were both submitted in July 2018.
A Data Protection Authority, the right to be forgotten, data localization, and restrictions on data processing and collection are just a few of the many recommendations made in the report to tighten India’s privacy laws.
Social media platforms are required under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 to exercise special vigilance with regard to the content on their platforms (2021).
What regulations apply to the protection of data in other nations?
The European Union as a model:
The basic objective of the General Data Protection Regulation is to create a comprehensive data protection regulation for the handling of personal data.
The protection of an individual’s self-right and control over the data they produce is the goal of the right to privacy, which is acknowledged in the EU as a fundamental right.
In contrast to the GDPR in the EU, the US does not have a complete set of privacy rights or principles that apply to the use, collecting, and disclosure of data.
Instead, there is little regulation that is specialised to a given business. Different techniques to data protection are used in the public and private sectors.
The functions and authorities of the government with regard to personal information are explicitly identified and addressed by broad statutes like the Privacy Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, etc.
There are a number of private sector-specific standards.
One of the latest pieces of data privacy and security legislation to be released in China during the past 12 months is the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which took effect in November 2021.
It gives Chinese data principals more authority in an effort to stop the abuse of personal data.
The Data Security Law (DSL), which took effect in September 2021 and sets new restrictions on cross-border transfers, requires business data to be classified by priority categories.
4 – Solar Energy in India:
GS III Topic Infrastructural Issues
It has been difficult to discern what is best for the country because of the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm and support, as well as the widespread belief that solar energy is a free gift from the sun. These elements have made decision-making more difficult, in addition to the external pressure pushing India farther and more along the so-called carbon-limiting renewable energy road. We might conclude that solar energy is not the best option for India and that, free from misunderstandings and ill-conceived restrictions, we would be better off relying entirely on large hydro and coal.
India established high standards for itself in compliance with the Paris Agreement. A large energy shift (in the electrical sector) that bets heavily on the use of solar energy is necessary for India’s attempts to mitigate climate change. In 2014–15, the government set a target to produce 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, including 100 GW coming from solar energy. Currently, only 60% of the intended amount of solar energy is being used. Even though the government is probably going to fall short of its ambitious goal, the use of renewable and solar energy has advanced admirably. The installed renewable energy capacity has tripled since 2014, when it was 38GW. To address the sector’s issues and hasten the switch to sustainable energy, the government should act.
Potential of Solar Energy:
Solar energy has a great deal of potential in India. India experiences about 3000 hours of sunshine annually. Around 5,000 trillion kWh of incident energy are received by India’s land surface each year, with the bulk of places receiving 4–7 kWh per square metre each day. In India, solar photovoltaic energy can be efficiently harvested and has a huge potential for expansion.
India has a solar potential of about 750 GW, according to the National Institute of Solar Energy, assuming that solar PV modules will cover 3% of the nation’s waste land.
The two states with the most solar energy potential are Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The government set the audacious aim of installing 175 GW of renewable energy in 2014. 100 GW of solar energy was the target by 2022.
At COP26 in Glasgow, India updated its Nationally Determined Contributions (2021). (NDCs). India set a target to generate 500 GW of non-fossil electricity, with half of that amount coming from renewable sources. Solar energy is estimated to contribute about 300 GW of this.
According to the government’s 25-year vision paper, 85% of the country’s electricity should come from ecologically beneficial and renewable sources. As a result, India has become a significant market for solar energy as well as solar applications.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) NEO 2018 study, India will produce 75% of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2050.
There are currently 408 GW of installed capacity in India, of which 118 GW are made up of renewable energy (wind, solar, and other renewable energy). This amounts to almost 67% of the 175 GW target set in 2014. 60 GW of the intended 100 GW of installed solar energy capacity has now been achieved (2014). From merely 2.6 GW in 2014, the capacity of solar energy has drastically expanded.
The top States for installed solar energy capacity are Karnataka (7.35 GW), Rajasthan (5.73 GW), Tamil Nadu (4.47 GW), Gujarat (4.43 GW), and Andhra Pradesh (as of March 2021). (4.2 GW).
What challenges are presented by the scaling up of solar energy?
Greater Production Costs Per Unit: Despite a dramatic drop in solar energy costs, small solar power projects still have higher production costs per unit than other energy sources. The Union Government is helping to ease the construction of large solar farms.
Major solar parks face difficulty in acquiring large land lots. Additional challenges include high transmission and distribution losses, grid integration, and other problems. Grid integration is challenging since solar energy is erratic and there is a load balancing problem (e.g., high load during night but non-availability of solar power at night).
Environmental Issues: The development of sizable solar parks has led to conflicts with the local population and issues with biodiversity protection. For instance, certain projects in Rajasthan and Gujarat have been postponed because the transmission lines will interfere with the habitat of the Great Indian Bustard, which is in grave risk of extinction.
Despite a large growth in installed solar capacity, solar energy’s contribution to the nation’s electricity output has not kept pace. The capacity growth of rooftop solar projects has been extremely weak (less than 20% of the goal by October 2022).
Both home consumers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) must take into account their financial capacities due to the often large initial investments required for solar rooftop installations. A significant issue is the lack of innovative financing options that provide greater quantities at lower interest rates and longer durations.
Dependence on Imports for Solar Equipment: India is now unable to produce polysilicon or solar wafers. During the fiscal year 2021–2022, India bought solar cells and modules from China alone for over US$ 76.62 billion. 78.6% of all imports entering India were this (2021-22).
India is expected to produce 1.8 million tonnes of solar waste by 2050. According to India’s e-waste legislation, manufacturers of solar cells are not obligated to recycle or dispose of trash from this business.
India’s Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) clause at the World Trade Organization has run into legal issues (WTO). The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s requirements and testing procedures are followed by DCR, which mandates the use of domestically produced solar cells and modules (MNRE).
What steps have been taken to increase India’s solar energy production?
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched by the MNRE in 2010 with the goal of generating 20 GW of grid-connected solar electricity by 2022 in three phases. The Solar Park Scheme, the Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) Scheme for grid-connected solar PV power projects, and Viability Gap Funding are a few of the steps that make up this objective (VGF). The target for 2014–15 has been adjusted to 100 GW.
The government has also created the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Uttan Mahabhiyan Yojana (PM-KUSUM) for grid-connected agricultural solar pumps.
The installation, use, and upkeep of solar energy projects are the core topics of the Suryamitra Skill Development Program at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE).
The Atal Jyoti Yojana has been set up to provide solar street lighting systems for general use.
Financial incentives are provided to the SRISTI Scheme participant for the development of rooftop solar power plant projects.
In order to evacuate renewable energy, the Green Energy Corridor Scheme calls for the construction of additional transmission lines and the expansion of new sub-station capacity (from the region of production to the region of consumption).
The “Solar Parks and Ultra-Mega Solar Power Projects” programme was introduced by the government in 2014 to promote the construction of massive solar parks.
The government has also provided financial incentives to encourage the usage of solar power. These include the following: (a) the government’s provision of a 10-year tax exemption for solar energy projects; (b) the waiver of Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) charges for inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects to be commissioned by 30th June 2025; and (c) the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s 30% subsidy to the majority of solar-powered goods, such as solar lamps and solar heating systems. The government has issued directives requiring that power be dispatched against a letter of credit (LC) or advance payment in order to ensure that renewable energy generators get timely payments from distribution licensees. The government has also established green funds like Green Mas and the National Clean Energy and Environmental Fund.
Additionally, the government has started initiatives to encourage global collaboration. India was a founding member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which was established and now has its headquarters there. India has proposed the idea of “One Sun, One World, One Grid” as a way to utilise the plentiful solar electricity that is easily accessible on a worldwide scale.
What steps ought to be taken next?
Manufacturing of Solar Equipment: The production of solar equipment is dominated by a select few countries. India must develop its entire manufacturing value chain ecosystem if it is to compete on a global scale and have long-term sustainable growth.
Last-mile connectivity: The government should focus on last-mile connectivity in rural areas where developing transmission infrastructure is challenging. This can be accomplished by using locally made products in every home that have tiny power inverters or batteries, along with modest solar systems or solar community grids. It might be advantageous to guarantee electricity for everyone.
Investment in New Technology: The government should carefully invest in unique and evolving solar technology using sound financial mechanisms such as green bonds, renewable energy funds, and institutional loans.
Encourage R&D: It’s critical to support R&D, particularly in the area of renewable energy storage technologies, and to remove any organisational obstacles that can get in the way of such activities.
India must also take the lead in developing a Solar PV Waste Management and Manufacturing Standards Policy for sustainable waste management.
Technology diplomacy: The government should make use of the New and Emerging Strategic Technologies (NEST) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs to pursue favourable technology governance.
Despite the fact that the 2022 solar energy target will not be met, the Union and State Governments have done a good job of encouraging the expansion of solar energy’s capacity. For India to scale up its climate action and quicken its transition to Net Zero, governments should continue enacting regulatory changes and provide the sector financial and other incentives.
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2023 to be the International Year of Millets (FAO). Millets are special in terms of agronomy and nutrition since they are full of protein, dietary fibre, minerals, and antioxidants (drought-resistant and suitable for semi-arid regions).
Obstacles to millet consumption:
Around the world, millets, a varied genus of small-seeded grasses, are frequently grown as cereal grains or crops for human and animal nutrition.
There are two types of millets grown in India.
Important millets include sorghum, finger millet, and pearl millet.
Minor millets include varieties including foxtail, small millet, kodo, proso, and barnyard millet.
Overall, the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), and school meals consumed over 54 million tonnes of grains in 2019–20. If 20% of the existing supply of rice and wheat were to be replaced by millet, the state would need to buy 10.8 million tones of millet.
Millets could only be included in the PDS if more than 50% of production was acquired, which is an unlikely scenario. The central pool’s supply of millets are presently comparatively little, and they are only obtained from a small number of States. Compared to 33 million tonnes of rice and 31 million tonnes of wheat, there were only 4 lakh tonnes of nutritious cereals in central stocks in May 2022.
The actual problems are as follows:
Reduction in the millet-growing area
Millets don’t produce much.
Over the past ten years, production of other millets, particularly finger millet (ragi), has fallen or stagnated, as has production of sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), and ragi. Productivity has somewhat increased in jowar and bajra. If yield and production are not greatly increased, all encouragements to eat millets will be ineffective.
Next, we look at some lessons learned from the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation’s (MSSRF(a)) experience maintaining millet biodiversity and promoting millet production and consumption in the Kolli hills of Tamil Nadu.
The Kolli Hills are now different.
The millet project of the MSSRF has three objectives:
To keep the variety of native millet crops growing, to promote millet output and consumption, and to boost farm income.
The Kolli hills block of Namakkal district, the project region, is a distinctive physical and agro-ecological zone of the Eastern Ghats and is home to Scheduled Tribe groups with poor incomes. Minor millet production has drastically diminished as a result of reasons like low yields, and land use has switched toward more profitable crops.
Women also handle the laborious and time-consuming task of millet processing. Additionally, very little grain was marketed and only a little amount was converted into value-added items.
Three interventions were made by the project:
To boost production, agronomic breakthroughs, cutting-edge tools, and participatory varietal trials for better seeds are used. Community seed banks were established to preserve, revitalise, bolster, and improve local seed systems.
There were also launched pulverizers and dehullers with specialised post-harvest technology. For an hour, women physically ground millet, yielding 2-4 kg of grain. When localised, small-scale mechanical milling, operated by self-help organisations, was introduced, everything changed.
It was decided to form the Kolli Hills Agrobiodiversity Conservers’ Federation (KHABCOFED) to oversee all training and value-adding initiatives. Market ties were established, and the Kolli Hills Natural Foods trademark was applied to prepared foods.
In this MSSRF project in Kolli Hills, the net revenues from value-added goods were five to ten times higher than those from grain: one kilogramme of tiny millet rice sold for $7, and one kilogramme of millet upma sells for $41. This shows that millet-based projects like this are viable.
The biggest change over the past 25 years has been the reversal of the decline in the block-level area under cultivation of minor millets and finger millet, which has actually increased dramatically since 2014–15 even though the acreage is still only one-third of what it was in the early 2000s.
Yields have increased as a result of the use of intercropping, better seeds, and agronomic methods. Growing millet now yields much higher earnings. The changeover from manual pounding has resulted in a reduction in women’s labour and an increase in millet consumption. There are more and more private mills with specialised pulverizers and dehullers.
The economy is the source of the issue:
The most difficult outcomes to quantify are changes in intake and nutrition. People of all ages consumed millet nine days a month in 2021, according to a short sample study. Three-quarters of households ate millets on a regular basis, according to a previous study done fifteen years earlier. Accessibility plays a role in this, but so do changing eating habits.
Increasing millet production and stopping the loss of arable land are both doable, but not easy. A range of initiatives, including scientific input, institutional frameworks, monetary incentives, and in-kind aid, are required to achieve this. The Indian government and state governments, particularly in Karnataka and Odisha, have initiated millet missions.
These are great initiatives, but if we don’t take the millet industry’s economics into account, we’ll be competing with more profitable alternatives. Small farmers in mountainous regions and dryland plains, who are among the poorest households in rural India, will only produce millets if it provides them good returns.
If there was enough support from the public to make millet farming profitable and guarantee PDS supplies, a significant section of the population may potentially benefit from increased nutrition as a result.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
Gandhi In Amrit Kaal
On January 30, 1937, an assassin shot and assassinated Mahatma Gandhi as he was on his way to the daily prayer meeting at Birla House. This year marks the 75th anniversary of that occurrence.
It is important to learn from Gandhi’s life and teachings during this time of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration. Gandhi dedicated his life to the cause of world peace and solidarity as well as India’s struggle for independence.
The Goals of Gandhi for India:
Gandhi’s goals for India went well beyond only gaining political freedom from British rule.
He believed that the people of India could not be truly free without social liberation, economic empowerment, and, most crucially, a shared sense of solidarity and empathy that cut beyond differences of language, religion, and cultural traditions.
The Indian Constitution, which continues to serve as the cornerstone of Indian democracy, is permeated with his vision.
Gandhi’s teachings are the cornerstone of Indian democracy:
Many different types of world leaders, both male and female, have emerged throughout history.
Some conquerors have used the power of their swords to do the talking. Others provided access to the elusive power of the spirit for their followers.
These eminent spiritual and religious leaders have the power to both unite and divide people all across the world.
Some people gained power by appealing to our baser instincts. Others moved sizable crowds by emphasising the noblest and best qualities of people. One kind of leader incites animosity. Another is by displaying love and compassion.
Gandhi’s leadership style was obvious to see. Thanks to him, even the most destitute and poor Indian felt like he was a part of something greater than himself.
It is argued that acts of violence against the colonial authorities helped India win its independence and that those responsible for these crimes need to be honoured.
The connection between Gandhi’s legacy of nonviolence and India’s democracy remains unaffected by this.
Gandhi left behind the politically and socially nonviolent reforms that are so crucial to democracy.
While paying homage to revolutionary heroes who used violence as a weapon to overcome colonial tyranny, one should reject the nagging impulse to glorify violence as an acceptable instrument to achieve political goals generally.
However, it must also be made abundantly clear that violence has no place at all in a sovereign, democratic state. It is plausible to argue that the violence employed during the revolutions to destroy colonial power was justifiable and should be honoured.
Gandhi promoted nonviolent resistance even when battling colonial rule because he was well aware that once violence is released, it rarely stays directed.
Gandhi made several important contributions to the freedom movement that are still relevant today:
Gandhi is credited with transforming the concept of Indian independence from a small English-speaking elite group to a mainstream, populist movement.
He infused the liberation struggle with a particular flavour based on the development of Indian civilization. From personal experience, he knew how easy it was to lose touch with the mass of Indians and merge into a privileged elite.
After India gained its independence in 1947, he worried that the Congress would cease to exist as a political party but carry on as a large-scale movement dedicated to the social and economic advancement of the Indian people.
Gandhi was able to use these societal pillars to forge a complete sense of national identity since he was aware of them having travelled the length and breadth of India.
He was aware of the risk of major fault lines, however, exploding and swallowing the entire effort. Social fault lines include the deplorable untouchability practise and the caste system, for example. They could be based on ethnicity or religion, as in the case of the Hindu-Muslim divide. Gandhi was adamant in his criticism of untouchability and his rejection of inequities based on caste, creed, and religion.
Gandhi’s recommendation for a path toward religious unity, Vasudev Kutumbakam:
All Indians, whether they were Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, or Christians, were committed adherents of their respective religions, according to Gandhi, a devout Hindu.
He believed that India could be nothing else than a secular society in which all faiths coexisted amicably and with mutual respect. He considered the Partition of India to be a personal failure and it was an excruciatingly sad event for him.
Ironically, he was assassinated for allegedly tolerating India’s religious separation when there was nothing more tragic and unpleasant for him.
He leveraged his enormous popularity and respect among the populace up until the very last to put an end to riots and indiscriminate killing.
It is even more vital that we take Gandhi’s legacy into account now that racial tensions are resurfacing.
As we commemorate the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, let us also remember how Gandhi’s principles of non-violence, inclusivity, and communal peace helped India create a distinct democracy that achieved enormous economic and social progress by using the ballot box rather than a gun.
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