lessons-for-states-from-gandhi-and-lee

Context: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister is determined to bring all migrant workers back to his State. 

Changing Global Trends with respect to migration:

  • The world has been ‘deglobalising’ since the financial crisis of 2008. 
  • Many countries have raised barriers against migrants from other countries
  • The World Trade Organization seems to have become powerless over their concerns.. 
  • COVID-19 has sharply accelerated a trend towards localisation that was already under way. 
  • Barriers against movement of people have gone up everywhere due to rising protectionism world over. Instances like Brexit and Make America Great again are testimony to the fact.
  • The rules of globalisation have made life easy for migrant capital, not for migrant labour.
    • They make it easy for migrant capital to come into a country, make profits, and leave when it wishes to. 
    • However Migrant labour have died in hundreds while crossing the seas to Europe, and walls are shutting them out from the U.S. 
    • Tragically, even when they leave India’s globalising cities to go back to their villages, after being used and discarded, they are dying on the way out too.

Two Development Plans for States - 

  1. Singapore Model of Lee Kuan Yew
    • Lee declared that Singapore would become the first ‘developed’ country in Asia, when it was founded in 1965.
    • The objective was to raise the per capita income of its citizens to a level similar to advanced countries.
    • Approach - Leveraging its strategic location and providing a world class infrastructure at affordable rates.
      1. The companies were invited to set up manufacturing facilities and use singaporean labour.
      2. They were induced to train the Singaporeans in high skilled jobs for raising their earning potential.
      3. Earlier big companies were unwilling but when Tata reached Singapore in the 1970s, a trail was seen behind it.
    • He had a clear vision that humans are not tools to produce returns for investors; rather, money is a tool to produce benefits for humans.
  2. Gandhian economics
    • As per Gandhi unless people in India’s villages have economic and social freedom, India cannot be a free country. 
    • This was his vision of ‘poorna swaraj’. Attaining political freedom from the British was just an initial step towards this.
    • Gandhi also knew the potential of India’s poorest people, who were not merely statistics to him. 
    • He believed that the economy must serve human needs, rather than human beings becoming fodder for the GDP. 
    • Principles -
      1. Well being of Humans must be the ultimate goal of all economic activities
      2. Governance must be strengthened at local levels - villages and small towns.
      3. Wealthy People must understand that they are holding community’s wealth and have an obligation to spend for community welfare 
      4. Focus must be on creation of cooperative enterprises so as to reduce the alienation of owners from workers in an organisation

India had come to a junction similar to 1947: it could run behind the West or it could take a path less taken, using a ‘Gandhian’ approach for human development. Earlier we chose the western way and the results were not very fruitful, now may be is the right time to try the Gandhian approach.

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/lessons-for-yogi-from-gandhi-and-lee/article31835579.ece

Image Source: The Hindu