India has the world second largest population & also the largest youth population. These two facts have huge economic & social importance. For example – India is ranked 125th for GDP per capita (by World Bank as per 2013 data), but because of high population, India is ranked 9th for largest consumer markets. Also, the behavior, beliefs & habits of the peoples of a nation also play an important role in an economy.
Two decades ago these two things were the reason of worry to many of us. We were worried how to feed, provide social security & employment to such large numbers. But recently things had turned around. There is a change of vision. Now, these are the unutilized resources. There are large economies which are facing the shortage of consumer base & young population. Japan & China are examples of an aging population.
Conditions to reap Demographic Dividend
According to the experts, if we are able to tap these resources effectively & efficiently than India Can grow at a faster rate. Under all these circumstances it is very important to understand & track that how we are reacting to this change of environment. We have to analyze ourselves. What are our requirements, expectations? Are we on right way? Are we ready for this? How will we move forward?
Our social behavior & vision for the future has been very mixed. We have seen the pragmatic, fearless & optimistic Indians; who are representing us globally. From social activist to industrialist, from Authors, Professors, scientist to common man; there are many to whom we can look up on. There are many young entrepreneurs who are giving global companies a tough competition. These positive signs are coming only from individuals or from a small fraction of our society. But when we talk about the masses, this side is very disturbing & worrisome. There are peoples who lack the rationale thinking, are selfish, stubborn and are pulling us backward.
Worrisome Social Traits of Ours
We have witnessed many protests in the country recently. All these protests were for political reasons, Nationalism, caste reservation, religion based and local problems & for many other concerns. Sometimes these concerns are unreasonable & other times they are politically motivated. Whereas the real problems of the people go unnoticed in between these hyped problems.
Also, Read The Curse of Corruption and Hypocrisy
As per a study, India stands at 143 among 162 countries on the Global peace index. And the main reason for such poor ranking is our social behavior. We are not able to make peace with each other’s religious thoughts & practices. The riots of Saharanpur & Muzzafernagar district in Utter Pradesh, riots in West Bengal are because of our poor social understanding. The rallies & protest for caste reservation by Patel & Gujjar community in Gujarat & Rajasthan is such an example – politically motivated & fairly unreasonable. The violent protest by Jats in Haryana was beyond imagination.
All these communities are fairly doing well than many other but still, they are demanding it & not bothered for underprivileged tribes & community. Also, the major reason for concern is that they believe that reservation is the only way to development & growth.
No respect for Judiciary
Another very interesting case is cancellation of reservation for Jat (in center, while in states they still possess reservation) community by Supreme Court. As per the court order the reservation was given for the political benefit & the community is not socially backward. The interesting thing is that the community leaders & peoples are now protesting against the court, & demanding to reverse the order. We do not even have trust & respect on our judiciary, the highest authority of the nation. There are other cases also where masses have tried to interfere & influence the judiciary. The case of celebrity Mr. Salman Khan & politician Ms. Jayalalitha is one of them. From these cases one other attribute of public can be noticed – blind faith & followers, especially in case of religious gurus/leaders. The equation of men & women in our society is also not in complete balance. On
There are other cases also where masses have tried to interfere & influence the judiciary. The case of celebrity Mr. Salman Khan & politician Ms. Jayalalitha is one of them. From these cases, one other attribute of public can be noticed – blind faith & followers, especially in case of religious gurus/leaders.
Economic Cost of Social Ignorance
According to a report from the Australia based – Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), India has lost as much as 2173273 crore (as per current exchange rate) due to surging violence & conflicts. A single day nationwide strike by trade unions on Sep 2, 2016, had costs us approximately 18000 crore. Alone Jammu & Kashmir has suffered more than 60000 crore loss due to 4000 shutdowns since 1989 in valley. Ongoing unrest in the valley had affected the tourism industry & accounted loss is around 6000 Cr.
These losses are direct losses because of our social actions. These are just a glimpse of total loss we have suffered. The indirect economic loss because of our social issues is even much more.
As per the report from Disaster management of India, the annual economic loss due to disasters from 2001 to 2005 is 2% of GDP approx 86000 crore out of which 54% is because of floods & droughts. Each year, Alone Assam has the average annual loss of 200 crore because of floods only. Even after more than 60 years of independence we are not able to control these losses. And the only reason we can site is our social ignorance. We create issues out of nowhere & then give them more importance over genuine issues.
Social Growth is essential for Economic Growth
At the end, we blame politicians, system or each other. It is the Social behavior of peoples which shapes Politics & not the other way around. The political parties only align themselves with the issues for their political benefits instead of resolving the issues. Because that is easier for them. More or less these issues cannot be resolved until we are not improving ourselves morally and ethically.
As per the professor Friedman – Growth has an important moral dimension too. Sustaining a high growth rate is not just an economic necessity, it is ethical imperative too. Along with emphasis on economic growth; we also need to improve our social, ethical values. We have to be more holistic in our approach, more concerned for the betterment of the society as a whole & not only ourselves or our cast or community only.
Only if we are able to resolve all these problems, the efforts of our individuals will be fruitful. Only then we will be able to grow sustainably at a faster rate.