In a world full of unrest, where every single nation is grappling with economic challenges, Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of self-reliance holds much ground and the relevance of his teachings becomes all more important, more than a hundred and fifty years down the line after his birth.
The global economic slump in the wake of covid pandemic and the repercussions of the Ukraine Russian war has put the world order on the brink of economic recession. But for India, Gandhi’s principle of self-reliance looks to be the perfect solution to address the issue, which is amply reflected in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, which is aimed to realize the same.
A country like India that keeps an identity of itself both in terms of geographical area and population cannot afford to be dependent on other countries, particularly a biased west. It becomes all the more important in the aftermath of growing concern among the Indians towards shunning imports from China in the aftermath of the latter’s problematic nature towards our country.
Gandhi’s concept of swadeshi came from the fact that it included rejection of the colonial exploitation of India that was meant to add to the British coffers, leading to the detriment of India’s poor and the downtrodden. Gandhi dreamed of making India a self-sufficient nation.
An ardent follower of Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is laying special focus to make the country self -reliant. His concept of Make In India, which was launched in 2014 is an initiative to make India a self-dependent nation. Though the Make-in-India initiative meant to encourage self-reliance in the country was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, its seeds were sown several decades ago by the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. He advocated the establishment of cottage industries and recommended the use of rural products to achieve the larger goals of self-reliance. He said a village economy would satisfy two important objectives. First, it would provide maximum employment and income to inhabitants, and secondly, it would generate equality, freedom and justice. Gandhi felt that the key to the country’s progress lay in the strengthening of the self- sufficient village economies.
The Prime Minister through the Make in India initiative has clearly set the goals of nation-building initiatives. Devised to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub, Make in India was a timely response to a challenging situation. By 2013, the much-hyped emerging market bubble had burst, and India’s growth rate had fallen to its lowest level in a decade. Global investors debated whether the world’s largest democracy was a risk or an opportunity. India’s 1.2 billion citizens questioned whether India was too big to succeed or too big to fail. India was on the brink of severe economic failure, desperately in need of a big push. The promise of the BRICS Nations that included Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had faded, and India was tagged as one of the so-called ‘Fragile Five’. Under such a scenario, Prime minister Narendra Modi came up with Make In India, thus making the country revisit the goal of self-reliance once initiated by Mahatma Gandhi.
Modi’s quest for self-reliance did not end here. Make In India was complemented by ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ launched on May 12, 2020. The campaign that is a Self-reliant India Movement included a
special economic and comprehensive package to the tune of Rs twenty lakh crores which was aimed towards achieving this mission of self reliance. Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan aims to promote indigenous projects particularly in sectors, in which we have dependency on foreign countries.
As the nation today observed the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed to carry forward his ideals and legacy. Offering floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi At Rajghat in Delhi today, Prime Minister asserted that Gandhi’s ideals reverberate globally and his thoughts have provided strength to millions of people.
Yet again reiterating his commitment to Swadeshi, PM Modi even today urged the people to purchase Khadi and handicrafts products as a tribute to Gandhi Ji. Shri Modi also underlined that this Gandhi Jayanti was even more special because India is marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi and PM Modi both come from the same part of the country – Gujarat. While a Mahatma led a nation to independence, another is carrying forward his legacy of Atmanirbhar Bharat. (with PIB inputs)