India is caught in a back-breaking slowdown, the economy is crumbling and just doesn’t seem to reach its destiny – so is there a model of growth for India to achieve its potential – we’ve lived the Congress Way and tasted Modinomics now – But what about AKnomics? Let’s start with an analogy.
When an aeroplane takes off, the lift it gains has 2 crucial factors – the thrust from the engines, and the elevation from the yolk of the pilot. For the most efficient takeoff, each aeroplane model has a different angle which provides the best lift. Same can be said about a country’s economy – which needs thrust, as well as the right elevation.
The thrust is a country’s workforce – the skill, talent and effort that each and every individual contributes to fuel the economy forward. But equally important is the elevation – and that comes from the government’s vision.
Confused? Let’s elaborate on the different visions that have decided the angle of climb for India’s economy. In 70-years, India has seen two major parties define the vision of the country.
The Indian National Congress
Congress’ vision has historically failed to provide the economy with the right amount of lift. A sluggish approach took them over 40 years to open up the economy. Corruption, red-tapism, nepotism, and elitism kept citizen’s unimpressed and India struggling in the third world for decades.
From Nehru’s dynamic five-year plans to Manmohan Singh’s liberalization, the common citizens who make up the majority of the workforce were ignored. Elitism flourished, the rich indulging in scams with lawmakers and creating a political-corporate nexus.
The Bhartiya Janata Party
Then came the alternative with BJP. Apart from staple polarization techniques, the BJP’s stints in governance can be summed up in a single sentence – Lofty Promises and Underwhelming Results. Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee came up with the narrative of India Shining, and we know how that went.
Similarly, the Modi wave was built on the pledge of development that was always promised but never fulfilled. Modi made castles in the sky and enticed voters – Smart Cities, Digital India, Make in India, Demonetization to crackdown on black money.
5 years on – what is India’s fate? Stagnant economy, liquidity crunch across markets, steeply rising inflation, falling value of the Indian rupee, manufacturing is at standstill, GDP is at a 40 – year low, lacs are losing jobs, once prolific and matter of pride for the economy, state-owned companies – LIC, Air India, BSNL are being sold off.
Indeed, Modi made several promises of development to the common man but won re-election aided by Pulwama and resulting polarization. BJP’s ‘two-much-lift’ model has backfired more than once now.
Is There A Model Of Growth That Can Take India To Its Potential?
Congress has had ample time. BJP has now had two chances and seems to be facing an embarrassing failure. Is there even a model of growth – a political vision – which can give India the right amount of impetus? A model that can give the economy an efficient and sustainable flight?
The Aam Aadmi Party
India’s youngest political vision – The AAP way of growth – a vision that stemmed from the boiling point. Decades on Citizen angst against underachievement and corruption came to the fore in 2011. The final result was the Aam Aadmi Party.
AAP’s political debut in Delhi can neither be undermined nor ignored in the larger scheme of things. Led by former IITian and Income Tax Officer Arvind Kejriwal, AAP took a welfarist approach in its political debut in Delhi.
That approach also comes with a long-term vision. At the core of AAP’s policies is the idea to give the best platform to common citizens to maximize the opportunity. Thus, enabling them to contribute more to the economy.
Kejriwal & Co. have a deep focus on creating a better educated and skilled workforce in the capital. Their exploits in public education are unprecedented – Government schools are coming at par with costly private education. Entrepreneurial skills are being developed from an early age.
Rethinking Economics with AAP Formula
Another major aspect of AAP’s vision is rethinking the composition of public infrastructure – envisioning a more egalitarian India. Giving women platform to enhance participation in public spaces is what’s needed to spur the economy. The male-female ratio in India is 52:48. But in the workforce, it is 74:26. There’s a big gap. Targeted subsidies by AAP fit right into this.
Then there is the transparency and eradication of red-tapism i.e. another aspect the party claims to be its vision. In fact, AAP is acing management. As per CAG report 2019, despite numerous reforms, infrastructure projects and targeted subsidies, the Delhi Government reported a revenue surplus.
Arguably, AAP has achieved much more than it promised and come out with flying colours in its political debut. In fact, now, in 2020, Delhi’s people are rejecting the BJP lofty promise model for the AAP model – that’s scientific, planned, inclusive and dynamic.
AAP’s Eventual National Ambitions
But Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP is still a regional party, less than a decade old, only in Delhi, and shy of revealing national ambitions. Having said that, one can’t deny that AAP’s political vision comes across as an alternative model of growth that has arisen for India’s growth.
Can it be that AAP’s model is what the disoriented Indian economy is looking for? Well, only time will tell.
But having proved themselves in Delhi, and arguably set for continued mandate in re-election, it is time that India Inc.- the 40-crore workforce that provides fuel for the economy – considers the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal’s AKnomics in Delhi a serious alternative towards achieving the optimum climb angle for India’s growth.