Why Atmanirbhar Bharat should not be taken as Ban on Foreign ProductsSpirit of India and Indian Ethos to support self-reliant India
Many of us in
India would remember the story of Birbal making a line short by drawing a
larger line beside it.
should be created to make India a self-reliant nation with a spirit and identity
of its own. I firmly believe that there are strengths that any country including
“Our Bharat” can leverage to make itself strong and self-reliant. However, the
movement needs to have a soul imbibed in its spirit of “Universal Brotherhood”
or “Vasudev Kutumbakam”. I am sharing some of the examples to explain this spirit.
Many of you would have read and heard about novelist and author, “Ruskin Bond”
and journalist, “Mark Tully”. They spent whole of their life in India with a
dedication that may put many of us as Indians to introspect. Many such people
exist including one currently I have been interacting with, Mr James Thorn, Senior
VP-HSE in Reliance Project Management Group in Mumbai. Irrespective of their
citizenship, these people have served selflessly without cribbing about living
in India. This is the spirit we want everybody in India to inculcate among all
Corporate front, there are many multinational companies that supported India even
if for their business interest without hurting national interest. For example,
Unilever among its multiple initiatives, helped the local administration in
Haridwar, setup a 30-bed isolation facility in record time of three days and
also donated > 74,000 kits for testing to India. Similar initiatives were undertaken
by Hyundai, Pepsico and others. It does not in anyway demean the contribution
of Indian companies like Mahindra making ventilators, IITs developing testing
kit and ventilator designs and millions of people in rural areas making cloth
masks. Also, the research and development initiatives of Defence Research Development
Organization (DRDO), Indian Navy and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
making unprecedented contributions.
were some discords among various regions, centre state Governments and religions,
there was an overarching spirit of cooperation
that was demonstrated. Some of the key examples are special menu preparation of
Vaishno Dev Shrine Board on the occasion of Id and development of a contactless
bell developed by a person of another religion for a temple in Madhya Pradesh
to ensure social distancing. Hence, we need people and companies who care for
India irrespective of their colour, race or country or state of origin.
We need to scale
up the above initiatives and make the indomitable soul of Indianness so that we
are able to realize our dream of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.
Some of the roles
we can play as individuals and organizations are as follows:
1. Let us
pledge to follow our old age teaching of “Atithi Devo Bhav”. This
applies to domestic maids, servants, sanitation workers and our factory workers.
This would improve the “Trust” among Employees and Employers and also reduce
the inherent frictional impact of migration whether internationally or
inter-state. If we are Guests, we should also act as Gods and prove ourselves
worthy of the above dignified treatment.
2. Enjoy the
Joy of Giving. Let us follow our India religious principles of sharing portion
of our earning for the upliftment or well-being of underprivileged. This varies
from 10% to 25% as per the religion you follow. Whatever you decide as an individual
or company. This may be part of Corporate Social Responsibility or not, I leave
it to your judgement but please Honesty of Purpose is what would make a
difference. I am sure if all of us do it for the next 5 years, there will not
be any underprivileged.
Trust and Create Trust. Please start by respecting and treating every
vendor of product or service with trust and start with a notion that they can
provide a value. The current crisis has taught us the importance of supply
chain. Please reflect these in your communications (always respond and respond
with respect), payments, product or service commitments.
4. Always uphold
“Honesty”. This principle still holds good and all of us when we are on the
receiving side want it. Let us also follow this when we are on the giving side.
This will make “India” or “Bharat” a Brand. This would give advantage to all Indians
as its lack would give disadvantage to all Indians.
Healthy, Be Happy. Both physical and mental health are as important for us.
If we never found time in our daily times, the current crisis taught us how
important it is. Follow Indian practices like “Yoga” and “Ayurveda” for it is
an investment of time you are putting for both yourself and your business.
6. Look to
the World. If you try to isolate and start banning overseas products,
please remember that your product would also be hindered by other countries.
Hence, create a product that can sell anywhere in the world. Above points of Honesty
and Trust along with your entrepreneurship will make your organization and
country proud. Share stories of companies that made India proud.