Why Atmanirbhar Bharat should not be taken as Ban on Foreign Products

Many of us in India would remember the story of Birbal making a line short by drawing a larger line beside it.

Similar situation 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 Indians.

On the 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.

While there 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.

3. Have 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.

5. Be 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.   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Comments

Comment Not Found