And for a Friday, the 151st Gandhi Jayanthi day, some thoughts….. some musings…..
2nd October, Gandhiji birthday, is UN mandated World Non-Violence day to secure a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding in the world and look around. Call it the China virus or Covid, Democracies are challenged. US goes to polls on 3rd November and in the Worlds largest Democracy, India, with more than 900 million registered voters, there’s some election almost every month in some part of the country – 7th November in Bihar, 124 mn people, one of the poorest states of India. Everywhere election involves washing dirty linen in public, raising scandals, President Trump even questioning the veracity of the postal ballot system and maybe the final results. Whilst India has mastered electioneering to perfection – last General election in 2019, 600mn voted, 3.96 mn EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) and 1.03 mn polling booths. Results declared on the dot notwithstanding, electioneering diffuses Economic focus. Both democracies are struggling whilst Autocratic, Imperialist Chinese dragon snorts.
In India, Unlock 5.0 has been announced. Even with 80,000 daily new Covid cases, situation is still under control. Cinema halls can open. So also Gyms and Malls as well as public transport – but all with precautions – in big urban centres and hinterlands. Most Covid cases are asymptotic. Medical supplies and hospital infra are managing to cope, thanks to our dedicated medical professionals. But economy has to be revived in double quick time. It’s not the salaried in Govt jobs or PSUs and unionised in Private sector – their pay checks are credited every month and they are comfortable. It’s the unorganised, the MSMEs, the contract workers, the street hawkers, artists and local musicians. They cannot afford any more lockdowns. Some green shoots are seen – Fuel, electricity consumption, 2 wheeler sales, digital transactions, Eateries and travel have shown sequential growth. GST grew 4% first time in 6 months. Second quarter GDP contraction will be much less. We in India have only one option. Build our economy and build our country.
On Gandhiji’s birthday let’s remind ourselves of his teachings. Quote “Some things will destroy us – Pleasure without conscience, Politics without principles and Business without ETHICS” Unquote. Let’s build our Economy the Gandhian way, the Ethical way, the SEEGOS way.