The ban on 59 Chinese applications which consumed away the quality and productive time of nearly 30 percent of the people of India is a timely step by the Government of India. Though the reason could be the siphon of data of the users by China through these applications, the menace is much larger. The users could be people in the strategic positions and defense establishments. Here, China inflicted a twofold damage on India. On one hand, it did not allow the people of India to innovate or enterprise on such applications or related research. On the other hand, it has targeted our productive citizens as their customer base. The revenue which India could have generated is gone into the dust of vain applications in which the users are engaged. To engage themselves on this vanity, they had to spend by subscribing to the internet. The penitence for the years of India’s youth spent on vanity and lethargy is warranted rather essential. This would lead to introspection as to how to engage every citizen not allowing them to be idle, rehabilitate the industry and install checks and balances in every sector or economic activity.
Even before the escalation of tension between the two largely populated nations, China had a boomerang effect of mischievous research which it had conducted at the end of 2019, Covid-19. Initially, the western world was suffocated by this pandemic COVID-19 and now it is the turn of India. Intentionally or unintentionally, China failed to alarm the world community of the pandemic resulting in free movements of the business and diplomatic delegates into and from China. It is almost like countries like, Spain, Italy, UK, France, Belgium and USA were peeping into dragon’s mouth not knowing that they were sporting with hell. We are not here to debate on whether it is engineered or natural outburst. About a couple of months after, the disaster struck the Indian subcontinent. Even during the crisis like this, it is very unfortunate for India to have a treacherous neighborhood barring a few states. It has been tested by infiltrations in South Kashmir from Pakistan on one side and illegal encroachment attempts by China in Ladakh region from another side. The flood of debates and plethora of rallies to ban all that belong to China triggered my cerebrum to check whether we are prepared for such a time as this and put the enemy at bay. Be it a mosquito killer bat, a kid-toy or a fin-tech giant- Paytm or pharmaceutical raw materials or heavy equipment machinery for power and railway projects. Is India capable enough to boycott China in trade?
We are obsessed with Chinese goods and services starting from consumer goods to industrial inputs. The situation is so grave that India has a huge trade deficit of 12.8 percent with China meaning, while India imports about 16 percent from China of total trade, India could make it just 3.2 percent to China. A similar case is seen even in USA with a trade deficit of 11.2 percent. The international community along with India are introspecting, how they are being betrayed by China using trade relations for its exclusive advantage. The solace for the USA is that it has a trade surplus in service with China in which India is far behind. India and the USA are the biggest democracies of the world and worst affected by the pandemic- Covid-19. The magnitude of goods imported and Covid-19 is same for both USA and India. In fact, these two nations blindly trusted China rather, encouraged complacency among their citizens by not engaging them into innovative and productive activities but outsourcing the same jobs which are supposed to be performed by their citizens. Most often the social security benefits that these nations extend to their citizens do not entail any economic activity rather a kind of helicopter money. Whereby the workaholic culture is not imbibed for decades or may be forgotten among certain youths. History shows that the America and India are known for skillful workforce. But the question is, what is the portion of that lot divided into various trades. A sizable portion of the rich human resources is deprived of access to industrial and vocational training for centuries. For decades, the leadership of India has been so visionless that they don’t even have a blue print for the huge slice of youth which would add on every year and decade. Due to shortage of manpower many nations had to replace the manpower with machines. But India is in such an advantageous edge that it is supplying manpower to the whole world but at home the situation is something different.
It is natural for a man getting married needs to plan for a dwelling, food and his children and their education and other social needs. Why leaders who wedded the independent India for decades lack commitment to plan for the needs of the sons of the soil and leave them to their fate. The orphans grow without any behavioral etiquettes and life skills taught and their success rate as they grow is not assured. They are visionless without any goal or ambition in life. Are we, the sons of soil, We the Indians left to our fate? We need more workforce at production level and it gradually narrows into the decisional roles. The irony is that the number of management institutions are more than the Polytechnique or Industrial Training Institutes. In other words, the number of students graduating from higher education institutions are more than the vocational or industrial training colleges. Another grave concern is that the graduating Management, Engineering and Medical students are not being trained to acquire the base minimum skill in their respective fields. What does it mean? An electrical engineer can not replace a switch in the switchboard at his home, a doctor cannot perform a basic surgery when his mother’s nail is cut during vegetable cutting and cooking. The focus of the majority of these graduates is on the grandeur of the titles they tag, rather than earning and enhancing the skill. It is ruthless on part of the academia and the governments to produce millions of such certified yet unskilled workforce. The man power which sincerely acquire these skills have been migrating for lack of encouragement from within the country. The exodus of millions of engineers, pharmacists, doctors, managers educated at the cost of public exchequer being migrated to other destinations of the world.
Now when the two-fold crisis is imposed by the nasty neighbor, are we prepared? We depend on Paytm whose grand-parent is Alibaba a Chinese company for huge amount of our day to day economic transactions. We depend on China for 11 percent our therapeutic equipment’s, 80 percent for active pharmaceutical ingredients and 90 percent antibiotics. The dragon not only trapped India and the USA, but a major slice of business in Africa is owned by China. The dragon pretended friendship with our neighbors Pakistan and Nepal which they realized it be crocodile tears lately. India got an unbelievable support from some of the nations with the formula of enemy’s enemy is a friend. To fight the dragon- the great leviathan which extended its tail from east to west, India needs to work with a unified force. India needs to get rid of certain social ailments and unite them as Indians. No political party so far could dispel the differences among the communities and castes and achieve the national integration. The gap among the communities and castes is being widened India with the increased education levels and rampant social media available. It is not even exaggeration to say that a good lot of citizens are busy in developing the content as a full-time job to hate one another which carry no ultimate economic value. Do away with those differences. Be Indian and Make India by making all you need in India. Lastly, I would like to conclude that Atma Nirbhar Bharat should be implemented in spirit rather than mere words. Every citizen of India should bear in mind let us make all we need-Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
*Views expressed are purely the opinion of the author.