We should grow as a society and not just as an economy. And if we want this, we have to look at much larger canvass and many other issues of the society, says Railway minister Suresh Prabhu while releasing a book titled What will leapfrog India in the 21st Century.
He further said the conventional parameters by which we actually judge the progress of a society should be taken forward to include art, culture, science and technology and culture rather than only being in terms of economy.
Former diplomat Surendra Kumar has compiled this book that tries to chart out a roadmap for making quantum jump for the country and its people.
The book talks about can India- world’s second most populous country, seventh largest in terms of area, home to a bewildering diversity of people with huge economic disparities-leapfrog in the 21st century.
The book is edited also by Surendra Kumar and comprises 24 articles written by India’s leading thought leaders and opinion makers, including Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor, eminent Indian classical dancer and choreographer Sonal Mansingh, Lord Professor Meghnad Desai, veteran journalist former Member of Parliament H K Dua, Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha Mani Shankar Aiyar, BJP Member of Parliament Meenakshi Lekhi and Chairman Hero Corporate Services Sunil Kant Munjal. The editor Surendra Kumar has also contributed an article.
Launching the book Railway Minister said that growth of a nation should be holistic development of a society and its culture rather than only being in terms of economy.
He assured that BJP Government is determined to take the country to economic growth and beyond and enable it to leapfrog.
“India is in a unique position to catapult its strength and surpass other emerging economies. Currently, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inspires confidence in investors, a slew of initiatives -- Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Smart Cities, Bullet Trains, Start-up India-have been announced. There are steps that the country can take to push the conventional parameters of growth,” Prabhu said.
Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar who has written an article on Panchayati Raj in the book said people need to be empowered at the grass root level so that they can secure their powers.
“It has been long since we have got our Independence but we still lag behind in many things. The only way we can translate democracy into development is by empowering people at the grass root level so that they are able to secure best education for themselves at lowest prices," he said.
Aiyer criticised the current dispensation for allocating meagre amount towards the welfare of Panchayat bodies and schemes like MNERGA in this year’s budget.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who has written a chapter on participation of youth in electoral process called for an end to the gap between political process and the participation of India's young generation in it.
“Government should capture the energy and enthusiasm of the young. We sadly do not open doors for those who are young enough to bring new ideas. We have aspirational young generation who are under 35 and forms 65 percent of India's population. We need to end the gap between the political process and the participation of India's young generation in it," he said.
Veteran Journalist HK Dua stressed on the need of improving Educational and Health sectors in the Country. “These are the two vital sectors which play a pivotal role for any nation’s progress. Unfortunately, India is lagging behind in both the sectors. Our education system is rotten while heath sector lacks inclusive mechanism,” Dua said.
Without going into the past events, Dua pitched for the tolerance in the country and said dissent is a part of Democracy.
Former ambassador Surendra Kumar thanked all the writers for their contribution..
Reported by Junaid Kathju