panch-tattva talk…our legacy


State Bank of India has for the umpteenth time reduced the interest rates on retail deposit. This is simple extension in line with the lower credit off take and risks in doling out retail credit to all and sundry. I have been at pain explaining all the while that the high interest (real rate)  phenomenon is afflicting Indian businesses most. Since there is higher return on investment in India, it was being absorbed. Every passing day we are heading in the direction of a freer movement of capital but the govt has still not formally opened the doors by keeping useless but detrimetal curbs. The portfoio investments are rising and making rupee strong. Our businessmen are still not being allowed to think big and conceive mega projects. The result has been that the high profitabilty of operations is giving lot of cash back in hand and the enterpreneures are trying just to put the same back in business by expansion etc. The whole scenario has therefore kept us at a level of growth which is far lower than the potential. The west is not fully competent to take advantage of the invitation extended for entering Indian business arena for lack of managerial personell of their own. The groups in China and Japan have problem of trust and language and the later also  has the aging population of its people as a deterent.

There is another angle which does not let India grow at break-neck speed. We have been an agrarian society and have been seeing effort bear fruit over time at natural pace and aided by nature itself. We plant seeds and let it convert in to a tree, so do we do in case of our business enterprises. We find it foolhardy to bring growth through aggression. We are aggressive only when we have to defend livelihood, we have never been aggressive to aquire means of livelihood. Our patience and the practice of saving todays output in form of seeds for tommorrow is reflection of the same. It is therefore not our grain to borrow too heavily and conceive mega projects. We would never order the building of underground rail networks simultaneously although it is the requirement in at least a dozen cities ( the capital is waiting to come from all over). We can develop railway network by adding another track, connecting a few remote regions, introducing more trains, adding a few platforms on busy stations etc but when it comes to creating dedicated freight corridor or a special track for superfast trains between two stations, we begin to faulter or downrightly demur. We keep amending our archaic laws but an entirely new set of law is found to be difficult to put in place. We have never ever tried to solve the problem viz a viz Pakistan in a decisive manner inspite of having such might and support. The Chinese and the Americans and the Japanese have no such restraint. They would go all out when moment is opportune for them. We are loved for being so and laughed at too.

I would not say that we should lose our inviduality because losing indiviality is like losing all. I would however stress that raising pace of our progress in accordance with the times is by no means bad. Its time we ask our people to bring out in the open the shy capital (resting in our vaults as gold and silver) and with some additional borrowing from outside, do take care of water-resource mangement, power availability etc and pull out of the recess of poverty the entire population that is living in subhuman conditions in one single sweep.

Today is a special day for us Indians. The father of our nation was born today. He did what was difficult for an army to do ( by army I mean army of social servents, army of political activists, army of relious preachers and the army of soldiers as well). Gandhi, the Mahatma does belong to catagory of ‘Buddha’,’Mahavir’,’Nanak’ and ‘Adi Shankara’.


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