In 2018, I had started the Nayi Disha initiative to create a free and prosperous India. While I failed to get traction due to the many mistakes I made as a prosperity and political entrepreneur, the ideas behind Nayi Disha are even more relevant now. This is how I began the Nayi Disha manifesto:
Poverty is not our destiny. India should have been a rich, developed nation by now but it is not. We, the people of India, have the important duty to make India prosperous. Indians are quite capable of creating wealth, as they have demonstrated in every part of the world they have migrated to. The primary reason for the failure to produce wealth in India is incompetent governance, myopic leadership, and bad policies. It is time we — all of us — took up the challenge and changed India’s direction with a new model of governance and politics.
The simple truth is governments do not create prosperity; people do. At best the government provides the enabling environment for people to create wealth; and at worst the government actively prevents the creation of wealth by needlessly handicapping the people through bureaucratic red-tape, corruption and high taxes. The ‘license permit quota control raj’ of Indian governments has doomed India to poverty, just like the British government did before independence.
The improvements in the lives of over 130 crore Indians depend on what we do today. Let us not waste any more time. We must free India from the stranglehold of the government. We have to do what we must do so that we can tell our children, ‘We did everything we could to change India’s direction.’
In India’s 130 crore population there are 130 crore futures waiting to be set free. Who knows how many great scientists, poets, social reformers, inventors and sports champions India has to give to the world — only if they had the opportunity to flourish. That cannot happen if they are trapped in poverty.
I wrote in the manifesto:
The world today is fabulously rich compared to the world of the year 1750 when most of the world was poor. The wealth of the modern world is due to a new set of ideas — known as the Enlightenment — which led to the Industrial Revolution in the Western nations and made them rich. Indians have been kept poor while other countries like Singapore, South Korea and China have put their citizens on the fast-track to prosperity in the recent few decades.
India has lagged significantly behind its Asian peers in creating prosperity for its people. The question we should be asking of our government: Why are we not 10 times richer?
People create wealth when they have the freedom to produce what they are capable of and trade in free markets. But Indian government policies coerce people and deny them economic freedom, thus ensuring poverty. Only those nations which enjoyed the benefits of free trade, and in which individual rights were protected by law became wealthy. If Indians have to become prosperous, India must become free. For India to become free, Indians must demand freedom from government control.
This is Nayi Disha’s objective.
The Third World War will hurt every nation. We can ensure that the work of building the New India starts now. What India needs is a Nayi Disha, which means both a new direction and a new perspective. We cannot easily stem the loss of jobs that is coming because industries are going to be transformed as people’s behaviour changes. Regardless of whether the government intervenes or not, businesses will need to be re-configured. The world of January 2020 is now a distant memory. A new world is coming whether we like it or not. We should be ready for the changed world.
The first step towards creating that New India is what I call Mission 10-20-30 – creating 10 crore new jobs in the next 20 months with a minimum monthly income of Rs 30,000. This way by the end of 2021, in time for India’s 75th anniversary of our Independence, we would have taken giant leaps towards a free and prosperous India.
Tomorrow: India’s Mission 10-20-30 (Part 4)