Home Forum 1st Wishlist for Modi 3.0

1st Wishlist for Modi 3.0


By Darshan Singh

It is becoming evident that a new BJP Government will come in 2024. To avoid trampling on the fields of Farmers, Elections are held either after the Rabi harvest or after the Kharif harvest. This is an exciting time for the Nation. But a 3rd term for the Modi Sarkar will bring greater confidence to them enabling them to employ tough legislation and new rules that do away with our colonial hangovers and instead revive original legacies. On the one hand, this will be welcome, but on the other hand it will also bring much friction.

1]  Now coming to the positive and constructive side here is an attempt to make suggestions for the new Government of Modi 3.0. Clearly all existing improvements that are in motion must continue and be further strengthened, such as “Make in India”, “Faceless Income Tax”, reduction in “Paperwork” for business sector and corporates, value addition to “farming” including “Food Processing”, continued stress on alternate energy sources as against Hydrocarbons and so many more of the current initiatives.

2]  The first, but not in order of importance, is to streamline the Judicial System at the level of District Courts and even at the High Courts. The long backlog is not only due to a vast number of cases (or not enough Judges). In reality, there needs to be some thought on our system of Court holidays in comparison with other countries. Others work more days!  Moreover, there is no responsibility fixed for “passing over” cases or casually fixing new dates and even changing the Judges midstream. The result is that the long list of pending cases continues almost ad-infinitum as very little is getting concluded. The average Indian citizen can wait a whole lifetime to get a Court date or even getting a hearing. This is not fair and what comes to mind is the title of the book by Natwar Singh – “One Life is not Enough”. So, it is essential that the Courts now also work more proactively for the Nation and its citizens in resolving legal disputes and tangles. No use complaining on the number of cases or number of Judges. The current levels of impasse bring substantial heartburn to Indian people. A general acceptance of this dismay prevails. Does the Government realise that Indian citizens are not happy?  Is this not a continuation of the colonial days, when the hapless citizen could never complain to the “Sarkar”?

3]  It has been said before, and so now at the cost of repetition, we know that our Bureaucracy which comprises some of the brightest of our citizens, essentially pass one exam and then are guaranteed a safe career with comfort and unquestioned authority. The problem is that though we have now evolved into our own Independent Nation but in fact our bureaucrats only took over the same chair which was vacated by the British.  Continuing this style of Colonialism in our system needs to be amended to ensure that our bureaucrats are encouraged to discharge “facilitation” without fear, and not merely stick to Administration. We need a paradigm shift that is systemic in change.  No doubt “Administration” ensures that this country runs to rules, but if we do not have “Facilitation” then any possible progress is usually thwarted.  The Government’s good intentions are stuck. This is easy to understand, for if an IAS officer helps an Indian citizen, or his business, then the chances are that there will be an inquiry against the officer to find out why he helped. Here is the problem as even a government official is not trusted by our present system. How is it that the bureaucracy and Governments of other countries particularly in the West help their citizens without getting into trouble themselves? The new Modi 3.0 would achieve and ensure irrevocable success for our Nation and people if our system permits more than mere Administration.

4]  There are two areas where activities are rampant on a national scale and these are Gambling and Prostitution. By banning them do they cease to exist? Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. Both should be made legal and taxed.  Gambling may be in volumes of tens of thousands of crores. Take for example, Cricket, where it is no use putting a ban.  And no use imagining that this does not happen. Instead, we should see how it works in countries like UK (William Hill and Ladbrokes, etc.) and permit this activity with a 10% tax. (The money taxed could go to building hospitals and also pay for more Educational and Sports facilities).

Prostitution is another area where also the Ostrich put the head into the ground and then thinks that it cannot be seen, and so by banning this activity will it not exist at all?  But in actual fact, it does exist and thrive in India ubiquitously. Just as a single simple example. Truck drivers have a tough life, and they go all over the country, picking up various diseases which are thus transmitted and then they take it back home to their own wives. There are perhaps lakhs of such lady “service providers” among the women in the city of Mumbai alone. They live in grossly poor conditions and spread disease and are victims themselves when they spread disease. It is our Nation and its educated people who succumb to temptation and greatly damage the economy and GDP when their health fails. Without going into more detail as this is a well-known topic, it is only necessary to see how certain African Nations have wiped out their productive populations and their economy by so called prostitution.

5]  The Indian Wildlife Act applies only to Indian animals. If you import animals, they are out of the purview of this Act.  Here also by banning hunting or even preventing animals in custody it is assumed that the Indian Wildlife species will be protected. This is a failed strategy and many animals that we have, including even the poor snakes, are no longer seen in abundance. This is also another Ostrich head policy. The first step is to permit private persons to raise Indian species themselves. Maybe there will be some self-owned destruction, but the total number will indeed increase. Take Mr Romulus Whittaker, who was forced to destroy crocodile eggs as he had too many crocodiles. The Government did not permit using and selling crocodile skins.  So, he curtailed the population but to no national advantage.

Yes, now we have imported Cheetahs, but this would not have been necessary if the private sector was allowed to rear them.  On the other hand, Nilgai which is actually Venison (and a form of Deer and not any bovine Cow species) should also be permitted for rearing. This is another species that will soon be wiped out because of a thoughtless Wildlife Act.  Farmers see them as pests and destroy them. There is much more to discuss and debate on Animals, and that should indeed take place to bring about more sense and sensibility in this regard.

6]  Similarly, just as another example, banning sandalwood trees is another disaster and carrying on in the same spirit we should increase the depository of tissue culture in of all our plant’s species; for otherwise, like the Chinese, we will need to go to the Kew gardens in London to ask for tissue samples to regenerate our lost plant and tree species. The entire Himalayan flora has lost many species, but yet a complete original set is with the Kew Gardens. They have been sensible to store on an international scale of most flora species.

7]  The GOI has made courageous attempts to resolve litigation and ensure dispute resolution at the corporate and business levels. The greatest problem comes from the Sovereign (the GOI itself) particularly at State Government levels.  Any contract with Government departments does not get resolved as the bureaucracy itself sees themselves as being “versus” the other party which is usually an Indian citizen or businessman. Here Modi 3.0 needs to ensure that Government officials whose salaries are paid by the people of India, spend their time in resolving issues in favour of the citizen and not becoming anti citizen by acting like the Sovereign, as it was in the time of the old colonial Angrez “master”.

(Darshan Singh is an entrepreneur who has worked in quite a few key areas that have been critical to the process of nation building, including the railways and oil and natural gas exploration. He is also an educationist, currently the Chairman of the Welham Boys’ School in Dehradun.)