Gopal K Agarwal
India at present is caught in a dilemma. The western countries wants us to believe; that the economic thinking has to be within a closed jacket and the perceived solutions are based on certain assumptions which are sacrosanct. There can't be any deviations.
But the fact is that the basic tenets or parameters of capitalist economy are subject to scrutiny. In addition to materialistic world view there is an spiritual aspect to human existence. Where all our actions are guided by natural laws without any interference of subjective considerations. These subjective considerations usually acts as divisive force to universal brotherhood.
India is at the brink of resurgent economic cycle. Every decision at this juncture will effect its future. Future of humanity to a large extent will also depend on India's decision. India has a deep routed philosophical thought in the form of manav darshan. Individual is not supposed to be the exploiter of nature but is considered to be the part of the ecological system complimenting each other.
We believe that the world is made of five basic elements (panchatatva…….), these are adequately provided by the nature. The purity of these elements has to be maintained and preserved. The day nature is exploited, its balance will be disturbed. This will lead to ecological imbalances and destruction of life.
The concept of private ownership and commercialisation of any of these elements is not in the interest of humanity. A concept, which is not good for the humanity can never be beneficial to a Nation.
We found that there was a general consensus on the issue, in a series of our discussions and deliberations on the subject with various stack holders including courts and the government. But still at the implementation level there was a complete divergence. All governmental actions points towards creating private property with regards to water and its commercialisation as a commodity in the name of conservation of this resource. This is being done under the garb of public private partnership (PPP) of distribution and maintenance. This dilemma of the policy maker, whether intentional or otherwise has to be exposed and checked.
At present we have two categories; an effluent and a powerful class which has dominance on every aspect of our policy making and its implementation. They can afford everything. For them availability is more important than affordability. In their business model, scarcity and commercialisation is a means of creating wealth. Though we believe, that the private ownership is a major motivator of entrepreneurship and generation of wealth, but our primary concern is the other class i.e. the common men. Who, under the baggage of historical conditions of subversion and exploitation been left behind in the race.
The society should be structured in a way that all its components or the stack holders are taken care of, without any discrimination of caste, creed, religion or wealth. The government is duty bound to provide for the basic needs of all the citizens of the country. This duty has been cast on it under the adopted Constitution by the People of this Sovereign, Democratic, Secular, Republic.
To bring out all these aspects and have a healthy debate on the subject, we at Jaladhikar have been holding discussions, seminars, mass awareness programs and campaigns.
If the mood of the Civil Society movements of the recent past are any indicator, than any adamancy on the part of the powerful about ignoring the aspirations of the common men will lead to major unrest. I have been very closely related to all these movements from the beginning and there has been a feeling that, in dealing with the common men, the ruling class is not sincere in its approach. All political and social dispensations in the country have to be aware of this aspect.
John F Kennedy once said, “anyone who can solve the problem of water will be worthy of two Noble prizes – one for peace and one for science.”