Wealth creators, dharma & Bharat

The Stand-Up India Scheme for entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes has provided loans and assistance to dozens of innovative individuals.
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.Express Illustration

World-wide, there is talk about India’s economic growth over the past three decades. Estimates show the country could become the third-largest economy in the world by 2030 with a gross domestic product (GDP) of over 7.3 trillion USD. This is attributed to the overall improvement of labour conditions, innovation, research, a pro-entrepreneurial environment, growth of capital stock and the dedicated hard work of wealth creators in the country who contribute significantly to the economy.

This growth is a far cry from the economic-ecosystem of the country in the first few decades after its independence wherein policies were socialistic-leaning. Nationalization and inefficient handling of high-earning sectors created barriers to growth. The stringent “License Raj” regulations hindered the creation of entrepreneurship and free market competition. The 1990’s saw the liberalization of the Indian economy, an influx of investments and alleviated over 270 million people from abject poverty.

Thanks to the colonial era and the period after that, it has been ingrained in the mind of the average Indian that those who have created wealth have done it illegally or at the cost of society. This conditioning and mindset will require some serious revisiting, especially considering the “Viksit Bharat” vision, which plans to transform India into a developed nation by 2047. With such a grand scheme, it is important that society supports the growing, aspirational, and young middle class which is a key ingredient in India’s 2047 plan. It’s time to see beyond the capitalism vs socialism models; a mixed economic model with the state playing the role of an enabler and encouraging businesses works for Bharat.

The government plays a necessary role in the changing landscape of new-India. Policies (just to name a few) such the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana which aimed to support MSME businesses through loans without collateral have generated jobs, enabled expansion of enterprises, promotes skill development, and removed barriers for individuals from lower economic backgrounds.

The Stand-Up India Scheme for entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes has provided loans and assistance to dozens of innovative individuals.

The Mahila Coir Yojana has given rural women-entrepreneurs a subsidy of up to 75% for machinery costs, which has also broken down other socio-economic barriers.

In the next few decades, Bharat is primed to see huge multi-national companies originating from the country itself, just how the U.S. and China have seen the growth of multiple Fortune 500 companies from their territories. In the last decade, India has taken some significant policy measures to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. In 2023 alone, technology startups have employed over 10.34 lakh Indians. Additionally, the 20,000+ startups and 112 unicorns in India have already been estimated to have a total valuation of over 500 billion US Dollars, showing how these companies will bring in India’s new era.

The Sanatan ancestors of the land of this country had the concept of Artha in Vedic philosophy, which saw the pursuit of wealth as one of the four basic needs and aims of human life. Necessary during the Grahastha i.e., householder stage of one’s life when one has a family that relies on them for food, a roof and so on, it was seen as part of social order if it is obtained keeping in mind the tenet of Dharma.

Thus creation of wealth in the righteous manner and ensuring that the Indic “Antyodaya” principle is followed whereby the last person at the bottom of the economic and social pyramid is benefitted. If followed, this will showcase the real Bharat’s economic model – time for us to export an ideology to the world.

The creation of wealth is, therefore, not inherently evil, or detrimental, as commonly perceived. Wealth creators in India should be seen as torch bearers of the new, confident and aspirational Bharat that is re-emerging on the global map. The focus going forward has to be towards creation of globally famous and impactful Indian corporations. The key shift required is in the conditioning of people at large and here we are referring to not just “wealth creators” in the context of sheer tangible wealth but also those who have been successful in their fields and have either represented the nation at international platforms or have won a place of pride for the country irrespective of the field of work.

If achievers are not celebrated and recognised in Bharat, we would be failing to create a pro-success & pro-progressive environment across all spheres. The new age achievers and wealth creators play a role in nation building as they provide jobs, opportunities to millions. A change in the way in which we understand and perceive success & wealth creation with dharmic principles in the background would be a game changer for Bharat over the next few decades.

Anant Merathia specializes in corporate disputes in New Delhi & Chennai and is the Author of “Defaulter’s Paradise Lost” by Thomson Reuters

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