Aiming for a better, less fractured world
Her attempt is to blur the boundaries among businesses, governments and foreign policies in order to redefine the development agenda of nations and institutions.
Published: 20th July 2021 08:38 AM | Last Updated: 20th July 2021 08:38 AM | A+A A-
For the greater common good, published by Bloomsbury, written by Akanksha Sharma, a widely-acclaimed International Development and Public Policy Specialist, talks about ways to create an equitable world. Her attempt is to blur the boundaries among businesses, governments and foreign policies in order to redefine the development agenda of nations and institutions. Her concerns arise from policies and diplomacy that impact the common man. More from the author:
Tell us about the pertinent questions your book addresses.
The book is about reimagining infinite possibilities for a sustainable and shared future. It attempts to break down the complexities of this world from the lens of development into simplest forms. In the pursuit of making the world less fractured, it is important to find answers to some pertinent questions that focus on the ‘whys’ behind the ‘whats’. It’s important to look at these questions from the perspective of ‘solut ions ’ . With many years of research at the crossroads of publicprivate-social sectors, I have attempted to design and derive solutions, by exploring the multilayered dynamics amongst people, profits and policies. The idea is to create a narrative where capitalism finds a new dawn and business motives become inclusive.
Could you take us through the chapter, In the Name of Development, and critical issues it talks about?
It essentially talks about our notions of development and uncovers our inadequate truths. It starts with the currently accepted global idea of poverty, which I believe is inadequate. Poverty is not just the absence of sustainable and regular income. The chapter breaks down poverty in its multiple elements and consequences to help readers look beyond the usual notions. Furthermore, inequality which is one of the gravest issues that we are facing, and intensified by the proceeds of capitalism is discussed in detail. A better, fairer, equitable and less fractured world will require businesses to be at the centre of growth and development. This calls for reinventing capitalism more than ever.
In the book you have mentioned, ‘protesting on the roads with placards against a factory, whose waste pollutes the air, water and land of the surrounding area is not the most efficient way of restricting operations that degrade the environment’.
This statement must be seen from the perspective of inclusion, which was the context of writing this in the book. Why do people protest in front of a factory? Because their rights are violated in some way or they are not included in the development story. Now, who are these people? They are mostly deprived and unrepresented. If the bare minimum that they hold is put on a trade-off, how will they voice their concerns? My point here is to make the entire narrative inclusive, where there is no room for exclusion.
According to you, ‘Many large media houses have been co-opted by the government into becoming its propagandists, disbursing misinformation/ disinformation, thereby giving rise to crony journalism’. In such a situation, what should be the way forward and any tips for general public consuming news consumers?
This was written in the context of seeing the media as an important pillar and binding agent of information to establish a good socio-economic and political order. But what is happening around the world is that the media in some way is losing the trust of the masses. We must build a culture of transparency that brings responsibility along with accountability for individuals and institutions. As per people consuming news, they should try to fact-check the news. Immediate conclusions and renditions should be avoided.