Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a disappointment only because he is the source of hope for the country said the authors of A New Idea of India — Rajeev Mantri and Harsh Madhusudan. They were speaking on November 28 at the ninth edition of the Odisha Literary Festival which is being conducted by The New Indian Express. Former Rajya Sabha MP and author Pavan K Varma, TNIE's Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla and journalist and author Kaveree Bamzai were part of the discussion.
Paraphrasing Samuel Huntington's quote on the USA, the authors call Prime Minister Narendra Modi a disappointment only because he is the hope.
"What Narendra Modi has done, both on the fronts of economy and civilisation, especially in the one and a half years of his second term clearly states why he is the people's favourite," said Madhusudan.
Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga are the embodiment of wealth knowledge and power, said Rajeev Mantri, the MD and Founder of Navam Capital and also the co-author of the book A New Idea of India. "As India becomes richer and a more prosperous country in the next few decades, it will naturally agglomerate power as well. The question for us then is what will we do with that power on the world stage.
What will India use the power for? India has always had the chance of taking everyone along. But will also stand up for our own interests," he added. Jawaharlal Nehru told JRD Tata not to use the word profit as he thought it's a dirty word but these two young authors beg to differ.
"Even in Bollywood movies, the businessman or the rich person in the village would be the villain or at least the butt of all jokes. Even the current government which is considerably friendly towards profit motives had put a cap on the price of oxygen cylinders during the Coronavirus pandemic. But what happened was the packing charges increased considerably.
The supply and demand will match no matter what. We still have a very hypocritical take on earning profits in sectors like education and health.
But what happens is people who are politically connected are making money anyway. The book talks about that and the evolution that is going on the right path. We just wish to accelerate it. We're trying to synthesise between individual rights and the civilisational state," said Madhusudan. There has been, without a doubt, a betrayal of the fundamentals of liberalism, said Pavan Varma, Former Rajya Sabha MP.
"This betrayal has happened in the name of liberalism and there was a feeling that a course correction was required, which enabled us to proceed towards modernity while retaining in full measure the sensitivity to the wisdom of India's past. In other words, a young republic but with an ancient civilisation,” said Varma.
“Corrections need to be made and in the process of making that correction the articulation of our robust ideology which is able to encapsulate what went wrong and what needs to be done in a coherent impactful and effective manner is required," he added.
India is a civilisation that is thousands of years old and the word that best encapsulates it is Dharma, said Madhusudan.
"We are seeing an ancient civilisation form into a nation under a democracy. India was ruled by not just the British but various other invaders before them. It is only now that we are getting back on track. Evolution has already started. When a Tamil IAS officer is posted somewhere in Haryana that instils a sense of national integration. This is a time when women are empowered, people have more individual freedom and are seen as more than which family they were born into. The state must see us as individual citizens and not as communities or belonging to a certain group," he added.