During the three-day meeting of its highest decision-making body, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, on Sunday, the RSS passed a resolution calling for a labor-intensive “Bharatiya economic model” given the rising unemployment in the country.
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What does the resolution say?
Pointing to the issue of unemployment, he asked society to come forward and participate in building an Atmanirbhar Bharat where the economic model is based on Indian values.
“Thrust should be given to Bharatiya’s economic model which is human-centered, labor-intensive, environmentally friendly and emphasizes decentralization and equitable distribution of benefits and increases village economy, micro-industries, small scales and agro-industries,” the resolution said. .
The resolution highlighted priority areas such as rural employability, employment in the unorganized sector and employment of women as solutions to unemployment. “Efforts are essential to adopt new technologies and soft skills appropriate to our societal conditions,” he said.
He pointed to the decline of the manufacturing sector and said boosting it could generate a lot of jobs. He also urged young people to get out of the mentality of only looking for jobs.
“A conducive environment for entrepreneurship should be created by educating and counseling people, especially young people, so that they can break out of the mindset of only looking for jobs. A similar entrepreneurial spirit must also be encouraged among women, villagers and people in remote and tribal areas,” he said.
Why the resolution?
It comes at a time when India’s unemployment rate is rising and the effects of demonetization and the pandemic have hit the economy and dried up opportunities.
According to data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate rose to 7.91% in December 2021 from 6.3% in 2018-19 and 4.7% in 2017-18. In urban areas, it rose to 9.30% in December 2021 against 8.09% in January 2021, and in rural areas, to 7.28% against 5.81%. The manufacturing sector is estimated to have lost 9.8 million jobs between 2019-20 and December 2021.
The issue has brought the government under attack from the opposition and now the RSS believe it must be resolved through a concerted effort. In fact, according to Sangh sources, six RSS-affiliated organizations that work in the field of economics held a three-day brainstorming session last month on the state of the Indian economy.
“The question that arose for coordination was job creation. We agreed that it was easy to abuse the government. But without harnessing the strength of society, it was not possible to create jobs. If governments could put an end to unemployment, there would be none anywhere. This is how a campaign by the name of Swavalambi Bharat Abhiyan was started,” said Ashwani Mahajan, national co-organizer of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch.
According to Mahajan, the Abhiyan is an attempt to decentralize job creation and bring it to the local level so that all jobs are not concentrated in a few towns. “The resolution encapsulates this idea. The entrepreneurship of our young people is our strength. So why should we think that employment should only be through jobs. This 60s-70s thinking needs to change,” Mahajan said.
How will it be implemented?
The RSS aims to implement this by pushing the government to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector and by working with grassroots youth to “help them engage in entrepreneurial ventures through agribusiness.” and other self-employment opportunities”.
“Our manufacturing used to be 17-18% of GDP, now it’s down to 15%. The API, electronics, cycle and toy markets have all been eaten away by China. Due to the pandemic, there is a change in the mentality of the government. Dependence on China is increasingly minimized. The government has done a lot to stimulate manufacturing in various ways, including tariff barriers. Now society must also rise to the occasion,” Mahajan said.
According to Sangh sources, there are many job creation opportunities in rural India through industrialization, food processing, agricultural activities such as animal husbandry, bamboo farming, fish farming, etc “The government cannot do this alone. Society must manifest itself. Who will organize them? We took responsibility. The ABVP has also been enlisted,” an RSS official said.
According to Mahajan, the Sangh promotes the idea that only a growth model based on employment is a good model and that Atmanirbhar Bharat cannot achieve this alone. “In all of this, if we find that a government policy is not appropriate, we will also tell the government,” Mahajan said.
Is this the first time that RSS has taken on the problem?
The RSS has always believed that governments should follow economic models rooted in Indian values and take into account India’s social structure and rural life. Some of its most prominent leaders, such as Dattopant Thengadi, have consistently touted a labor-intensive Swadeshi model as best suited to India’s economy. Following the liberalization of the economy in the early 1990s, the RSS firmly entrenched itself in favor of this model.
In 1992, as India’s economy was opening up, the ABPS passed a resolution on ‘Swadeshi’ and ‘unemployment’. He said: “The near total dependence on others, leading to growing economic slavery and massive unemployment, can also be directly attributed to attempts to shape our economic development according to a Soviet-Western hybrid model based on a capital-intensive and labor-displacing technology, completely ignoring the genius, our life values, the present conditions and needs and the future aspirations of our people.