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How to define developed state in Indian context?
Nowadays, we often hear, during many discussions, about states being developed and not developed. In Indian context, how to decide that is the query. Many claim that under Modi administration Gujarat state developed. And for that they show that, many new industries came in that state during his rule.
Does it mean that because so many big industries have come to open their factories that state becomes developed? In this context we see that state of Maharashtra is a developed state. And when they give news that some industries have moved out of the state and so the state is become underdeveloped. How correct this definition is?
When we became independent Gandhi proposed development based on micro development whereas Nehru insisted that development must be at macro level. Finally Nehru won as Mr. Gandhi was killed in an unfortunate event. He was not there to press for his point of development at micro level first and then at macro level. At present Nehru’s policy rules all our development plans and we have almost forgotten Gandhi’s micro development plan.
Gandhi's micro development plan was reduced to only Khadi gramodyog activity and to my mind that was a gross misinterpretation of what he meant by micro development. According to my interpretation of micro development, development through all types of small scale industries and businesses. Gandhi was in a way right in suggesting this policy for development because he was fully aware of our poor financial conditions. Later on Larsen & Toubro encouraged small industrial units since, that is the second nature of our economic culture. Big industries such as Telco also realized the benefits of small scale units to support big units. I remember when there was a strike at the Telco industry management encouraged small scale units and at that time they came to know that getting job work from such units is far more profitable than doing all sundry jobs themselves. Today we see the real growth of our industrial development rests on small scale units who churn out even big jobs at considerably less cost. That is because their over head cost is always very low. In a way Gandhi’s plan was accepted by our industries but not by our planners.
We see a big difference in two developments, one is that macro development creates less number of jobs of high salaries. Micro development creates many more jobs of lower salaries. Managing small industries is always more easy than big units. Less capital investment involved in small units and profitability improved. Big units involve bigger risk factors. To surmount many problems those may crop up is much more easy with smaller units. We know farming activity creates maximum jobs and though the wages are low the employment is assured. Overall experience is that, ordinarily people do not need very big salaries, they are generally happy so long as they can survive and so small salary but assured employment guarantee is all that they want. Very few people have big ambitions. Our most planners do not consider this fact. They thing big salary is the need of ordinary people. I want to give an example of Godrej Company at Mumbai. One fitter working in one of their factories manufacturing refrigerators was attending for only 20 days out of 26 days of a month. He was a permanent employ and so the company was not bothering him for his absents. I happened to know of that from other employees while I was doing some research on topic of employment problems. When I asked him why he does not want to attend all 26 days of the month? He told me that salary for 20 days is good enough for his monthly needs, he would prefer to spend those days at home with family. After some time, Godrej Company raised the salary of its employees. As that happened our fitter began to take leave without salary and would attend only for 15 days of the month! As that much money was good enough for him! This is the general attitude of most fourth grade employees. This research convinced me that small but enough salary is good for most people. They are not interested in any ambitions. This clearly shows how Gandhi was correct in his planing. Another example of recent time I would like to give here to show how higher salaries create shortage of workers while more jobs remain without workers. The other day, I was walking on street and two home worker women were walking I my front. I was by chance listening to their conversation. One woman told the other that she has left four jobs she was doing previously because now the salary is increased and so work of three jobs is enough to serve her need. That means, four households are not getting home worker. This shows the way higher salary can create a type of worker shortages artificially. Higher salary has definitely benefited them but at the cost of creating more jobs unattained. Bottom line is that this strategy has created worker shortages even though there are workers because, they do not want to work for less, they do not mind doing less for more wages. In a way this is spoiling worker mentality.
After much investigation I came to the conclusion about how to decide the development condition of a state. I found two points for deciding that condition. First point is that, how many people migrate out of the state to earn their livelihood? Second point is that, how many beggars migrate out to other states for alms? From these values we can know the actual development condition of that state. You can see workers and beggars from all over India in Maharashtra state but you will not find beggars of Marathi origin anywhere in India. You may not find many Marathi people going out of Maharashtra for earning living. If we say Gujarat is developed we must find out these two statistics and that will show if Gujarat is really developed. By my definition so far, Maharashtra is the only developed state in India. Hoards of workers are migrating out of Gujarat even today for livelihood; then how we say that under Modi Gujarat is developed. Our definition of developed and under developed states needs to be changed.
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