India has elected a new government based on the promise of development. Wider roads, more free water, more industry, better power (electricity) supply etc. And within days of swearing in, this government has kicked into action to deliver. Deliver, it will, what we expect.
But have we 'base-lined' our definition of development?
As a nation, development or growth still is measured in terms of GDP, roads, FDI, malls, construction, number of millionaires and everything that can be counted! There is no real measure for inclusive growth. What developed nation would have people dying of hunger? Would GDP measure the plundering of natural resources and the irreversible nature of this 'growth'? Is this growth healthy? It is time we start looking at other nations who have plateaued on development and learn from their experience. Course correction for such a large country will be painful. But sooner the better.
And the government needs to lead the way. Instead of giving in to the popular notions of development, the government at each level needs to make people realise that we need to re-align ourselves. If we keep following the uni-directional, non sustainable development model, we will soon realise we have nowhere left to go!
In another post, I will also illustrate how this principal also applies at a personal level.