Cabby’s take on Make in India!

Each city has a different flavour and Mumbai being the financial capital of India is always buzzing with opinions from people concerning the economy. Though you may not really agree to various perspectives and opinions being expressed and though you might not be able to find a strong rationale which could convince you, yet the conviction with which a common man in Mumbai cites one’s perspective is a thing to learn from.

Yes, it was one heck of a drive with one of the cab drivers in Mumbai that I happened to take just a couple of weeks back. As you might be aware that Make in India was the talking point, practically all over India, just a couple of weeks back, this gentleman had a different take on the same altogether:

“Sir, where do you wanna go?”—Cabby

“Take me to the BKC complex for Make in India. “—Me

After driving for around 5 minutes, cabby broke the silence, “Sir, do you think it will be good for India?”

“Ya, I think so. Investments would pour in. More job opportunities would be created. People in general should benefit. So, yes, Make in India is a wonderful initiative taken by our honourable PM.”

“But Sir, don’t you think again the goras would come and start ruling again similar to what happened with East India Company and rest is History. I mean, all the investments would be theirs, what will we have? We will again become slaves in the entire scheme of things. Don’t you think it’s like selling India to the goras?”—Cabby had his own apprehensions regarding the entire initiative

“It’s not like that. It would be a Joint Venture between us and them. We would contribute some, they would bring in the rest of investment and expertise. Moreover, we will have checks and balances in place which would enable such a thing doesn’t happen”, I tried explaining.images

“Sir, kis zamane mein tumhe living aahe. The world is not that great. Do you think it’s all for the good of the people? It’s only because if you have money then only you can get a cut in the same. Sir, hum logon tak kuch nahi pahuchega. There is so much of corruption. How will we benefit?” Cabby had a valid point.

“So what do you think we should do?”

“Sir, we should encourage our own youth. Gora kya karega. Idharich, we should do something.” Cabby had his own take on things.

By the time I reached the BKC complex, cabby had me convinced about the gaps that need to be filled if any such programme was to be made a success.

As I entered the gates of the Make in India event, I wondered whether the cabby did have a point. After all, what was needed was not just investment, but a sustainable process where in the trained workforce can utilize the funds being brought in and have a sense of ownership in the entire scheme of things, rather than being dependent on the external sources of funds.

I would want to believe that collaboration is the way forward and with concepts like, “vasudaiva kutumbkam” receiving acceptance from the who’s who of philosophical thinking, may be the collaboration should have a basis which goes beyond just attracting investments from the external world, whether one must try to focus more on domestic before going to the international, may be the international collaborations would help more in case we are able to first sort out our internal affairs and be ready for the change.

What concerns me most is whether India has prepared well for the significant change at policy level that is taking place, whether we as Indians are capable enough to adapt to the pace of change that is going to hit us in the near future, whether won’t it be better to have things sorted out in education/skilling and healthcare sectors in a focused manner before venturing out in the world of investments.

Yet to be seen how Make in India and Skill India will come through, but one thing is for sure, decisions made at the policy level, needs to find common grounds with the implementer in the system, else all these initiatives would go for a toss and once again we would be left repenting and thinking, “what if”.

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