Modinomics v/s Bhutanomics
India is celebrating Modinomics at Gujarat. With speaker after speaker — ranging from India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani to US Secretary General of State, John Kerry—speaking about the air of optimism in India at Vibrant Gujarat, we are fully energized and highly anticipating a new future for our country. Among those who spoke, one man distinguished himself from the rest of the crowd. He stole the limelight through the filtered words, carefully laid before the crowd. He kept his speech precise, lucid and exact. More than how, the matter he presented was much relevant to us. Against the idea of corporatism of Modi, he laid a contradicting developmental policy that has proved successful in his nation. At the same time, he did not opposed Modinomics. Rather, he simply presented facts and figures to prove another way of development that could match India better. The man whom I speak about is Tshering Tobgay, the Prime Minister of Bhutan.
Calling Vibrant Gujarat a phenomenon and as the world’s largest platform for the exchange of ideas, innovation and knowledge, Tobgay introduced his country in the most beautiful way, pristine as his country. “Bhutan is a small country, tucked away in the Himalayas, sandwiched between the world’s two large countries – India and China. Our economy is small, with a GDP of $1.7billion, I am aware that many of the delegates are worth more individually than the entire GDP of my country. In fact, some of you are worth many times more. Our economy may be small, but we have used our limited resources wisely.”
When he mentioned healthcare is free in Bhutan, we should be ashamed. Despite of all these years of developmental policies, we weren’t able to make it free in our country. We do expect Modi’s ambitious healthcare policy to save us. But, its challenges are yet to be cleared. Tobgay pointed out that education too is free in Bhutan and unlike us, secondary education is free in his country. He mentioned how agriculture is natural or rather free of pesticides in Bhutan. Being a country of Endosulfan and with our mangoes banned from many countries, we should again be embarrassed at ourselves.
The specialty of Bhutan is about how their Ministry coined development with values. They created unequivocal policies that cater the poor, middle and rich alike. They executed policies that match their environment rather than mimicking developed countries like USA. They never hurried, rather they cared what would suit their people first. That is why they have Gross National Happiness more significant that Gross Domestic Product.
When we are busy chasing a corporate future ahead through new Modinomics, let us kindly remember that we are going to miss a few things what Tobgay said – a clear sky, a fresh air, the taste of sparkling water, the friendly people and perhaps, even our unique culture.