The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday 24 September 2012


Continued from:

Though Manmohan Singh did some plain talking in terms of the tough economic measures on September 21, it is not enough to help his cause (if there is really any cause). But apart from ‘that some plain talking element’, it was all similar Manmohan’s speech, playing with statistics, overstating his achievements and beating the drum about the bravado of his 1991-1996 term as India’s finance minister. The way he has been doing it so regularly, it has started belying his persona. His speech on this Independence Day was full of canards and was widely panned.

Sadly, he still doesn’t look to offer us anything more sensible.

Manmohan’s laidback attitude on Coalgate and other scams have shown him in poor light. It was only exacerbated with the timing that he chose to push forward his reformist agenda.

There is nothing wrong in opening up sectors for FDI. Caps have been raised or new norms have been introduced in single brand, multi-brand, broadcast, aviation and power exchange sectors. The only noise puller is the retail FDI move as it concerns a large segment of population. Other sectors, being too small in terms of people directly associated with them are of no use for the political parties.

And in any case, opening up of the retail sector for FDI would help the country in the long run, there should be no denying to this fact. Organized retail is a reality in India and is growing strongly. Currently it is about 7 per cent of the total retails business in India ($35 Billion out of $450 Billion). An AT Kearny 2010 report projects it to reach a size of $200 Billion by 2020 with a growth rate of 25 per cent. We should expect a better rate as the multi-brand retail FDI was not allowed when this report came out. But the other side of the report tells even a better story. It tells the Indian retail sector would reach to a size of $850 Billion by 2020. Its means the unorganized retail business would be of $650 Billion turnover.

So, where is the loss factor for the common man? Both modes of delivery would grow.

And how does it matter if the owner of an organized retail chain in India is the Future Group (Big Bazar) or the Wal-Mart?

Are the foreign multinational chains going to bring foreigners to man the stores? That is foolhardy to think and only politicians and politician-likes can think.

So where does the question of livelihood and employment loss come-in?

In fact, multitudes can get benefitted by the improved business practices that the multinational retail chains would bring in like investment in backend infrastructure and logistical operations and supply chain management. Also, it would help to enhance the farm productivity manifold as a major chunk of the farm produce is destroyed in transit due to poor storage facilities. Better storage facilities would push for improved availability and logical prices for the consumer. The direct access (that is likely to happen) to the farmers would reduce the burden of food spoilage on the farmers giving them more produce at hand per crop cycle.

The real thing is about the volume business here. If both, the producer (farmers) and the trader (retail chains), manage to do good volume business, there is nothing like that. And organized retail can do that in India.

It is true that there would be no immediate changes, not in terms of the livelihood of the farmers or the fiscal deficit of the government of India. It is true that the immediate beneficiaries would be the large Indian retail chains in the business who are currently bleeding and would get a fresh lease of life with the FDI cash infusion.  

But in the long run, it is going to benefit all in a country like India which is basically about volumes and masses. What Wal-Mart or likes do in their respective countries or other developed economies is not going to help in India. They need to adopt an Indianised strategy (something like McDonald’s McAloo Tikki). That means going mass-centric and that is certainly going to help masses of India – optimized prices and a better people driven business sense.

Given the large size of the retail business, that makes around 15 per cent of the Indian GDP and employs around 3.5 per cent of the Indian workforce, any fundamental business policy move here comes with big-ticket returns that can only be realized over sustained period of time.

So it’s not about a bad policy move.
So, it’s about good politics and bad politics.
So, it’s about ruling politics and opposition politics.

Manmohan cannot be blamed for pushing Indians to misery on this front (in fact, he would have deserved accolades) provided he had acted on the right time, with the positioned elements.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -