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Only people can teach China a lesson

We will have to create a conducive atmosphere for initiatives like Make in India and Made in India to attain self-reliance
Let me congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modiji on completing the first year of his second term in office. I can understand his intent for making India self-reliant. He wants to make India self-sufficient and self-dependent. He coined and gave this slogan in his first term as well. It has to be considered why it did not succeed completely? What were the problems? The NITI Aayog had prepared a blue print too but the initiative did not achieve desired success.

Rather, I would like to say that even those who established industries, influenced by blue print, could not succeed. The industries established in the defence sector also faced a lot of trouble. The reason for these problems is that India imports from abroad even the things that are produced locally. Union MSMEs minister Nitin Gadkari himself lodged several complaints pointing out this issue. Gadkari says that our dependence on China is such that we are buying ice cream spoons and sticks used to make incense sticks too from China because our forest policy on bamboo is not favourable. On the contrary, China’s policies are such that it has dominated every field of human endeavour.
India imports almost everything from China. China has entered our individual spiritual spaces. The Gods have become Chinese too. Idols of the Gods kept in our homes and the incense sticks to worship them are also imported from there. The ingredients of Diwali crackers and decorations also come from China itself. If a motorcycle is being produced in our country, its parts come from China. The chemicals required for medicines also come from China. Steel cables required for the bridge are imported from China. Even metro coaches come from China.
Look at the irony that the world’s largest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, symbol of our national self-respect, also came from China. We only assembled its parts here! That is why we also said - Sardar Patel Made in China!
Why can’t we produce all these things? Don’t our industries have this capability? Of course, they have. The need of the hour is to inspire our entrepreneurs, help them realise their dreams and empower them financially.

Let’s keep one thing in mind that if China is to be defeated, we will have to increase our potential. We cannot undermine their potential but we can develop ours. We have to work hard. We have to bring quality in our work and product, only then can we bring self-reliance. Only with self-reliance can we establish India as an economic powerhouse.
I have said many times during the discussion in Parliament that now war will be fought more on economic front than with weapons. When we are financially powerful, no one will be able to intimidate us. China is trying to browbeat us to pressure us. Whenever its economic condition deteriorates and there is a possibility of mass rebellion, it creates a war-like situation to divert the public attention and pre-empt mass rebellion. Even in 1962, its economic condition had deteriorated and there was a possibility of mass revolution, so it started a war.
But China is far ahead of us despite the weak situation. China’s GDP is currently around $14 trillion while our GDP has not reached even $3 trillion. In China, the average monthly income of every person is Rs 58,000 as against Rs 11,000 average monthly income in India. If we look at the figures of the last 10 years, China has an average gold reserves of more than 1,000 tonnes whereas India has only 500 tonnes of gold reserves. America is at the forefront with an average reserves of 8,000 tonnes of gold.
China is second only to America in terms of economic strength and is moving fast in terms of technology. China built an 8-lane 55-kilometre bridge over the sea between Mainland and Hong Kong at a cost of $20 billion in just seven years. Now look at the situation here. It took us 10 years to complete barely 5.6-kilometre Bandra-Worli sea link. Our engineers have tremendous potential and they can also do such a great job but the reality is that we have a lot of disruptions because we are a democratic country. To speed-up construction, it is necessary for all the stakeholders including environment, human rights and judiciary to create an atmosphere of coordination and cooperation. Decision-making will have to be expedited.

If we want to beat China, we have to end our dependence on it. We must stop using Chinese products. I would like to clarify here that I do not hate the Chinese brothers and sisters. We are the people who believe in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means the whole world is one family. So what we are really opposed to is China’s policies. Therefore, we should immediately stop using TikTok and all other Chinese apps like it and set a one-year target to completely stop using Chinese products.

So the question is:
Are you ready for this?
And the people’s answer is...
Yes we are! We have exhibited our determination time and again, contributed to nation building, made sacrifices for the nation and we still will!
Only people can teach China a lesson
Only people can teach China a lesson
Only people can teach China a lesson

Departures that leave trail of grief

Reconciling with the shock of celebrity deaths becomes difficult as they’re like members of the family
Last week we lost two splendid human beings and versatile actors: Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor. In spite of being diametrically different from each other in style, both were lovable, unique and the darlings of the audiences! Everyone is grieving as if they had lost a member of their family. We feel connected to them. Their movies had provided great relief in the hurly burly of life. It’s but natural that a close affinity should develop with someone with whom we identify. That’s why the death of any celebrity actor fills us with grief. It’s not just actors but also national leaders or celebrities of other walks of life, around whom we develop intense affection and when they depart, our grief knows no bounds. The moot question is: How can we define such relationship?
We feel overwhelmed with grief when someone dies young. Neither Irrfan was old nor was Rishi Kapoor very old. Cancer snatched both of them from us. Though the background and circumstances of these two artistes were completely different, what made them both stand out was their absolute humanity. Both had excellent personality traits. Irrfan hailed from an average family. He had not received anything in inheritance. Neither was he handsome nor was he a chocolate boy, but his acting was wonderful. He was a charismatic personality. His eyes spoke. He used to fit into the character and the character would fit into him. He had come to Mumbai without any support and carved out a niche for himself on his own. His personal life was very clean and unblemished. His father Yaseen Ali Khan used to say that a Brahmin was born in Pathan's house.
I would like to share with you a piece of his spontaneity. I met him only once, but that one meeting deeply impressed me. I was going from Mumbai to Delhi. Irrfan was also there when he boarded the bus to go from the airport terminal to the aeroplane. He seemed a bit upset because the flight had got a little delayed. He asked me if he would miss the flight. I told him that since we had boarded the bus; we would not miss the flight! He said very spontaneously - I am talking about the connecting flight. Such childlike spontaneity! That was Irrfan. When brother Rajendra Darda and his wife Ashu Darda had invited Irrfan to the Lokmat office in Aurangabad, he simply walked in and met the editorial staff and shared moments with them. This charismatic actor never even once showed that he was a celebrity. Such disarming naturalness!
As far as Rishi Kapoor is concerned, he was born into acting, bequeathed as he was with the enviable Kapoor blood and genes. But even he had to struggle in order to win the hearts of the audience. He honed his acting skills and developed his talents. The audience has showered their affection and appreciation on generations of the Kapoor family right from Prithviraj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor as their superlative acting skills breathed life into their roles on the screen. They all worked very hard to master acting skills which left the audience spellbound.
Rishi Kapoor was an embodiment of his grandfather and father. He used to act very spontaneously. He personified youthfulness and redefined romance for the Hindi cinema. I was introduced to Rishi Kapoor by his grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor. After that our relationship went from strength to strength. I was always proud of our friendship because he was a true friend. He was more than willing to attend any event, I invited him to. Such humility and friendliness made me his admirer. Once he accepted an invitation, he would attend irrespective of his busy schedule! He came to Yavatmal on my invitation when Bobby had become a super-hit film and he had become the heartthrob of the nation and was at the peak of his career. It was his values that made him so humble and natural. His legendary grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor had also came to Yavatmal twice on the request of my ‘Babuji’ freedom fighter Jawaharlal Darda. Once he had brought his drama company and the second time Babuji invited him for flag hoisting. The only regret is that Rishi Kapoor’s last wish could not be fulfilled. A few days ago, we were having a telephonic conversation. He said “if Ranbir gets married and I see my daughter-in-law, then all my desires will be fulfilled”. I wish Rishi Kapoor could see his daughter-in-law!
I would also like to tell you that Rishi Kapoor was a very well-read person who had also penned a book. He sent me his book 'Khullamkhulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored' with his signature and in turn I sent him my book “Public Issues Before Parliament” about my work in Parliament. He read it and discussed it with me. Even though Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan are no longer among us, they will always live through their work. They can never be forgotten.
Rishi Kapoor’s departure like a song in his film ‘Bobby’ seems to say “The room got locked and the key got lost”.
Vijay Darda
Chairman
Lokmat Media
Departures that leave trail of grief
Departures that leave trail of grief
Departures that leave trail of grief

A lot will change after victory over Covid-19

Tight security became a part of our life after 9/11 and 26/11; health and hygiene will top our priority now
Time changes everything, goes a very old adage. But history stands an eloquent testimony to the fact that some drastic event alone changes the world or the world itself feels compelled to change. Whether the progenitor of these events is man or nature, the fact remains that the priorities and requirements of life change in their aftermath. New areas begin to develop.
So, the life after the conquest of coronavirus is going to change a lot; just like after 9/11 and 26/11, many drastic changes have come about in the world.
Prior to the apocalyptic event of September 11, 2001, there used to be no such stringent security arrangements at any airport anywhere in the world as they are today. Neither were state-of-the-art machines used for security check, nor long queues formed for checking. But the 9/11 incident changed the aviation system of not only America but the entire world. Immediately after the attack, America focussed itself on the fact that no such security breach should recur and for this, the Transportation Security Administration was established. More stringent new rules of security were laid down. The entire world followed them. Other than America, Israel, Russia, France and China have made impressive progress in this field. Now the machine detects what is in your bag or what is hidden by someone in their body at the airport during air travel. So much so that if someone carries some paste or any other liquid instead of ink in fountain pen, the bag containing it is separated automatically during security check. The aircraft of many countries are so advanced that they defuse lightning bolt before it strikes. Some aircraft even foil missile attack.
The impact of 9/11 was such that within 24 hours, big companies made whatever security arrangements they could. After that, there was a boom of security industry in America and it is thriving by leaps and bounds.
The growth rate of the security industry had been more than 2.5 per cent between 2015 and 2019.
Now let’s talk about India. The terrorist attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 made us realise that tight internal security should be our top priority. Our intelligence system should be very strong and efficient. The need for evolving and installing a security system that could monitor the visitors in public places was badly felt. After this, our country undertook the task of bringing public places under surveillance by installing closed-circuit television cameras. With better resolution cameras and other security equipment, new companies entered the market. Today, the industry is in full boom. The growth rate is between 20 and 25 per cent. 20 lakh cameras are being sold every month. The security and surveillance market in India in 2017 was worth `8,200 crore. It grew to `11,000 crore in 2018 and it is expected that this year it will grow to `20,000 crore. China has done tremendous work in security domain. There are cameras installed everywhere in that country. They track every person through face detection technology.
To sum up, our world will change once again after we declare victory over the virus that has ravaged the world.
India will change more in accordance with its needs. Healthcare and hygiene will be our biggest priorities. Unfortunately, healthcare and hygiene have not been priority for years in India.
You will be surprised to know that in 2018 only 1.28 per cent of the total GDP was spent on healthcare in our country. Earlier, this figure was only around 1 per cent. Let me tell you that a developed country like America still spends 4.6 per cent of its GDP, which is many times more than ours, on healthcare.
The way Covid-19 has created an atmosphere of fear as regards healthcare, it should be expected that in our country too, health services will become better and affordable to common man.
The condition of government hospitals will improve. The kind of cleanliness that is maintained in the ICU will be maintained in the rest of hospital too. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state governments have already pitched for cleanliness, the common man will also proactively become an ally in ensuring hygiene everywhere. It is no rocket science to guess that there will be a heightened awareness about private and public sanitation. The trend of handwashing has just caught on; it will become a permanent facet of our private and public life. The government will issue new guidelines on healthcare like how to keep your residence and office sanitized, what precautions to be taken to preserve health, among other things. The healthcare and hygiene sector will see a big boom. The consumption of soap, sanitizer, mask and some medicines will increase manifold.
Much more will change post-coronavirus. The very nature of our kitchen and catering services will change. Hygiene will be supreme. People will be more attracted towards yoga and exercise.
The nature of educational institutions will change too. Our country will also move towards online education. The way of air travel will change. The practice of wearing masks will increase. And yes, certain things will completely disappear from our lives. People will hardly shake hands with each other now. They will hug only someone who is very close! Salaam, Namaste will become etiquette!
Vijay Darda
Chairman
Lokmat Media
A lot will change after victory over Covid-19
A lot will change after victory over Covid-19
A lot will change after victory over Covid-19
 

Big opportunity for India amid crisis

Distressed by Covid-19 pandemic, the world is furious with China and many companies want to leave the country now!
There is always light at the end of the tunnel, goes the old adage. And the whole world is expecting the same in these tough times. Tomorrow holds a big hope for us if we are ready to take advantage of this opportunity.
The whole world is angry with China over the spread of Covid-19. A big news, in the meantime, flashed that about 1000 companies intend to move out of China and set foot in India. Of them, 300 companies have already started negotiations with the Indian government. If we are able to bring these companies to India, our economy will not only improve, we will also be able to earn an eminence in the world as a big economic power. In the 17th century, India was the greatest economic power in the world. We can regain the same status now!
Japanese and Australian companies have already expressed their wish to leave China. Japan is also ready to give a big economic package to such companies.
It is obvious that India is a better option for companies leaving China. There is also an atmosphere of trust across the world in the leadership of Narendra Modi given the kind of fight India has put up against coronavirus. If he invites the companies to India, they will definitely come. The best part is that we neither have shortage of raw materials nor lack resources or workforce. We are also a huge market for the world. This is exactly what companies want!
But to attract these companies, India needs to take some necessary steps.
The first thing is to ensure ease of doing business (EoDB)! According to the World Bank report, we are at 63rd position in EoDB. We should aspire to be among the first 10 countries. Despite dictatorial leftist rule, China is ranked 31st. Small countries are far above us in the ranking. We will have to bring about radical changes in government functioning if we want to move up the ladder. The first thing will be to change the labour laws and make them industry-friendly. Land allotment process will have to be simplified, uninterrupted and quality power supply will have to be ensured, security arrangements will have to be made, corruption will have to be curbed and more freedom will have to be given to the banks to function well. Right now, they fear being haunted by the investigating agencies (banks do not trust the assurances doled out in this regard). Industries will be attracted only when we make all these arrangements and convince them that all this is lasting. In case of telecom, the industry has realised that the facilities promised were not provided, which is not good. We have to understand that industries alone can generate employment.
I had raised the issue in Parliament that it was due to our policies that we fell behind in the hardware sector and China took advantage due to its policies.
When we can establish our supremacy in the world in terms of software, we have the ability to do so in hardware too but policies do not support us, and therefore, we have lagged behind.
This is even a bigger opportunity for Maharashtra. Most of the big industrialists are in Maharashtra. Mukesh Ambani, Tata group, Anand Mahindra, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Sachin Jindal, Unilever’s Sanjiv Mehta, Bajaj group, Gautam Singhania, finance sector wizards Deepak Parekh and Uday Kotak are prominent among them. There are many more names whose potential can be tapped into. Our chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has good relationship with all of them. He should take along finance minister and industries minister to build such a pool of resource persons that should focus only on bringing maximum industrial investments into Maharashtra. Uddhavji should also include Union minister Nitin Gadkari, former chief ministers Devendra Fadnavis, Prithviraj Chavan and Ashok Chavan, and former Union minister and industrialist Praful Patel in this task. Uddhavji holds talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi every other day.
He will also get support at the Central level. Naturally, in this case all leaders will work above politics. After all, who does not want to develop their state?
Uddhavji also has a team of very competent officers. We have a dedicated chief secretary Ajoy Mehta and his entire competent team. In particular, I would like to speak about principal secretary (industries) B Venugopal Reddy and development commissioner (industries) Harshdeep Kamble. I have seen B Venugopal Reddy work from very close quarters when he was divisional commissioner in Nagpur and Harshdeep Kamble as the district collector in Yavatmal. I can say that they have immense potential. The positive aspect of Maharashtra is that there is a strong team of qualified and dedicated officers here. If industries are to be attracted, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will have to be proactive and make effective the single-window system for industries, only then can success be achieved. How can we forget the departure of Cia Motors and Maruti from Maharashtra. We should invite such industries to set up their plants here.
I think that currently the world badly needs personal protective equipment (PPE), masks and sanitizers on a large scale. We can identify at least 50 such products.
By producing them in Maharashtra, we can meet the needs of the country and supply it to the world too. What is needed is the strong will power. It will also benefit in foreign capital investment because when companies come to India, they will definitely see which state in India is more better for them. We should not miss the opportunity.
Vijay Darda
Chairman
Lokmat Media
Big opportunity for India amid crisis
Big opportunity for India amid crisis
Big opportunity for India amid crisis

Creativity best way to deal with tough times

Though it is very difficult for people confined to their homes to spend time, there is a need to maintain a positive outlook
The decision of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to extend the lockdown in the state till April 30 was the need of the hour and shows his fortitude and vision. The way coronavirus has been wreaking havoc in different parts of the state leaves no option other than keeping ourselves confined to our homes to save ourselves as well as others.
Total compliance of this decision is necessary for the brighter future of us all.
But there is no doubt that it is very difficult for the person who used to step out for work in the morning and return home in the evening to spend time at home. It is not an easy task for the children who used to spend whole day studying and playing. After all, how much TV will you watch throughout the day, how much time will you spend on mobile? Surely, it is getting difficult for the people to pass the time, but we will have to deal with it! If you lose patience and courage, how will you win the war against coronavirus? I had written in this column that every person is a soldier in this war. There is no need to use gun or sword in this war. This war is the test of our patience, endurance and understanding. If we remain patient, do not step out for a few more days, the coronavirus chain will break and we will return to our old life again, with a winning spirit, new energy and new determination!
So let’s talk a little about how to splash the colours of happiness on this dark page of time!
I give an example of myself. Painting was my passion even during my childhood days and after that in my youth, but in the hustle and bustle of life, my hobby got sidelined somewhere. Some 25 years later, it returned to my life again last year when in Tadoba, I invited many famous artists of the country and organised an art camp. I also made paintings in that art camp. But after that, I was back to square one. Due to the preoccupation, painting remained neglected. When Covid-19 pandemic confined me to the four walls of home, I got some time and used it to create a painting with my brush. I named this painting ‘Corona’. These days I am reading some good books and penning some poetry too. Sometimes I get lost in the old songs and ghazals of my choice while sometimes I try to absorb energy from the spectrum of classical music. The specialty of art is that it creates positivity in you; it creates patience within you.
As a matter of fact, this difficult time can be combated only with our creativity. Nature has given you this time to nurture your hobbies, stay with family and understand each other.
If someone asks you which flower your wife likes, many of you will not be able to answer. This is the time to give new freshness to relationships. I am talking to all those people whom I did not get a chance to talk to in the last 25 or 30 years. Recently I was talking to my sister. She is an architect. I asked how she was spending her time. She said these days she was getting considerable time to contemplate, so she is making good designs for houses.
Normally, people are not able to give time to their children in the hurly-burly of life. They do not understand their children properly. This is the time to fill that gap. Spend time with them. Tell them the history of India. Tell them how this world got rid of plague and cholera epidemic. How we have made this nation strong. This motivational talk will infuse positivity in them and they will become stronger in spirit.
Nature has given us all this time for introspection. Delve into your past, think and then make plans for the future. And of course think about nature. If we destroy nature, we will destroy ourselves.
Take a pledge to do whatever you can at your own level to save nature in the best way. And in the end I would like to say that be fearless, don’t panic and remain guiltless.
Immerse yourselves in a new world of creativity within you. I am sure that all of us will come out of this crisis stronger and a more better people. Together we will make our future bright and this world a more beautiful place to live in!
Vijay Darda
Chairman
Lokmat Media
Creativity best way to deal with tough times
Creativity best way to deal with tough times
Creativity best way to deal with tough times

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