Saturday, April 14, 2007

Prosperity Index

Speaking at a function at Delhi University’s Shri Ram College of Commerce, President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, said: “For achieving Vision 2020 ~ inclusive growth of our one billion people ~ we need a comprehensive measure of our growth in terms of a National Prosperity Index”.

The President urged the students and faculty to go beyond the Gross Domestic Product and devise the National Prosperity Index on the basis of “key socio-economic parameters”: availability of proper nutrition, potable water, sanitation, housing, employment, quality education and healthcare ~ and “a value system derived from our civilizational heritage”.

Image: Santhal Village, Chaibasa, Jharkhand, by Marcus Leatherdale.


Rahul Banerjee said...

venkat your output is simply prodigious. it looks as if you do nothing else other than blog! i am afraid i am not upto the same kind of creativity and have decided to be only an occasional blogger and spend my time posting comments on other people's blogs. here i want to say something about the hypocrisy of apj which has bothered me for quite some time. he regularly spouts these kind of righteous trash without for one moment backtracking from modern military industrial development which makes such righteous trash sound hypocritical!

Holden Caulfield said...

Well, we have paid the price for such armchair idealism in the past. Ban the institution of nation states altogether. Kissinger got it right when he said it is dangerous to put dreamers in positions of power. When other nation states are self-interested, it is utter foolishness to propose banning of military development. If we do not do it, other countries will. US warships patrol in Guam, in Diego Garcia. China is breathing down our neck as they are looking for oil.

Most postmodern (a.k.a. immense conceptualization, with no contextual familiarity; there's nothing outside the text) intellectuals consider 'patriotism' as second-grade philosophy. They forget that patriotism is nothing but a concern for our own people.

I have worked to scout for, promote, disseminate, protect intellectual property rights and incubate grassroots innovations. APJ was a wonderful patron.

He is a great man, and continues to inspire many. I wish him long life, and hope he keeps up his good work for many years to come.

Rapid I Movement said...

@ Caulfield - I think militarization, under any pretext, is harmful for civil progress.

And the dichotomy couldn't be more prominent than the China case. There they are, building ICBM's which gives the Pentagon extreme headaches, and at the same time there's this sense of a silence genocide being perpetrated in the land where people (including, I hear, a Harvard med. school graduate) are being forced into cheap labours for US products.

I think India will do well not to follow China in this regard. The US is of course a gone case. One can only wonder at what cost the whole world has to bear daily to feed this gargantuan industry called the United States of America and the Pentagon.

rama said...

Hi Rahul - prodigious output is simply because I have become quite adept and speedy with the task of blogging.

APJ - I recall, 5 years ago, just as he became President, I was wondering whether this would mean something new for India. It seems that hope was quite misplaced. The office of President is hardly one to do anything substantive! I suppose one should grant that he has said things from his position which many, esp. young peope, never heard or thought before. But yes, he has not touched on fundamentals, such as the military-industrial complex. His latest sermon about Prosperity Index - surely the military-industrial complex is inimical to that!!

Holden - unfortunate, your choice of Kissinger, to quote! It is perhaps more dangerous for powerful people to dream! Where will the pragmatic, patriotic militarism eventually take us?? There can be other forms of patriotism too - concern for one's own people. And to what avail militarist patriotism, when all around all one can see is the disregard of common folk, as if they did not exist? Anyway, thanks for expressing your views.

Rahul Banerjee said...

holden you are in a typical prisoner's dilemma kind of trap. since the other guy is stockpiling arms so i too will have to do it otherwise i am dead. this is a silly kind of logic because in the end we will all be dead. i would like to mention here yossarian of joseph heller's famous satire of world war 2 - catch 22.
when asked which he prefers more, staying alive or winning the war yossarian replies that he wants both because winning the war is of no use to a dead man. He is castigated for such a view, which it is alleged would only help the enemy. He cynically replies that the enemy is the person who gets one killed regardless of the side he is on. so holden try to break out of this war mentality that is sure to get all of us killed one day regardless of the country or side we are in!