Prime Minister Narendra Modi was speaking at the BJP’s membership drive in Varanasi on July 6. Since it was a party event addressing the workers, it came as a surprise when PM Modi, at the initial phase of his speech itself, started explaining the dream of $5 trillion economy that India is aiming to achieve in the next five years. In fact, he himself said, “You may be wondering why I am talking about economy at the karyakarta meet. I am not an economist.” Then he explained through a very simple concept which everybody can understand, “size of the cake matters”, suggesting that when the Indian economy grows bigger, the beneficiaries will be the people as they get a bigger share.
The act of PM Modi speaking in length about the $5 trillion economy at the event related to party workers is significant for many reasons.
Setting Higher Goals for the Workers
PM Modi on many occasions had made stated categorically that any big endeavor can’t be successful without people’s participation. In fact, Jan Bhagidari is a constant feature in PM Modi’s governance approach as seen in the instance of Swachh Bharat. In the economic sphere too, the PM evidently wants people to get inspired by the very idea of India becoming $5 trillion economy. So, he asked BJP members to go door to door to explain what his government’s dream of turning India into a $5 trillion economy actually meant for them.
What it Means to Me and My Family? – PM’s Explanation
At the beginning, PM Modi dealt with this angle briefly when he said “size of the cake matters”. Many people may still ask, this $5 trillion idea may be prestigious for the nation but what is in it for me? He addressed this concern with further detail when he explained what economists would call a ‘virtuous cycle’ in very simple terms and said, “When per capita income increases in any country, it increases the purchasing capacity. When the purchasing capacity increases, the demand increases. As demand increases, production increases, service expands. This increases per capita income, increases family savings.”
Endeavouring to urge people towards an aspirational goal, he categorically asked people, and in fact the nation itself, to stop seeing poverty as a virtue.
PM Modi took on sceptics who criticize India’s aspiration of becoming $5 trillion economy by terming them as “Professional Pessimists” who have a problem-centric attitude and not a solution-centric one. He further asserted his faith with a touch of poetry when he said, “Many people have questioned the target but criticism only strengthens my resolve.”
“Woh jo saamne mushkilon ka ambaar hai, uss hi se to mere honsalon ki minar hai.”
Not just poetry, PM Modi also stated facts which the workers and common people can easily understand. He said,
“Today, looking at the history of most of the developed countries, at one time, their per capita income was not very high. But there was a time in the history of these countries when per capita income grew rapidly in a short while. This was the era when these countries moved from developing to developed countries.”
PM Modi also spoke of the progress already made and how to build on it further. He said
“We are looking at farmers as exporters, beyond just being producers of food. Therefore, the budget has special emphasis on creating an environment for export of agricultural products. Remarkable progress has been made in the food processing sphere which is helping to add value to farmers’ produce.”
He said, “We are also focusing on building a clean India, a healthy India, a beautiful India to make the $5 trillion journey easier. The contribution made by every citizen of the country to sanitation over the years has reinforced our efforts to build a healthy India.”
In popular discourse, that too, in a party related event, economy is not the thing leaders want to deliberate upon as the topic is often regarded as an academic one. But PM Modi, by explaining the concept and roadmap of a $5 trillion economy to the workers and the people in simple language, has tried to take public discourse to a higher level.