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Introduction to Vision 2020


November 13, 2002

Inspiring knowledge impelling us to action is vision. A vision that originates in the truth of things achieves more than it has envisioned. Leaders of the nation burned with an urge to make India prosperous. Indira once cried in despair that she, by her best efforts, did not know how to go about it and declared that scholars alone could help. C. Subramaniam, having recounted the nation's effort at prosperity from the Community Development Programme down to Block Development concept, echoed the same despair. Nehru, perhaps among the world leaders, was the only one who had the answer to Prosperity: it is to develop the consciousness of the masses. All the world experts he consulted could not help converting that sublime knowledge of his into a vision or a plan of action.


The complete independence India won in 1947 was a result of a unique revolution unknown to history but born on Indian soil. It was not fought for, but it was given by an Act of the House of Commons, though it had not come unsullied by the taint of brotherly blood. That is our heritage. Standing on the shoulders of these Freedom Fighters, we are called upon to usher in another Revolution, a revolution that abolishes poverty. Let us call it a movement of Prosperity. This is a Revolution. It cannot be done either by imitation of the advanced nations or even by what we call emulation. Such an attitude over the past 55 years has only led to a slavery of mind. It is a pity or irony of fate that the political revolution of Indian freedom should lead to a slavish mentality, rather our minds becoming slaves. We seem to love it and be proud of it.

  • All the attitudes of colonial days must be thrown away lock, stock and barrel and ruthlessly.
  • A new set of mental beliefs should replace them and they must be born out of the SOIL even as the method of freedom was from the Indian social culture.

We were not shy of organising for our Freedom; rather, we were proud of it. Let us not be shy of awakening in our native spirit. Our strength lies there and only there and anything else is moonshine, Shankara's Maya. It may be mistaken as a reversion to a life of austere sannyasa, chanting mantras and being lost in trance. The future is built on the past, not on the Form of the past, but the Essence of the past.


            Give up the old Form;

Cherish its Essential Knowledge.

The nation took the success of the Green Revolution for granted. He who fathered it left the ministry in 1 1/2 years. He was almost oblivious of his accomplishment, as he had not done anything he was not doing all the time. He was the son of a farmer who knows the science of achievement as an art of accomplishment. The mysterious expertise behind the Green Revolution is the genius of India, a capacity to accomplish an act. It issues from the hallowed tradition of the nation that is India. To heavily draw upon the rich wisdom of the past accomplished civilisation to solve the present problems and utilise the opportunities fully is what is meant by awakening the dormant Spirit of India, instead of borrowing alien models which meet with a dismal failure here.


            The explosive expansion of software export was mainly because unconsciously that movement stirred an anciently inherited capacity for mathematics. And that is one strand. A conscious appreciation of all the nation's age-old inherited capacities will naturally awaken the activities of India on all fronts. That is the vision arrived at and its needs a will too. Napoleon gave Europe a higher organisation of governance. In 1940 Churchill turned his face away from those who mouthed pious hopes and stirred the very best in the nation to save the world. The New Deal gave a higher content to democracy capitalising on enormous sacrifice of the US population over a few centuries. That is why the US is leading the world. A nation's strength lies in building on its past rich, valuable inheritance. World travelers have spoken about the truthfulness of the entire population of India in earlier centuries. India was rich, had no beggars or thieves according to the observation of an English Lord 150 years ago. Building upon our innate truthfulness, capacities of production and a life of peaceful existence, today India can shed the vestige of poverty more quickly than the most ambitious and unrealistic planning can conceive of. This is not something for a government to do. The society at large can accomplish this miracle when it KNOWS its own strength. We see Korea and Taiwan on such a path out of another circumstance of being an occupied territory. Prosperity is always welcome, but when it comes out of Self-conception and social, political freedom, it is vaster and more lasting and especially cannot have recoils or side effects. No planning can ever do it by itself.

Such a social will issues out of Self-esteem

as well as Self-confidence.


How can a nation occupying the 134th rank have self-esteem and how can Self-confidence  issue out of foreign aid? A few years ago Nehru Memorial Lecture outlined the ideas of such self-reliance. When the nation realises that all the money she needs for all her projects is available within the four corners of this poor nation, naturally self-confidence will surge forward. India can achieve in a couple of decades or earlier what the world took centuries to accomplish if only She is determined to draw upon her heavy reservoirs of inspirational energy. One historical example that is a parallel for this phenomenon is the US achieved in a few centuries what Europe took over a millennium to complete. What will achieve this glorious vision?

  • A comprehensive knowledge of its possibility.
  • An indomitable will that exceeds the strength of will that achieved Freedom.
  • A clear pronouncement of the policies that can achieve it.
  • Total commitment to achieve the indispensable.



  • Asian Tigers indicate a possibility of extraordinary growth of prosperity under non-democratic conditions.
  • One new city in China exporting $30 billion speaks of another, though under similar conditions.
  • The success of white revolution shows the power of organisation.
  • The recent boom in the metros and major cities show that when the population bestirs itself, it is capable of vast achievements.
  • Is it possible for us to conceive of the very best possibility for India? he very best for India today is what the society can achieve on its own initiative when its own Self-Confidence rises to self-esteem.
  • All these possibilities can be explained, but there is nothing like seeing such possibilities changing into actualities in a model we now create.

The great Truth behind these tall claims is that India, as any other nation, has all the capacities to accomplish as the West has done. But they are in potential. The knowledge that RECOGNISES that deeper potential is essential. It becomes a comprehensive knowledge and hence powerful when it is converted into a plan of action.


The Will that Commits

We know of people talking about doing what is possible. Maybe it is all right for administration. For the leadership of a country that desires to achieve, what is needed is commitment. When England faced Hitler to whom all European nations offered a facile surrender, including France, England did not choose to follow suit. They never raised the question of how their 248 bombers were going to match Hitler's 745 bombers. Nor did they ask where to go for the needed money.

Commitment FIRST, evaluation NEXT.


No nation thinks in terms of whether to survive or not. India should survive as a prosperous nation. She should no longer exist as a poor nation. It is a goal to be achieved. Let us never ask whether it is possible. Our duty is to make it possible. The nation is astir. The leadership must rise to the occasion. If not, the leadership that can accomplish will soon emerge.

India will achieve the position of a middle income nation sooner or later. Of course, one day she will rise higher still. Having achieved such a target, she will know HOW she achieved. That knowledge now will hasten the accomplishment. Such knowledge is there, as it is the experience of some nations. India should endeavour to acquire that knowledge - the theory behind it.

Let a MODEL of the size of a district be created now and let us experiment with all our enthusiastic endeavours there.

  • The real purpose of a MODEL is to inspire other parts of India.
  • It has a greater use in being a pilot project where all the problems the nation will face in future will be met with and overcome. It will serve as an occasion to test the validity of ideas full of future potentials.

The Vision 2020 expects quadrupling the per capita income which means an average family of five will have an annual income of about Rs two lakhs. If well organised, it may be several-fold more if  the following approaches are accepted.

  • Choose a district where no political leader has a vested interest and by an ORDINANCE suspend the operation of all existing laws there for the project period.
  • Provide the project a corruption-free administration.
  • Concentrate there all the presently available schemes.
  • Draw up schemes based on the maximum potentials with all the existing organisations - banks, universities, voluntary agencies, insurance companies, newspapers, etc. etc. - coordinating and evolve fresh projects based on that.

- This alone, as we see in the experience of other nations, is capable of raising the GNP 25 times.

- Make essentials of development such as universal education, deep ploughing, recharging the aquifer, and guaranteed employment compulsory by law.

  • Let all the physical infrastructures like roads, and the social infrastructure like phones be created there in saturation.
  • Give vast scope for the most talented.
  • Admit no foreign aid to operate in the project area.
  • Let the productivity of land be raised as high as possible not so much for increased food production but to lessen the percentage of population in agriculture.
  • Encourage all private initiative.
  • Evolve values based on Spirituality to address water scarcity and all other scarcities.
  • Break the vicious cycles and initiate virtuous cycles wherever possible.
  • Replace competition by cooperation.
  • Culture work values such as punctuality, orderliness in a crowd, etc.
  • Implement the 100 Million job scheme as it applies to the district.
  • Do not try to create JOBS; create fields of productive exercise.
  • Saturate the place with vocational institutes. By law, compel major industries to start such schools on a commercial basis.

The Freedom of 1947 means Self-reliance, not dependence on foreign aid. Foreign aid may not do damage to the self-reliance of a nation if it is received as training and technical assistance.

Draw upon the reservoir of Spirit.

  • Spirituality is common to all religions and has no capacity to clash with the secularism of the nation. In the fifties when Madras Presidency[1] was suffering from drought, Rajaji as the Prime Minister[2]  of the state gave a call to pray at the temples, mosques and churches. The leftist opposition twitted him. Rain came down copiously to the relief of all. Maximum utilisation of water is attention to water. It is a spiritual principle that whatever you pay attention to will grow to abundance. Recharging the aquifer, rain water harvesting, measures good in themselves, are spiritual principles that; in action, will wipe out water scarcity.
  • We are not shy of using the mind and being intelligent in our work. Spirit is, like mind, a higher principle. Let us not be shy of being SPIRITUAL. All life can be spiritual.
  • Acting spiritually, efficiency rises and there can be no objection to it.
  • Dozens of financial services prevalent in the West and every conceivable scheme like insurance are here as a mere token. Take them further.
  • Integrating insurance with other fields like education, agriculture and insisting on the whole field using it will go a long way towards making the country prosperous. The MODEL will demonstrate it.
  • Integration of different services is capable of far greater yields than very successful individual activities.
  • The greatest spiritual principle is self-reliance, which can emerge when foreign aid is refused and our own resources are drawn upon.



The Future of India lies in Following the Inspiration of 1947

  • India never resorted to armed struggle to win freedom, but resorted to her soul-force. It was out of her superior force, not out of weakness.
  • The corollary must continue in the army, administration, trade, commerce, education, culture, finance, internal harmony and every conceivable walk of life.
  • So long after freedom, we find we are bodily free but enslaved in mind. One should get back this freedom of Mind which means we can borrow anything from others as mental adults, not as subservient beings.
  • For a couple of decades, people are talking of economics as economics as if people mattered. The West, having built up a modern civilisation, tries to lose its mental freedom while we are following them without any achievement of that description.
  • Kurien hit the nail on the head when he exclaimed 'It is the man who made the cow yield. What is the idea of praising the cow?'
  • Life is for man, economy is man-centered...Man first, anything next. First things first is sensible and it is Spiritual, as it says Brahman first, creation next.
  • For this vision of 2020 to be realised, the centre of that vision must be MAN. Man should not be subordinated to outer circumstances. They should evolve around him, for him, and with him as the dominant force.
  • Such an approach releases the pupil in the school from the tyranny of memorisation and the system, man from the thralldom to money, the citizen from his subservience to society.
  • New understandings emerge out of this approach such as

1) no further progress can ever be made till the existing potentials are exhausted,

2)      enormous creativity surfaces by integrating each organisation with every       other existing organisation,

3)   the rural side is replete with wisdom which they are not aware of.



1   the name in those days.

[2]   the name in those days

story | by Dr. Radut