Modifying India From A Psychologist’s Eyes!

In most of the government advertisements we often see, #Transforming India or ‘Desh Badal Rahaa hei’ taglines. What is that really changing in India? How Prime Minister Modi is bringing transformation through reform, perform, transform and finally inform formula? These are some questions which are still going round and round in the minds of the people.

People go for numbers to see how the country is progressing. They look into GDP figures, the level of increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and many other economic indicators to measure the growth and development of the country. But we need to see certain other things too.

Many people ask “What is so new about Swachch Bharat?”. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapayee had initiated Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) as a cleanliness drive. The same campaign was remodelled and continued by UPA government under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the name of ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan’. It was further remodelled in the form of ‘Swachch Bharat’ by PM Modi. There have been cumulative improvements in these sanitation schemes. However, Swachch Bharat has taken a shape of movement rather than remaining just as a government scheme for sanitation.

UPA government had started National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) to enhance digital penetration in the country. But what is the speciality of Digital India program? Apart from lot of changes in policy level right from funding to inclusion of electronic manufacturing, Digital India program has been successful in reaching people at ground level and many people are aware about it. With the boost for smartphones in Indian market, large number of people are aspiring to become digital. This aspiration itself will push them to get acquainted with the technology. If government puts some more efforts into spreading digital literacy and build a robust infrastructure, then people will catch it up.

Despite various economists emphasising on financial inclusion and successive governments trying for it, people were not getting into the banking system. Pradhan Mantri Jandhan Yojana (PMJDY) was became another movement for opening bank accounts which not only brought people into banking net but also insurance net and introduced plastic money concept to them through Rupay cards. Still when the government found that many people were still not getting into the banking system, Prime Minister Modi threw a googly in the form of demonetization. May be for some time, it becomes difficult for people who do not have bank accounts. But on a long run, when all citizens of the country have a bank account, then most of the transactions can be done electronically. If electronic payments exceed cash payments in UK and average Britain citizen carries only 17.79 pounds; if Korea plans to go cashless by 2020, then why not India also become if not cashless at least less cash economy? If there is no issue of privacy or governmental control for citizens of those countries, then what is the problem for Indians?

Indian rural women have been suffering from indoor air pollution since time immemorial. They have deteriorated their health by cooking with firewoods. LPG cylinders were not accessible for large section of vulnerable people. In order to address this, PM gave a call for the people to ‘Give up’ the subsidized cylinders if they could afford. The result was phenomenal. More than 1 crore people gave up LPG subsidy which saved above 4,000 crores of rupees which the government is using in Ujwala scheme to provide LPG for the poor.

As per the studies, very less percentage of Indian population take initiatives. Entrepreneurship nature is very much lacking among large number of people. Everyone wants to work in certain established organizations or government jobs where life is more settled and not adventurous. There are other several reasons too like lack of government support and access to credit and so on. By starting Start up India and Stand up India program, PM Modi has addressed these major setbacks from the government side to promote entrepreneurship. In fact, with these programs, young energetic youths are motivated to own a start up rather than be an employee of someone. Narendra Modi has emphasised in his several speeches on becoming an employer rather than employee. It is bearing the fruits in the recent times.

In one of his speeches, PM Modi stressed on respecting the soldiers of the country. He said that if soldiers are walking through a railway station or in an airport, then all the people sitting over there will stand up and clap for the soldiers to show their respect for them. However, here in India this culture is not there yet. In order to inculcate this, Modi has been visiting the soldiers for every Deepavali festival and celebrates it with them. That is how the perception towards the soldiers and their sacrifice is being changed among the people.

Finally, what is this transformation that we are seeing in this country? These are all behavioural changes that we are seeing among the Indians. The cognitive construct about India is being changed. The perception about India is being changed across the world. The conditioning of the people is broken and new things are brought in lives. ‘Sab ka saath, sabka vikas’ is being seen in a holistic way. So, in total, the mindset is being changed. This is very important for our country because, if once the mindset is changed towards a positive aspect of life, then it will continue for generations and the country will take up a progressive path. Unless and until people change, the country cannot change. Therefore, “Desh Badal Rahaa hei aur Log bhi badal rahe hei” (The country is transforming and the people too are transforming).

Akshara Damle

You can reach the author on twitter @aksharadamle