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RSS chief proposes self-reliance, will Modi ignore it to embrace free trade agreement?

Mohan Bhagawat said that the government's decision to relax foreign direct investment norms and disinvestment of public enterprises are borne out of compulsion to strengthen the economy

twitter-logo Joe C Mathew   New Delhi     Last Updated: October 9, 2019  | 10:12 IST
RSS chief proposes self-reliance, will Modi ignore it to embrace free trade agreement?
RSS supremo Mohan Bhagawat / Image source: PTI

RSS supremo Mohan Bhagawat has given a clear directive that India's international trade relations should be rooted in self-reliance. The observation from the ideological parent of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government may influence Modi government's decision on key international trade negotiations including the impending final stage talks on the proposed 16 nation mega free trade deal Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) slated for the next week.

Bhagawat's comments came as part of his annual Vijayadashami address to the Sangh Parivar on October 8th.

According to RSS chief, only those who have got the capacity to be self-reliant and provide employment for all in the country and keeping oneself secured, can build and expand the international trade relations and offer a secure and healthy future for the entire humanity. "Considering our economic scenario, even if we have to choose any circuitous route, we must overcome the compulsions once and for all by setting a destination and direction based on our own strength", Bhagawat said.

The RSS chief's observations hint at India tightening its negotiating stand at the RCEP.

The annual address took note of the global economic slowdown and said that its impact is felt everywhere, including India. Bhagawat appreciated the BJP government's efforts to revive the economy. " Many countries including Bharat have to suffer the results of the ongoing global trade war between the US and China. The government has taken many initiatives to tide over the situation in the last one-and-a-half months. This gives a definite indication of the government's sensitivity towards people's interests and its prompt and proactive attitude. We will definitely come out of this cycle of so-called recession. The personalities leading our economy are competent enough", said Bhagawat.

Stating that the government's decision to relax foreign direct investment norms and disinvestment of public enterprises are borne out of compulsion to strengthen the economy, the RSS chief demanded more alacrity, efficiency at the lower level of implementing many government schemes and welfare policies. "Avoiding unnecessary stringency can set many matters right", he opined.

The speech highlighted the need for Swadeshi consciousness and urged the government to not forget that while seeking answers to the pressures of the situation, as it will also lead to the loss. Quoting late RSS ideologue Dattopant Thengadi, Bhagawat said Tengadi considered 'Swadeshi' as an expression of patriotism in day-to-day life.

According to him, to minimise the impact of other immediate crises and the ups and downs of the world economy on our financial system, one should go to the basics and ponder. "We have to formulate our own economic vision keeping in mind our requirements, profile and condition of our people and our resources and potential to realise our national aspirations. The prevailing world economic thought is unable to answer many questions. Its standards are also incomplete in many ways", he said.

Bhagawat stressed the need to take steps to formulate India's own economic vision, policy and system "that instil in us capacity to create more and more employment with least consumption of energy that is beneficial for the environment, make us self-reliant in every respect, and create and expand trade relations with the world on the basis of our strength and terms".

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