This is not the future we want

In what appears to be draft zero of the BJP’s election manifesto, NITI Aayog released the ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’ document in 2018. This high-sounding and aspirational strategy aims to achieve a ‘New India’ by 2022, when the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence.The strategy has many progressive objectives. It follows the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Inclusion, sustainability, participation, gender equality and other buzzwords find mention. A cursory reading would evoke widespread appreciation.But these documents can’t be read cursorily. We need to unearth what’s hidden in their depths. Is there a consistent and well-thought-out strategy to meet the objectives? Are there contradictory elements that could defeat the objectives? Are there hidden motivations, not so benign? On one such reading of India @ 75, focusing on ecological and related livelihood concerns, there is serious doubt as to whether the ‘New India’ this strategy envisages will be any different from the crisis-ridden society we are today.

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