Gita based Needonomics and Street Smart Indians for Survival and Revival of Economy
The Indian leadership and its think-tank have to accept the realities of economic crisis in terms of slow growth rate, recession and underemployment more serious than unemployment among educated youth. Is there any mantra to fix the problems in the Indian economy? Should we think of Atamnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan as panacea for reviving the economy?
Former Vice Chancellor Dr. M.M. Goel, known as ‘Needonomist’ Professor retired from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra spoke to Dr. Sanchita Bansal (SB), Assistant Professor of Management, GGSIPU, Delhi on the principle of ‘Needonomics’
1 Conceptualise Needonomics with its scope in present times ?
Needonomics (economics of needs) is based on Bhagvad Gita as an ‘Idea of India’ which is nonviolent , ethical and spiritual in nature confining to needs. It says no to greed which falls in the domain of greedonomics (economics of greed ) . It authenticates economic thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi to considerable extent.
I believe that ‘needonomics’ is necessary and sufficient for solving the economic and non-economic problems anywhere in the world including India.
Needonomics is required for saying no to most of the problems caused by Greedonomics (economics of greed) including violence, terrorism, exploitation, deprivation, discrimination, discontent and corruption of all kinds prevailing in the society. Endless greed is the real menace facing the world today.
To my mind, an economist who speaks and argues needonomics is known as Needonomist.
2 Which strategy should be adopted to implement the principle of ‘Needonomics?’
To implement the principle of ‘Needonomics’, I believe that strategy of spiritually guided materialism (SGM) flowing from Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India’s slogan seen in the logo ‘yogakshemam vahamyaham’ is in Sanskrit which loosely translates into English as “Your welfare is our responsibility” derived from sloka no 22 of chapter 9 of Bhagvad Gita “ananyāśh chintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate teṣhāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣhemaṁ vahāmyaham”. Meaning there by “There are those who always think of Me and engage in exclusive devotion to Me. To them, whose minds are always absorbed in Me, I provide what they need and preserve what they already possess”
Recession in the global economy including India is a reality to be accepted by all the stakeholders in an economy. It needs proper diagnosis by the economists of all shades and creed with Gita based wise words of wisdom (www) to create conducive climate and work culture with honesty of purpose. It needs to be understood, analysed and interpreted that spiritualism and materialism are complementary to each other and not substitutes. To mitigate the miseries of materialism, modern economics must consist of spiritualism which is necessary and sufficient for ethical behaviour of economic actors including consumers, producers, distributors, traders and above all policy makers and facilitators. Economists have the unique responsibility towards the moral empowerment of all the actors in the economy.
3 What is concept of consumer psychology to adopt Needonomics?
A consumer as a hero of economics is always interested in a heroin (goods and services) and all those who pollute the relationship are called villains in the real drama in the market. Everyone is a consumer and is expected to behave in the market with rational behaviour which falls in the domain of consumer psychology.
Consumer psychology is the study of why and how people buy things in the market (online and offline). Every consumer should consume the goods and services as per the needs. It is unfortunate that leading economists of the world promote greed as the basis of economic growth, turning it into a “Greedonomics”. Economics should be based on need, not on greed. It should be a “Needonomics”, and not a “Greedonomics”.
4 Conceptualise Street Smart person in present global dynamics?
A person is street smart with the attributes including simple, moral, action oriented, responsive and transparent (SMART) along with needonomics in the present economic scenario of materialism and consumerism.
We have to adopt SIMPLE model of empowerment consisting of six human development activities such as spiritual quotient (SQ) development, intuition development, mental level development, love oneself attitude development and emotional quotient (EQ) development. The synergy of these six aspects is essential requirement for us to emerge and realize our full potential.
To ensure public participation in Atamnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan , we need to become street smart in using smart phones under digital India for most of the activities online.
5 What is your perception about globalization in present times of Covid created economic crisis?
To my mind, globalization is internationalization of Indianization which I have been promoting since 1991.
To implement the vision of ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced by Indian prime minister, we should avoid over emphasizing ‘vocal for local’ and be little diplomatic and use the wisdom for ‘Glocalization’ meaning thereby think globally and act locally for promoting Vasudhiava Kutumbakam (the world is one family) as the Indian ethos.
6 What is your take about the epic Gita and its relevance in needonomics?
Bhagvad Gita is a treatise on welfare economics and management and needs to be accepted as a sacro-secular epic for the entire humanity. For me, Gita is my guru which is the heart of Krishan. Economy can be people friendly and socially beneficial only if undertaken in accordance with NAW approach (Need, Affordability and Worth of the goods and services). The pertinent questions before the people ‘Do one Need the good or service, which has been so glamorously advertised? Is the good or service Affordable? Is the good or service Worth its price?’ The market should satisfy the essential needs of the people, create employment opportunities and be utilitarian. We have to understand, analyse, interpret and adopt NAW approach for the goods and services. To create work culture, there is need of converting holiday culture in to holy-day culture. I firmly believe that the rate of progress in spiritualism is faster than the rate of progress in materialism. Therefore, there is need of accepting spiritually guided materialism (SGM) making a case for ‘needonomics’ which is nonviolent, ethical and spiritual (no to greed ‘greedonomics’) as a solution of various problems in any economy. Believe in the Indians as street smart who can do wonders. Efficacy and esteem should be the belief to shape the economy which calls for zealous (not jealous) human resources with spiritual input. To make it happen we should adopt an evolutionary approach and should not expect miracles.