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Inclusiveness not an option, but a necessity, says ex-VP Hamid Ansari at Patna lecture

Delivering the 1st Syed Shahabuddin memorial lecture, ex-foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey said corporate-led growth, initiated by UPA and pursued by NDA, was not going to deliver an inclusive society.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2017 21:01 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Hamid Ansari,Ex-VP,Shahabuddin lecture
Ex Vice President Hamid Ansari at the Syed Shahabuddin memorial lecture in Patna on Saturday. (AP Dube/HT photo)

Former vice president of India M Hamid Ansarisaid here on Saturday that inclusiveness of all sections of the society by way of sharing the fruits of development, was not an option but a necessity for the country.

Ansari, who chaired the 1st Syed Shahabuddin Memorial Lecture, delivered by ex-foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey, on the topic, “How Inclusive is India’s Development?”, said, “inclusiveness is no longer an an option but a necessity. There is a need to think on the issue, at all levels, to achieve inclusiveness in the society.”

He remembered Shahabuddin, a bureaucrat-turned politician, as an exceptionally “honest and outspoken” man, who was born with a rebellious streak. But he went on to use the rebel within him to the advantage of the Indian Foreign Service and the nation, he said.

Ansari went on to say, “the land of Bihar is unique in the sense that it is home to ‘baagi’ (rebels) and ‘premi’ (enthusiast). But, often it turns out that such personalities change their roles to pursue their passion.”

With chief minister Nitish Kumar in the audience, Ansari’s statement created a momentary flutter, given the backdrop of Kumar’s exit from the three party ‘grand alliance in July and his decision to former a new government with the BJP as his partner.

But Ansari was quick to clear the air, making it clear he was alluding to Shahabuddin. “I cannot agree more with Muchkund Dubey’s observation that the “remarkably talented” Shahabuddin quit the service to pursue his passion on a larger canvas to work for the uplift of Muslims”, he said.

Former foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey was forthright in stating, “corporate-led growth, initiated by UPA and passionately pursued by NDA, is not going to deliver an inclusive society.”

In his key-note address, Dubey said that the strategy for achieving inclusive development, as against the concept of GDP and per capita-based inclusive growth, should aim at bringing about a basic change in social structure to usher in improvement in the lives of SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women.

Clarifying he was not suggesting an alternative to PM Narendra Modi’s policies, Dubey said, “all that I am indicating is the pressing need for an alternative, wherein a political party adopts only a two-point manifesto promising government-backed access to quality education and health services for all in five years.”

Inclusion, he said, was necessary not only for accelerating the growth rate and sustaining it but also for saving the country from disintegration. “If I have the liberty to add, I will make it two plus two, with the addition of the promise for setting up a commission for execution of a five-year plan for the removal of ‘initial handicaps’, based on caste, creed and income, for those losing out in the growing rich-poor divide,” he said, pointing, “strengthening the panchayati raj institutions would the last point.”

Demolishing the halo around “ease of doing business”, he said the rankings are based on the premise that countries have to reduce fiscal deficit and cut expenditure on social welfare.

He also debunked the talks of India beating China, fuelled on false patriotism, saying, “one needs to be realistic in acknowledging China’s position on social indicators, achievement in poverty alleviation, tackling inequality, its past year-on-year growth rate of 10 for the last 25 years, the size of its economy—the gap of which cannot be overcome by the .2% growth advantage.”

Earlier, former minister and eldest daughter of Late Syed Shahabuddin Parveen Amanullah introduced the topic, while Iqbal Ahmad, who conducted the programme, recalled how Shahabuddin, asthe editor of Muslim India magazine, had outlined what needs to be done for the uplift of Muslims some two decades before Sacchar Committee came out with a similar recommendation. Earlier, Parveen’s husband and retired IAS officer Afzal Amanullah, receive Ansari and CM Nitish Kumar.

First Published: Nov 04, 2017 21:01 IST

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