Development needs cooperation and blessings rather opposition!
Maharashtra is the most advanced state in the country. In most sectors like industry, agriculture, services, Information Technology, education Maharashtra leads other states by some margin. Even today the state receives biggest chunk (18.5 %) of the total industrial investment in India. Of the total foreign investment, 23 percent is diverted into Maharashtra. Whatever may be the claims made by other state leaders, Maharashtra still dwarfs other states in terms of GDP, per capita income, human development index.
No prosperity anywhere in the world is possible without industrial development. Those who made advances in this field have long since become superpowers. Today, in India the agriculture sector is growing at a meagre 1.75 %. Compared to this, industrial sector is showing a far more robust growth of 9 to 10 %. Of all the revenue divisions in state, Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur divisions are frontrunners in industrial growth. After the announcement of various incentives, even the backward and underdeveloped parts of the state are now attracting industrial investment. Locals are making a beeline for projects to ensure that their region does not lag in industrial progress. Pune has taken lead in IT and automobile sector. Aurangabad is also emerging as automobile hub. Nagpur is attracting textile, engineering and energy projects. People and leaders in most parts have realised that their region cannot see development without industrial progress. In the Konkan region Mumbai, Thane and Raigad have experienced massive industrialisation. In the lower Konkan however there are two exceptions to trend – Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
Earlier, the two most backward regions in the state were identified as Vidarbha snd Marathwada. In Marathwada growing of cash crops like sugarcane, cotton, soya bean has generated considerable processing industrial activity. In Vidarbha too cotton and soya bean related industry has become chief revenue generator. Many textile projects are sprouting out of Vidarbha, Khandesh, Marathwada and western Maharashtra. From cotton to yarn to garment export is the path of prosperity adopted by many farmers and industrialists across Maharashtra.
Why am I elaborating all this? Where do I find my fellow Konkani Manus on the development map of Maharashtra? Why is he not participating in all this activity? As I ponder over this question I reach to the sad conclusion that, rather than thinking about development or harbouring any ambition about progress some people here are drawing pleasures in thwarting this entire process. They are too happy to create meaningless hurdles. That is the reason why cooperative movement could never really take off in lower Konkan. Big industries, factories could not be established. Those industries which came our way could not sustain themselves in hostile atmosphere. High paying jobs could not be generated. Highly educated youth from the region dispersed to foreign countries or to different parts of the state and country. Many settled there. This has to change. Locals should be able to build industries out of resources, minerals available in this region. They should also warmly welcome industries coming from outside Konkan. Their support and cooperation is pivotal. This will generate jobs. Big pay-cheques will bring prosperity to scores of households. The situation is ripe to bring in industries, to develop tourism and food-processing. We just need to change the mindset! We need to show some courage and ambition. We must be able to work hard to fulfill our dreams. New generation is far smarter and sensible. With proper guidance and motivation they have the ability to transform the region and themselves. About this I don’t have an iota of doubt.
Just look around you. The state of Goa is of the same size as that of Sindhudurg. And yet, on the scale of per capita income Goa is far ahead of most other states. This has been achieved mostly through advances in tourism. Big hotels, entertainment parks have been constructed. There were no protests or agitations when land for such sites was acquired. Similar progress in tourism was made by states like Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Another noteworthy aspect of these states is the garment industry. After China, this trinity of states is the biggest garment supplier to the world. Now the climate in these states is similar to that of Sindhudurg. Why then garment or textile industry could not be created in our region? Provision for seed capital and subsidy has been made in the State Industrial Policy for 2013. Those who like to call themselves leaders need to take initiative here, but they are not. Why? What is holding them back? By opposing every possible proposal they are only depriving the region of lower Konkan any chance of progress. They seem to have no ambition to transform this part on the line of Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad.
I acknowledge here that all this elaboration on the plight of Konkan is not going to change the mindset of my detractors one bit! Because their minds are possessed with blind hatred, their thinking is heavily prejudiced. Such mind is unable to absorb sensible reasoning, just as it is unable to appreciate the natural beauty of Konkan! But younger generation needs to ponder over these facts. You watch TV. Use mobile phones. Surf the internet. You must be having some idea about the lifestyle of people living in other countries. About the material comforts they enjoy due to prosperity. Don’t you envisage such a lifestyle for yourself? For that you need to first welcome and encourage any development activity in your region. Because that alone will herald prosperity and stability in your lives. You must come forward for this. You must also oppose those who are opposing development. Only then industrial and development revolution will happen.
During the Second World War, Japan and Germany were almost completely destroyed. But these nations could emerge from the ashes and rose to become two of the most advanced in the world. This happened because of the vision and insight shown by their leaders as also because of the active cooperation given by the people. Come join us to show similar resolve and change the face of Konkan beyond recognition. We have had enough of squabbling and leg-pulling before and after independence, let’s bury this all and repay our beloved land by committing ourselves to the goal of development. Progress takes place after making an effort, not by mere lip-service. Various means need to be explored. We want cooperation and blessings, not hurdles. If that happens, coming generation will be grateful to us.
While completing this third piece of ‘Haar aani Prahaar’, I sincerely appeal to you all to commit ourselves to the goal of bringing our beloved Sindhudurg district and state of Maharashtra on the growth map of the world. That will also be an ultimate tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj!