Breaking away from the traditional stance, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for the first time on Tuesday voiced his support for the government’s decision to boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and privatization to provide support to the ailing economy.
“To strengthen the economy, the government is compelled to take steps such as allowing Foreign Direct Investment and disinvestment of industries,” said Bhagwat during his annual Vijayadashami speech in Nagpur on Tuesday.
He added that while implementing many government schemes and welfare policies at the lower level, more alacrity and efficiency and avoiding unnecessary stringency can set many matters right.
However, the RSS supremo’s statements came with a word of caution. “Globalisation, FDI and privatisation can only be beneficial if it is done keeping India’s needs mind,” he said.
Bhagwat’s remarks are a departure from his outfit’s ancient values of maintaining a self-dependent economy. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, both RSS affiliates have time and again, protested against the Centre’s move to boost FDI and disinvestment.
But the RSS chief linked his position with a new definition of Swadeshi. “Swadeshi is someone who lives in a globalised economy but only on conditions that favor India. If something can be produced in my country, why will I buy it from any other place and thus ruin my domestic trade?” said Bhagwat.
He further explained that a swadeshi would only buy a commodity from outside the country if it is an absolute necessity. “Having said this,” he added, “during these times we cannot move towards a closed economy at all.” Bhagwat summed-up his take on FDI by saying, “Only if life cannot function without a particular commodity and we cannot produce it, will we look out.”
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