My management course had a mandatory course on strategy where the first few lectures were only focused on vision and vision statement of the company. We were explained that vision or purpose guide the company. When I started appearing for interviews, one of the first question I was asked was what do you want to do or what is your vision? When I was working with CARE, we developed a vision for the organization. We spent the first day, writing our own visions. Then we came in groups of twos to merge visions of two individuals in one. The groups of twos became groups of fours and eights till we had two groups with two visions. Then these two groups merged their vision into one. Finally after going into semantics, the vision that emerged was Quote We seek a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and people live in dignity and security. CARE International will be a global force and a partner of choice within a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty. We will be known everywhere for our unshakable commitment to the dignity of people. In India, CARE seeks a society which celebrates diversity, where rights are secured, citizenship realized, and human potential fulfilled for all Unquote The strategy course, I had talked of competitive advantages of individuals, companies and also of nations, but somehow when we came to vision, the country level vision was missing. I wondered why we did not need vision for countries and I started actively looking for countries that have written a vision for themselves. Within India, I discovered Gandhiji had written a vision statement which was published in September, 1930 in Young India. His vision for the country was Quote I shall work for an India, in which poorest shall feel that it is their country n whose making they have an effective voice; an India in which there shall be no high class or low class of people; an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony, There shall be no room in such India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks anddrugs. Women shall enjoy same right as men. Since we shall be at peace with all the rest of the World, neither exploiting nor being exploited, we should have the smallest army imaginable. This is India of my dreams. Unquote Further research took me to website of Bhartiya Janta Party It was a pleasant surprise to see its pledge for in it was contained BJP’s vision for the country. At a national level, only Malaysia has tried to develop a vision in its Vision 2020 ( Wawasan 2020). Malaysia’s vision calls for the nation to achieve a self-sufficient industrialized nation by the year 2020, encompasses all aspects of life, from economic prosperity, social well-being, educational world class, political stability, as well as psychological balance. Peggy Liu was trying to create a “China Dream” which has now limited its mandate to economic progress with least damage to environment. Visions are typically rooted in culture, beliefs and value systems of a person. If we extend the same thing to nation. Its vision should also be rooted in its culture. For example, the culture of India is characterized by
- Vasudhaiv kutumbakam
- Balance between Dharam, Arth, Kaam and Moksha.
Vasudhaiv Kutambakam means the whole earth is a family. It is inclusive approach and also means that man is a product of nature and is part of nature. It has to live in harmony with it and with all the species in the world. The key family unit in India was also a joint family. The inheritance in the family is joint, unlike west, and the head of the family ( or the eldest son/ person) is “karta”. The work within and outside home is shared and family members cooperate with each other. The resources in the family are shared. To enrich their lives, human beings are advised to maintain a balance between following their duties, law, ethics and responsibilities ( Dharam), possession of wealth and materials (Arth), desires which could be biological, physical or materialistic ( Kaam) and, spirituality and self-actualization ( Moksha). The culture in the America and Europe is function of their evolution as societies. The values and ideas such as freedom and equality have been taken and contextualized based and the lifestyle have evolved. We in India have to build our vision of society and have to discover our own lifestyle based on our culture and value system. India has to define its own goals and has to develop its own indicators for its own development. The lifestyle and vision of India has to be based on Tolerance, Sharing of resources and cooperation, values that were preached and valued in Indian society. India also cannot afford level of automation like US. India has to build on the cheap labour (due to size of its population) and cannot afford loss of jobs unlike west. Our ambition for growth has to be tempered with our desire to protect environment. We have to build a society where people have access to quality services in education, health, shelter, food and nutrition. The assets may be owned privately or publicly but the assets are shared or accessible. For example, car sharing is becoming a popular concept in many countries. As per an estimate, there are 1.7 Mn sharers in 27 countries. Car sharing reduces need for car ownership with estimates suggesting that one rented car replacing 15 owned cars. Part of the reason for this change in heart was also economic downturn in some countries, making ownership of cars expensive. Instead of reaction, the government can be pre-emptive in facilitating these kinds of models in other spheres of life. For Government to achieve it will have to spend lot of effort in educating people. So for a change, the Government will have to take on tougher courses instead of taking path of least resistance. Should we be working on an India Dream? Who should drive it, Government or a private citizen?