tv Hudson Institute Discussion on India CSPAN August 13, 2019 1:28pm-2:31pm EDT
direction of a given society. announcer: call in to talk with david farber about the social movements of the 1960's leading up to woodstock and its legacy. woodstock, 50 years, sunday at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span's washington journal. also live on american history tv on c-span3. next, the challenges and opportunities of governance in india. in the political agenda of prime minister narendra modi who was reelected to a second term in may. we hear from a member of the indian parliament. this is one hour. >> good morning and welcome to hudson institute. in may 2019, prime minister modi
modi led party won a historic mandate and came back to power. in his second term he has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fulfill the ambitions and desires of a rising india. india will be the most populous country by 2024. the median age around 28 years, rising aspirational middle class that seeks better governance, higher economic growth and a growth and a bigger role for india around the globe. the path into chooses in the commenters will be important. india's open plurasic society, ability to build and consistently maintain a democratic political system, and geostrategic location at the heart of the indo-pacific has make india a natural partner for western democracies, especially the united states. ever since the parliamentary elections there have been questions about what with the factors that led to mr. modi's reelection, what were his
governments and his plans for india, and what are the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. to discuss this we are fortunate to have with us doctor vinay prabhakar sahasrabuddhe, social worker, political scientist and parliamentarian. since january 2018 dr. sahasrabuddhe is president of the indian council, the soft power promotion establishment of the government of india. he is also a member of parliament, of india's upper house since 2016. dr. sahasrabuddhe holds a masters degree in english literature and a phd in political science. i will request dr. sahasrabuddhe to come on stage and deliver his talk, after which we will have a brief discussion. thank you. [applause] >> good morning to all of you,
and thank you, aparna, and members of the academic staff here. i'm seeing some students as well who have taken time to listen to this presentation. ladies and gentlemen, when i get the occasion of speaking to an erudite audience of this kind, i'm reminded of what my college professors used to tell me. he was a tutor and mentor
especially to those in debating competitions and i was one of , them. so he used to tell us that you have to prepare and conceive speech very will. and those who would go and tell him we have done, he would often say that speeches are like babies. easy to conceive, hard to deliver. i understand that to present on the subject with very -- it's a far subject matter come in a very focused manner it is certainly not very easy but let me attempt. india has prospects and challenges. it's not just the conceptual construct. it's an elemental truth on the one hand, you have ongoing process happening right since the times immemorial.
technology will change has been one of the fundamental -- in the case of human civilizations. however, in the context of india, this constant interplay has been an important feature of india's civilization and journey. having said that, in the larger context, with reference to the last six years if i may precisely focus on that, india truly, let me tell you, is on the part of taking a big turn. this turn has brought to the fore the aspirational new india emerging new india that grow so much rich past, moves dynamically through the present with its eyes firmly set on the future. this new india knows where it has to go.
there is an uncharacteristic sense of being unapologetic about the objective with the unshakable confidence in what mahatma gandhi had famously said, the truth will prevail. and how exactly is this new emerging india? let me share an experience of mine. when we were in the thick of the campaign in 2014 as a party, i use my tactic with many young friends. very enthusiastic, very energetic, and one of them who was kind of working in our social media department once while sipping coffee asked me, sir, do you know what our generation is looking for? i was a bit taken aback by a very upfront question coming from him, a lad twenty-something. as if perhaps, my dear, because
my son is almost of your age but please enlighten me. what exactly your generation is looking for. and he told me, sir, it's very simple. we are looking for five, four, three, two, one. i was puzzled. i asked him, please tell me what does this mean. he said are fundamentals are very clear. we are looking for a five-figure salary, three-bedroom hall kitchen, two kids and one wife. the character with which he told me, without any hesitation, that we want this. now someone may say this is very materialistic, very narrow, very skewed. i would say whatever it may be, he is focussed and this is the new emerging india. the new emerging aspirational
india is very focused. it is truly aspirational, and it knows where it wants to go. and therefore, to decipher, first of all, the mandate that has been secured by prime minister modi i believe becomes the first item on the agenda. in a way i have planned my presentation in five segments. firstly, i focused on, i tried to explain as to how to decipher the historically huge mandate renewed by prime minister modi and what does this mandate mean? secondly, what is the idea of new india? thirdly, what are the prospects of the idea of new india? fourthly, what are the basic challenges before the idea of new india? and lastly, how india matures, should be looking at this new india to first understand the process themselves and later allow others to understand the
same. so starting with understanding the meaning of the mandate. let me tell you, friends, that the mandate is very, very real. because maybe americans are not aware of or perhaps aware of the strengths and limitations of the first system. what is the strong point? it's very easy to understand. it's an established system, your choices are among the 11, and the person who gets maximum number of votes gets elected. regardless of the fact that you may end up with getting just 22% of votes with 78% against him and, therefore, and even then he goes around saying i am the most popular. in fact, he is the least unpopular, as it happens. and therefore, in indian system to get 50% plus votes is a big deal. let me tell you.
at this time never before in the past the ruling party members in such a big number. leave aside the alliance partners. of this 303, 224 was elected with 50% plus votes. that is the level. undoubtedly this was a very, very strong mandate. against the politics of fragmentation which is inherent to the first system. because in the first system the more you fragment your opponents, the higher your chances are getting elected. here it is been the other way around. we tried to integrate which is why 224 members of the bjp were able to get more than 50% votes.
thirdly, the social expansion improved the performance of the bjp. i'm talking of the quality of performance, and so forth. in all the states the popular votes secured by bjp is more than 50%. except of course in states where bjp was never present at all electorally, significantly, now the presence of bjp is very, very significant. increased vote sharing i'm giving, according to study for the developing societies. according to them over 8% of muslims voted for the bjp. vote share increased and all areas geographically speaking for example, in rural areas, the
increase 6.6%. in urban areas 2.2%. to look in the premises we hold so close to our heart that perhaps no more. what is the meaning of the mandate? let me first of all very humbly put it because people inhabit people say it's modi magic. it's not magic. it's a hard earned mandate. it is an endorsement of the purity of purpose, the impact of contention and emphasis on partnership with the people. all these things have contributed to this historic mandate. >> now, come to the idea of new india. in 2017, prime minister tried to present this idea of the aegis
in a realistic matter. not in any confidence or any academic paper but yes, time and again he has referred to this idea what he could also be defined on the basis of certain features of this idea presented by him time to time elaborately. what are these features? first, free from garbage and unclean environment. you know about clean india campaign and everything? free from poverty. important. free from corruption. free from terrorism. fifth, free from castism and criminalism. and then there are four factors which i also need to mention. he has been because in india it has been a fashion to call names to certain emerging trends and our discourse, and the whipping boy is nationalism. some people say nationalism, i'm
trying to present that it's a bad word. well, it might be but when prime minister refers to nationalism he has been insisting it has to be nationalism with respect which should be reflecting in your daily life. he has been saying that if you're breaking practice -- he has been saying that you are littering everywhere and say sorry, it has a meaning. so his nationalism, is very grounded. it has some meaning for the transformations in day to day lives. then development through peoples participation. this has been a key feature about which prime minister modi has been emphasizing all along, that development is not something which we can outsource to the government. he wants there will be coming a popular movement and everybody and anybody will have two parts as they about as to how he can contribute in national, how he or she can contribute and national development.
and then the proclamation by him or emphasis given by him is earning confidence of all sections of the society. he has been saying development for all and taking everybody along. and now he is winning the confidence of every section of the society. and lastly, the cherished dream of the indian people which is one india, great india. because india's greatness depends on its oneness and, therefore, one india, great india is the long cherished dream. now, what are the prospects of this idea of new india? i believe, i mean, if we just look back and review the last five or more years under prime minister modi, the first thing which anybody dispassionately analyzing his performance would
say that over the years prime minister modi has brought a robust sense of purpose to the governance infrastructure. which was a job perhaps expecting to be done right after the independent spirit because it was independence. we were on our own and, therefore, inflicting the spirit let us do something good for our country, which is under our control now. unfortunately in those days people failed in calculating this. prime minister modi is doing and clearing the backlog which as i said some 50 years old. he's working painstakingly. he's allowing a rather facilitating people to aspire because he perspires. he works overtime.
he's known for taking no vacation, no holiday. and several new ideas that his instrument. for example, you must have heard about presently which is a platform where kind of accountability is underscored. government officials are asked in person no less than the prime minister mr. x you are told this will be issued in 30 days. today it is the 60th day. why have you not done this? when monitoring happens, in this way i believe the robust sense of purpose is restored to the governance infrastructure which was long overdue. his idea about the aspirational districts, once called most backward of districts, he changed the name because the idea is to make them aspire. in 2017 this takes over the country which was quite low on all the human development and now being brought on the agenda with top priority. at the same time he's been
inculcating this sense of ownership in your country, this is your country. this is not just prime minister modi's government. therefore, you must take ownership. that is again one idea which i believe through which he's kind of spinning the prospects of new india. approach.gration i'm sure you are aware that under prime minister modi's first-term, given constitutional status. the economically backward sanctions because the -- as everybody is aware is there to stay. but it should not be part activity and it should not be kind of tool in the hands of those who want to further fragment society. how do we do that? those who are economically -- backward but their backwardness is keeping them at the low of
the human development index. to do away with that, he introduced this quota. for example, in india we have 29 states and so many union territories and governors are appointed. for the first time in india there are as many as seven women governors, and they represent various sections of the society. there are backward class, minority, everything, everybody is represented there. gender justice is also being taken care of. we know how the goods and services stacks has been omitted. there is a constant. it's federalism which is in practice, and no meeting of the council has happened where the decisions are taken with show of hands. all the decisions are done because of the fact that the
first political ideology of represent by the ministers of different states. very remarkable. he has been talking about the entire group of chief ministers when they come together take forms as what he famously describes -- even ideological compartment to listen, he is trying to come about, write about. there is a museum which is being set up for all the prime ministers would be decorated, their contribution to india, indian democracy will be documented and presented under one roof. something very important. india as the previous rulers were known for what we've been the victim of which is known as ideological -- no more. we want to respect everybody. we want to take a long everybody. at the same time maybe you are aware that the former president
of india was recently given -- not by his government, by the government of different political ideology. insofar as economic affairs are concerned, through the scheme where all the sections of the underprivileged and marginalized classes and especially women are given loans to promote, there's the program are maybe people in the developing country would be able to gauge the seriousness of the issue to the workers who are in sanitation. sanitation workers unfortunately in india in certain parts of the country or in major parts of our cities have to repair the sewer lines by going into the sewer lines. that causes all kinds of hazardous situations. many times they die. now to save them from this, the government has come up with a particular scheme where new
machines have been made with the industrial chamber of commerce and industry. famously appealed his disciples, don't be just jobseekers. be job givers. and now prime minister modi is trying to give shape to the dream -- minimum government, maximum governance. several small and big reforms have been introduced to process a selection of smart cities. every time when the government announces a scheme, the beneficiary units for the districts or states now will have to compete. it is not just because of your political allegiance to a government that you will be awarded those kind of benefits, no more. you are to compete. there is a sector kind of format in which you are to prove you can, you are able to take
advantage of whatever government provide you and don't take over that. this is again rising about parties, something very important. the prime minister has been emphasizing on policy agreements. where policies are in place in the light of the policies you have rules and regulations, and when rules and regulations are there, discretion based having the space for discretion based is to that extent many minds. when there's no discretion, naturally corruption is arrested and before this again is very important. on the social front as i said, there is definitely something -- where the ratio has increased. it was a state which was infamous, which had become infamous for a very skewed sex relation now that it is some kind of balance that the
government got involved with help of the world bank has been able to achieve. friends, populism and paranoia indulged in by some of the parties versus politics performance. bjp added to the in india it lexicon is politics and performance. very humbling one can say we nobody had ever heard of that performance should be -- judging the various, judging the governance of different ideological groups. now it is. we say maybe on couple of issues we might not have performed well, but let us understand from each other how to better perform, and that is the government team these days. in that sense i believe when you do away with populism and refuse to get brought down by the politics of paranoia you get
, strengthened and bring reforms like this. so it's an important thing which for no reason -- prime minister modi take a call about and has, at least taken a very courageous step, if i may say so. because all these things were basically a part of symbolism which ruled the indian politics all along. we know that in the 1990's and nation asked us about what our former prime minister deputy had made famous which was socialism. to which the prime minister to his pronouncements on one thing put an end to socialism and now we have put an end to what i can
separatism or so pseudo-separation is him. because it was not possible in that sense it was so low and just simply too great an error about it and to indulgence saying something different which has no meaning which, in fact, had deprived people in kashmir over there of several benefits and several reforms as well about which we can discuss later if we don't have any questions. coming to the last two aspects of my presentation, what are the challenges before new india? firstly, building consensus on rejecting the notion that maximum democracy demands maximum rounds of selection. we are pushing for one nation and minimum rounds of elections. i'm not saying one election. because every time there is an election with a state election-ministerial election in the big cities, all eyes are set on them and the government thinks twice about taking some message which may not be
populist which may not bring you any votes. and therefore, it has hampered governance. like anything, we want to put a full stop to that. and to that end building consensus around this is a big challenge. blending social responsibility with wealth creation. unfortunately, during the days of socialism, wealth creation was looked at every time though some suspicion. no more. we respect the wealth creators. in fact, prime minister and his administration has decided to decorate those honest taxpayers who are paying the tax in the appropriate timeframe without faulting that. technologies, artificial intelligence, all these things are going to be challenges
beyond doubt, and i'm afraid india is known for its rich tradition heritage whatever artificial intelligence will do or not, i'm not able to gauge, but i'm sensing a huge crop of artificial emotions. i don't know if there's any technology to minimize that, but it is. and then development of democracy. democracy is not just about elections. it is to take all of us together on the part of advancement progress and how to cultivate and find more kind of acceptance to this idea of democracy, not only in india. people are aware that in his first speech before the united nations general assembly in 2014 it was prime minister modi who said that why there should just be -- g-7, g8, g 14 on certain issues? what a brilliant idea. i believe that again is a challenge before him.
and lastly, how india should be looking at this emerging new india. firstly, understand the changes that are taking place on ground and in mind space as well. develop narrative. let us understand it has taken over the false narrative. our identities are not so fickle that development will kind of disturb them or do away with him. certainly not. our identity will continue to be believing you cannot do anybody any narrow entity. what you can do is to help him to work that identity into a larger entity, which is why we have been saying work as a family. but on day when you cannot say, first of all a boy or girl would be taken care of in his own family, then in his own city, then in his own language group,
in his state, in his country and then in the world. so it's progressive, which we have to bear in mind. i would say that india just needs to check prejudices. the preconceived notions and look at prime minister modi and the idea of india with clear eyes. democracy can deliver has been established by him with resoluteness because maybe people are aware that the acceptability of democracy was never in question, but the efficacy of democracy was always questioned. prime minister modi with all his performance has established, yes, democracy also can deliver. other aspects of this important, the transformation alone can beat terrorism. unless and until we transform societies through development and other things, terrorism perhaps cannot be arresting. lastly, what the famous writer
of "no full stop in india" said, and i will end my presentation with his advice. he has said that indian elites in their own word try to put a full stop in a country where there are no full stops. but my presentation has a full stop which is what the end it here. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, dr. sahasrabuddhe. i will use my prerogative as a moderator to ask you a question or two and then i will open up to the audience. you spoke about the need for wealth generation. you started your talk with the desire of an aspirational india for five, four, three, two, two, one. the five is the fact that the five-figure salary which is
predicated on the hope india's economic growth is going to rise and at least 8%, 10%, but hope is not a policy. mr. modi this morning actually gave a speech and interview in which he spoke about the need for economic growth. i guess india's interested in knowing what this government would like or plans to do to boost india's economic growth which has fallen in the last few years. a lot of what you said, whether it's domestic, integration, it is sort of one india is predicated on economic growth. so could you shed some thoughts on that? >> i'm afraid i'm not a student of economics though. perhaps there are obvious, there will be obvious limitations to whatever i say. but whatever little knowledge and interest in economic issues, he has elaborately explained
what exactly he is up to. but one example i will give. there are many naysayers or people worried about india's economy. they've been saying with this new bankruptcy court, many companies are being taken over by foreign companies. but i mean, you cannot have a cake and eat it too if you're going to liberalize. these things happen. even those companies may be a foreign origin if they're taking over indian companies, doesn't matter, they will have to do business in india and, therefore, the chances of more than one for indian youth, certainly are increased and, therefore, let us not get paranoid. that has been the response of some of the government officials when i had the occasion of
interacting with them. but to quote prime minister modi what he said is that he wants to further liberalize the foreign direct investment. he wants to simply the labor laws, existing labor laws and you know the discussion's already on. internally and from abroad as well. and he has also something which may sound a little monetizationset and recycling for which again perhaps foreign investors should be and would be welcomed. but this is the short answer to that. >> thank you. you are a political scientist and have a phd, so did i, so i'm going to use that as a segue to quote an imminent american political scientist and author, francis fukuyama. in a recent book, fukuyama says one of the unique characteristics of indian
civilization is that all the millennia, the society has always been stronger than the state. in your talk and in these recent speeches, mr. modi spoke about the need to prevent any fragmentation within india and to bind india. however, there are those who argue that in the last few years there have been attacks on what were once core principles -- pluralism, tolerance, and free speech. what will you say and how do you see this government seeking to create a one in the which everybody feels part of that one india? >> i think there is not an iota of doubt about our intentions. see, what happens whenever bjp comes to power, all these things attract more attention in the media. as if they were not happening earlier. comes to power, all these things but under bjp rule, they get additional premium on them, and, therefore, news mongering or
whatever it is, and, unfortunately, the foreign media also takes a cue only by reading ." -- reading the english media in india. not the regional language media is highlighting the same kind of incident with that promise. it is not happening. these are unfortunate incidents and prime minister modi has in no uncertain terms decried to them, denounce them, condemned him and called upon the law enforcement. that goes beyond doubt. nobody is defending your all types of wrongdoing. and, therefore, pluralism is something which isn't part of india. all these things which if i been talking about, it's something very -- we've been saying that in political democracy and its success can many democracies, they get divided as to how this country of so many millions of
people and how are they successful. i would humbly put to them that the roots of india political democracy are in our spiritual democracy. and because of spiritual democracy where we have denied, where we have rejected any kind of monopoly insofar as human being relationship with the concern, never. therefore, i believe now our objective is to move towards -- to achieve social and economic democracy. >> i open it up for questions. i would ask people to wait until the mic reaches you. please ask a question. it ends with a question mark. thank you. gentleman in the back. >> thank you.
thank you for comments. michael, retired from department of agriculture. you spoke about india having the largest population in the world in a few years. i think from 2000-2010 the chinese by pollution grows by about 70 million, india's population grows 190 million. it seems to me the population explosion is eating up the country and i'm curious, you said you are not an economist but what is happened to per capita income? for example, the chinese, they're going to people out of poverty and last 20, 25 years. how should i put it? is there any type of population control, family planning, anything like that? thank you for your comments. >> well, there are certain historical developments that has impacted on india's population policy or whatever.
everybody is aware what happened in the famous emergency of 1977. and thereafter nobody had attempted to burn his or her fingers by dealing with this issue, which is considered -- which is considered volatile, which, in fact, it is not but i'm sure prime minister as mr. modi who has perhaps all those areas where people were afraid of going into i'm sure he will have, the he has certain things in his might. they may not have come to the fore because as i said already, an issue which is been made very sensitive for political reasons. >> i know india has in the last two or three decades reduced the number of people below poverty. it's down to almost one-fourth. india has pulled millions out of poverty. number two, the government, it's a democracy, so it's not going to say you can't have more than one child.
however, over the years the government has incentivized a sense that sort of there are campaigns incentivizing people to not have more than two children. there are a number of different schemes which sort of appeal to you and say it's better if you have fewer children, you can educate them better. you have a better lifestyle. but you can't impose or restrict somebody in a democracy. the government has continued, there is a family planning department division within the government of india and it's a state sunday, a number states also develop different policies. the gentleman right here. please wait for the mic. >> thank you very much for a very enlightening talk here.
you mentioned the poverty as the focus areas of mandate. there is rising middle class. there's a good buffer and it is a powerful development, but also the risk of rising there is inequality between the very rich and the very poor. what is being done to scale good practices which are being tried all over india about poverty reduction? what is the government's position on reducing subsidies, especially in the agricultural sector? >> i think it's a very difficult job in a way, but as i have explained, governments alone cannot reduce inequality. it will have to be a kind of sense of responsibility generated by the people as well and to make significant examples attempted by transit and his government.
one is about the subsidy we to give to the cooking gas lindner. 20 million people decided to forward the subsidy to ensure that the more disadvantaged people get the cooking gas delivered at their homes. this has happened. at the same time people who travel, when they do, when they go for booking, there is again an appeal that there is a subsidy, but if you so desire you can forward that subsidy. even in that more than 10 million people have responded to that and they have foregone their subsidies. so people also have to come forward. government alone certainly will have to go a long while, going extra mile to reduce inequality. but as i people were also have to contribute, and it is happening.
the appeal comes from the part about whom there are no doubts whom there is no skepticism, things happen. >> the gentleman right appear. >> yes, i want to ask the question about kashmir. is there a timeline with opening it back up to the internet and improving the communications to that area? and is there a timeline on when they will lift the restrictions for going out public and everything? the previous rumors in the constitution which was considered temporary right at the inception of it, continued for 70 years. certainly our government is not going to take that long to remove the temporary restrictions on internet and other things.
in fact, today i saw social media activities. she personally is today there to wish for the education of residents in kashmir and she herself uploaded a video right on the streets walking over there. i think internet and other to will be open sooner by the later we don't live in these kinds of restrictions. they were very literally temporary. i'm sure people have seen reason and accepted. they will accept those who are still hesitant and these will be things a very short life, i'm sure. >> the gentleman right here. [speaking in native tongue]
what you said about one india great india is invocation to the goddess who is the originator of the civilization. so going forward as head of iccr, what initiatives do you have to spread to the world, and his -- india's contribution to traditional knowledge systems? to submit a question, like in computer science the foundations india made the contribution to the world. in a world of ai where these fundamental contributions of india need to be spread not just within india but around the world, where do you see your organization playing a role? thank you very much.
i wish you had spoken to some indian science congress conference there in india because whenever people say about the old knowledge there, they are roasted because there's a huge section who don't believe in this, unfortunately. but that apart, as far as iccr is concerned, we always have engaged -- although they are parallel if not one and the same. but we routinely conduct an international conference every year. last year it happened in st. petersburg, russia and this , time it is going to happen at indian village. so all are very welcome and we would like to document the proceedings of this conference and spread the awareness about the indian knowledge and such. >> with the cap in the second
row. >> good morning. my name is julian kyle lewis. i'm from the american university here in washington. welcome to the united states, doctor. my question for you is, would it be of any historical significance to the people of india as a good-faith diplomatic gesture for the citizens of the united states to change the name of the cleveland indians professional baseball team? just as, because here in the united states we have mascots that are representative of false ideologies of history and misrepresenting certain native american tribes in the united states as indian people when, in fact, they are not. and that is pervasive to this
day and they are planning to carry that on forward. so my question for you is, would you like to see us take small strides to build those kinds of bridges and change the historical precedence of ignorance in terms of indian and u.s. diplomatic relations? thank you much, and once again welcome to the united states. >> well, it's an interesting question. perhaps i'm not qualified to answer this. but as i said, identity issues are important and one would expect he should be called by what he or she is. to that extent what you say is definitely very right. but at the same time it gives a different feeling that there are indents in this country as well. so. >> i'm from the american jewish
committee. we know each other. we have been privileged to build a robust partnership between the jewish-american and indian-american community helping the indian-american advocacy aims in the united states. also tremendous opportunity to work with the black caucus, the hispanic caucus special with elections coming up in the united states next year. my only appeal as head of iccr would be that we should have ten times the number of congressional staffers coming to india. because that is what makes significant impact, and if their interaction with you can, on how we can enhance the interaction with her indian staff or counterparts in the indian parliament, that would be helpful. >> we will consider it. >> hello.
former u.s. diplomat. the moves that have been taken to remove the level of autonomy in kashmir seem to have damaged the impression of india as a fully democratic and egalitarian society here in the united states and elsewhere in the world. you can look at, for example, at the economist to see their take on the situation. my question for you is, part of, one of the steps has been the removal of the restriction of external purchase of land, as i understand it, in the state. is there an anticipation that eventually kashmir will be, no -- will become no longer a muslim majority state? >> well, i think first of all really would like to disagree with your proposition that it is
-- has hampered the perception about india as a pluralistic and egalitarian society. i mean, this is a development which has more to do about governance. many people even like me had -- went behind. so we know how to protect democracy. and therefore, simple action of the government which is reorganizing the dispute in kashmir. it's not going to hamper india insofar as a pluralistic society is concerned. given that, let me also tell you that democracies cannot be changed by governments. and may not be as well.
they are equally legitimate. and therefore, we don't want any discrimination to them. which is why the special status has been removed. maybe you have seen that since these restrictions were there, several kashmiri youths, young, especially girls and boys, had to come out of kashmir and the -- and take education elsewhere. because no private education enterprise was allowed to purchase it over there. no private economic enterprise industry was allowed to use the land of kashmir. why these people going to establish there? for no reason. these restrictions continued for 70 long years. all the benefits of economic progress. and we just wanted to do away with this industry.
so in fact, it underscores our government, egalitarianism, if i may tell you. >> i had been to the embassy of india in mexico city as well as hanoi, vietnam, and i've seen the wonderful cultural centers that are attached to the embassies. i've wondered for many years why there's not such a cultural center attached to the indian embassy here in washington, d.c. where the indian-american community can be of assistance to the government of india in sharing india's great culture and heritage, and should there be such a project in place? please let us know because we would love to help spread this message. thank you.
>> we are working towards that and sooner than later i'm sure the center of indian center will be here in washington, d.c. >> final question. take one person from the front and one from the back. here and then in the back. first row. first row. >> hello. the people there are very happy that article 370 has been revoked. but there has been long-standing demand of the people for a separate statehood. so why is it not included as a separate entity? because people there, because whatever happens in kashmir affects us, and people there
also feel they are discriminated against. most of the state resources go to kashmir and not the other region. >> we are taking all the questions and then getting a final answer. yes, i will answer. >> my question is, the government of india, there has been multiple schemes rolled out to affect farners, the situation of farmers given to the levels of drought in the country and other issues farmers are facing. my question is, are there any plans for central government schemes specific to agriculture given the huge population of the landless labor within indian agriculture?
and i was also told by the current chief economic advisor at another event that there's a lack of data on the landless population of india. are there any initiatives planned to ensure that we do have data so their concerns are adequately addressed? thank you. >> you want to ask something? yes, you. >> then you get the last word. >> i'm a student at university of chicago. i'm just curious, i don't have a huge background in domestic politics. can you tell me what do you hope to accomplish over the next five years? what is it if the bjp accomplishes this in the course of five years, if you feel the mandate you got from the indian people will have been justified and you will have done what you said you would? >> well, one after the other, if i may try to deal with the
questions raised are insofar as jammu is concerned, i believe there are multiple reasons which the government decision -- its financial viability is also one of the issues. and therefore, certain reasons most of i will not know why jammu demand for a separate state has not been accepted by the government, at least at this juncture. everybody can hope. but at least for now it is not been done but there might be certain reasons i would be knowing. but i'm sure whatever the feeling of india, which is why the union territories have been carved up and the junior territory status of jammu and kashmir is again a temporary thing, as promised by no less than the prime minister and the home minister himself. i'm sure it's a temporary thing. in due course of time it will become a full-fledged state.
insofar as farmers are concerned, i believe the government has rolled out a scheme for giving pensions to the farmers who obtained the age of 60 plus. i think that's applicable. to the farm laborers also. they will not be excluded for that. there are conscious efforts on the part of the government to help out marginalized farmers. in the family system when you have certain amount of land with you. and when tradition, the sons and daughters take over, naturally it is divided to that effect and, therefore, a farmer today who is a well-to-do farmer becomes a marginalized farmer in the days to come. and to support such marginalized farmers, the government is working to help them through and grow based enterprises and being cultivated in a major way.
the government is conscious of that. insofar state is concerned i think the economic development is the right person to answer this question at the time i'm really not aware. and insofar as the last question is concerned, as i said resident -- resolutely this -- resoluteness and political will unfortunately are seen as in short supply in democratic governance. but not any case of the government prime minister modi. he's very resolute. he's very clearheaded and he has all the political will that is required. and therefore, i believe the real dream of one india, great india, and reaching out to the last man in the queue to ensure that he or she gets benefits on priority visits is something which is long cherished dream. here is a government which is out to ensure that it translates, it is translate into reality.
how this can happen and it has happened also to an extent in certain areas and, therefore, to ensure in the process went to go beyond symbolism. unfortunately and democracies traditions have to play to the gallery and then they remain confined only to that. they don't do anything else simply play to the gallery. this is a government that is not playing to the gallery. this is a government that has tried to do away with that. therefore, we want real government to be reaching out so it becomes a genuine government. i believe the last five years in the performance of this government is a testimony to its political will and a reason to have every hope that in the next five years the renewed mandate of the government will outperform itself where this is
concerned. >> thank you very much. >> before you close, let me as a mark of my sense of gratitude towards the institute give a copy of my book. it tells about all the government and modi's first term. >> thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
watch our lives coverage of the coverage. c-span, your unfiltered view of politics. >> we take you back to des ofnes for our six-day coverage after the iowa state fair. c-span.tigieg here on >> hello, iowa. what a crowd. i see you in the back. go irish. hello, thank you. thanks for the chance to spend time with you. buttigieg.pete