Since the formation of Haryana in 1966, the state has seen many twists and turns in its political history much like the history of the region for many millenniums. The state was formed after much trouble over language and regional priorities vis-a-vis Punjab and had no perennially flowing river as a source of water.
Yet, it went on to become one of the most successful states in the Green Revolution era.
A curious and keen spectator would easily notice that the two things the state and its culture have repeatedly focussed on would be — agriculturists and armed personnel.
Haryana has some of the most prosperous farmers in the country and every family of the state has some association with the armed forces. Folklore in the state is rich with stories of women who gave birth to ‘lionhearts’. This character has essentially become the strength as well as the pride of the state.
Interestingly, all the large movements in Haryana in the last century have been centred around agriculture and hence, most of the politicians have been kisan (farmer) leaders, who banked on the number of farmers for their political strength and clout.
Thus, the imagination of the state even after years of stupendous growth is of an agricultural state or in other cases, of a state marred by corruption scams, Robert Vadra scandals and so on. Hence, rejigging the imagination of the state is necessary to give a vision for the near future.
Economy And ‘SHE’ Factor
Of course, as discussed, agriculture is at the centre when discussing Haryana’s future but the state soon has to diversify and make itself more business-friendly to bring in more investments.
In the last few years, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Bharatiya Janata Party government has tried to simplify norms in tandem with the central government’s direction. It has swiftly acted upon the e-way bill, goods and services tax collections, micro small and medium enterprises dole-outs, etc.
These are indeed steps taken in right stead but Haryana should leverage its vicinity to Delhi and bring in more manufacturing units.
Technology is here to stay and will soon become the centre of our lives, cities, and villages likewise. Electronic systems design and manufacturing industry and other mobile tech companies are to be welcomed in the near future. With vision, investment and skilled workforce, Haryana can lead from the front in electronics manufacturing as well as build on its services industry.
An issue that has scarred Haryana’s image all over India is women’s security and their participation in the workforce. Haryana for long has been documented among states with most skewed sex ratio.
This gender imbalance has seen stability in the last few years with the state and central governments investing more capital, time and effort in sensitising the population about the hazards that it brings along.
A secure future for all, complemented by efforts in health particularly maternal health and education through programmes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Saksham (skill education ) etc will complete the three letters of our focus area ‘SHE’.
When compared to other high performing states of India like Gujarat and Maharashtra, there is one particular thing that stands out with respect to Haryana. Both these states by virtue of their size and sea links have developed their global partnerships extensively.
Gujarat first organised a global investors’ summit in 2003 which has changed the face of the state and propelled its chief minister to the national and international stage as one of the most powerful leaders in the world.
Haryana stands at the cusp of such a leap. Gurugram has developed itself as the global technology hub with offices of many multinational companies established there. Export houses in Panipat, Karnal and Kurukshetra have traditionally done very well but in the coming years, the industry will have to diversify as well as adapt to global demands.
Israel has shown interest in the past with partnerships in agriculture. A pilot project in Gharaunda, Karnal has shown good results and the model is being replicated for new scientific learning. Such advancements should proceed with other nations too.
Global partnerships and international engagements will enhance our learning and help find solutions to problems that impact the state. United States, Germany, Russia and East Asian nations can help propel this growth curve.
Equitable Development And Fixing The Rural-Urban Divide
However, around 20 kilometres from CyberHub, a premium socialising spot for the affluent in Gurugram, developmental disparities are stark. High-end apartments of the Millennium City give way to tiny huts, narrow roads and agriculture fields. This gap needs urgent filling in the times to come.
The urban-rural divide in terms of infrastructure, opportunities and facilities are vivid and demotivating in a few ways. Villages are at the core of Haryanvi culture and sentiments and the state’s citizenry connects and establishes relationships on the bonds that have traditionally been passed over in the villages.
While the village infrastructure reels, urban facilities need upliftment too. Karnal and Faridabad are both on the road to become smart cities and the state should aim for better urban infrastructure in all its district headquarters. This shall happen with more investments in industry and leveraging the vicinity to the National Capital Region.
Another thing that should sincerely fall into the right ears and make it to the policy document is how the government plans to use its cultural capital; old monuments, centres of importance and the hub of spirituality and dharma like Kurukshetra.
Making the state travel-friendly will attract more visitors and make a safer and progressive Haryana, improving the reputation of the state.
To conclude, it is fair to say that the opportunities before the state are tremendous. Haryana has done its homework right, it is now time that it takes the front leap and marches ahead as the country runs the race for global power.
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