After having elaborated on political issues and leaders in the first part and the opportunities and challenges of doing business in the second part of his interview with Business Today magazine, Sadhguru, in part three, discusses inclusive growth in India’s corporate world, and the steps needed to ensure the future of India and its economy.
Q. We are witnessing a lot of consumerism. Is India going the right way by aping the West? Does this drag us more into bondage, first into material bondage, unable to develop the spiritual side we are known for?
Sadhguru: It is not material versus spiritual, there is no such thing. According to the Living Earth statistics, if we have to provide the lifestyle that an average American is enjoying right now for the 7 billion people we have on this planet, we will need four-and-a-half planets. But we only have half a planet left. Is it realistic for the whole world to go that way? The world’s idea of ideal life has become the American life, isn’t it? It is a sure recipe for disaster, there is no question about it. The better solution would be… at least if we strive for the next 50 years we can bring down the population to 50 percent of what it is right now. It will give a little more freedom to the earth to recoup itself for whatever rubbish we do. If we don’t do that ourselves consciously, the planet will do it to us in cruel ways.
Taking Care of the Future of India
Q. According to you, once elections are over what are the three things a new Prime Minister should do?
Sadhguru: You should make it a little easier to live in this country. Everything is made difficult. You know, these are invaders’ rules, these are not the rules of the nation. We were registering a company and it took us some 30 days or so to do it.
Q. So even a Sadhguru is made to run…
Sadhguru: Yes, I am not spared (laughs)… Then we wanted to do a complementary company in the United States. So I told them this is the style of the company, this is what we need to do, this is the purpose and everything. In about two hours they said, “Sadhguru the company is registered you can start activity.” I just knocked my head! What are we doing to the future of India. When somebody wants to start economic activity that is going to benefit everybody, why are we treating him like a criminal? You have to get twenty-five no-objection certificates. Why does anybody have any objection to my doing business?
Ensuring Inclusive Growth in India
Q. Making life easier is one, what are the other two?
Sadhguru: If you do that one thing, the Indian population is so effervescent it will make India happen. Aren’t there 540 businesses or industries in this country which can take up education and nourishment for one constituency each in the country – not as service, but as an investment? If you invest in this population, you will get quality manpower in the next 12 to 15 years’ time. Why don’t you invest long-term? No philanthropy. Invest long term and produce the right kind of people. Only then you can run the business. So what is needed is a more inclusive growth in India. Almost twelve years ago, I coined this phrase called “inclusive economics,” which is yet to happen for various reasons.
Q. So you think corporate leaders are barking up the wrong tree in terms of philanthropy?
Sadhguru: Philanthropy is not going to make the nation great. Because people who receive may feel grateful but they won’t feel great. But if they become worthy of investment they will feel great. This is what we need to do to the people – bring back pride in who they are.