In light of present epidemic it becomes imperative to think what are the factors that led us to such disaster. Is it our irresponsible behavior towards nature, mindless pursuit of what we call science or complete negligence of actual education which we are losing the more we think we grow. The recent events suggest the wrong fundamentals over which the complete sense of our modern education is built. All the hues and hoopla’s of superiority over everyone with whom we share this planet’s common resources is gone with a virus in place.
This brings us to an important question why we are reduced to such a level of weakness when we boast of extreme power, great knowledge and superiority of mind full thinking over others. Which further brings us to ponder over the kind of education we have built. What we lost when economics got translated to Arthashahstra (अर्थशास्त्र) , debates became equivalent to mimansa (मीमांसा) and religion translated to dharma. Sounds confusing? right? Lets discuss it in totality.
With economics we entered into an era of western study where in earliest definitions Adam smith says
“an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations”. This phrase is of utmost importance as it brings out the basics of western economics which is of wealth creation. The foundation of western economies has been a constant war which with emergence of US in last two decades of 19th century till today in 21st century has been amplified. This gave rise to one of the most important business word which has defined nations business over the year is “Arms trade”.
With this foundation the western economics has evolved as wealth generator with any thing that can breed further capital like arms, drugs etc. The broad form of economics communist and capitalist came into play and subsequently many more policies with regard to these have been plaguing the world since last two millennial. Which has never seen consistent period of prosperity. The failures have been at such a level that present economics has accepted this period of recessions as cycle which will keep re-occurring.
This reminds me of Arab springs which started when a street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi a sole bread earner of his family committed suicide citing Police misbehavior. This lead to another set of events leading to change in Tunisian government and further chain of events led to complete change in other Arab countries including Egypt. So what was the reason that lead to such a scenario in Tunisia which was generally considered as a wealthy country. To answer above question we will again have to understand the same set of definitions of economics where wealth creation is and allocation of resources takes center stage while the prime factor, for which this is done, seems to be ignored. This is of utmost importance as the wealth and allocation of resources at mechanical level will never be able to solve the problems we are facing today.
Hence comes some of the most important part which is assimilation of natural, cultural, historical, geographical etc into consideration when the crucial decision of resource allocation is being decided. Let’s say that in a country like India which has been vegetarian for generations if we allocate resources in chicken farming instead of dairy farming will we be doing justice to the same given the later will give more economic value than former due to cost of investment in them.
So here comes the actual solution that India calls Arthashahstra. This has been practiced since ages and is losing its sheen when we started following world bank and IMF guidelines under the loan agreements signed after balance of payment crisis of ’91. A question of allocation of resources will have to take into account historical, local, cultural,social, cultural and Dharmic beliefs as well as natural conditions (Environment and co habitats) then only a sustainable solution can be designed. We will have to understand the goal of economics as prosperity in term of happiness as well as amicable living with nature around us. Else mindless pursuit of wealth will keep us confined to our stupid egos where we might feel ourselves to be superior when in reality we are nothing but fools which will keep pressurizing oneself in pursuit of mirage called happiness.