Tanay Dashrath Bhagat, elder son of Dashrath Sitaram Bhagat, former opposition leader in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and Navi Mumbai district president of the Indian National Congress party and Vaijyanti Dashrath Bhagat, NMMC corporator, nephew of Fashibai Karsan Bhagat, NMMC corporator, cousin brother-in-law of Rupali Nishant Bhagat, NMMC corporator and a student of the Lancashire University in the United Kingdom doing his first year for graduation in Business Studies, spelt out his views, about dynasty politics, India’s demographic dividend, politics as a career, education in India and the U.K., youth power, Artificial Intelligence, civic works in Navi Mumbai and his hobbies, in a candid interview, to Vishwarath Nayar.
Q.1. Dynasty rule is the name of the game in Indian politics. As the son of a successful political family in Navi Mumbai, will you like to take over from your parents?
A) I don’t think dynasty rule is the name of the game in Indian politics. India doesn’t have a long liberal and democratic history and nor does any country. The world saw its first revolution two centuries ago and it has just been 73 years since India became an independent country. I think that Indian democracy keeps evolving every year and at every election something unexpected is seen.
India has seen many politicians who do not have any political background or dynasty, just like the present prime minister of our country, who was a tea seller at a railway station.
Indian constitution has given people the power to choose their representative and they elect and send members to parliament as their voice and not all the Lok Sabha members are dynast politicians.
Yes, we see dynasty leadership more often because people believe in the next generation of the family member with the same hope and sincerity that they will serve the people in the same manner as their forefathers did.
I do agree dynasty gives you an upper hand compared to other candidates but it is not sure that the candidate with a political dynasty will only get elected. For example, a doctor’s son becomes a doctor and etc, so why not a politician’s son be a politician, but the candidate himself needs to be capable and people should be in his favour. Dynasty rule has its benefits such as avoiding internal fights in the political parties as people due to human psychology respect the decision made by a dynast leader.
Dynasty rule is seen in every field all around the world but finds greater focus in politics. Though my family has a political background, I will prefer not to take over from parents as politics does not excite me. On a basic understanding, politics means serving people and social welfare and I prefer serving people by staying out of politics and serving either through NGOs or Charitable Foundations.
Q.2. With 65 % of the Indian population below 35 years, this demographic dividend is projected as India’s biggest advantage. As a youth yourself, how do you view this advantage?
A.) 65% of 1.3 billion people is a huge figure and is equal to many developed country’s population. Youth are a great advantage as they are the future of the country. China being the most populated country had to abolish it’s one child policy due to the lack of young people in the near future. Youth are an advantage to its country all over the world. As youth have a dynamic energy in them and are motivated to come up with creative ideas and innovative ways in their field. They provide the major workforce of the country and are the ones who pay the pension of the retired citizens of the country through their taxes. They can result in the growth of the country in every aspect, be it from the country’s economic conditions to better social welfare.
In simple sense more the productivity of the country, more is the revenue generated and faster the growth. But my concerns are with the problem attached to India’s greatest advantage, that, is the government paying enough attention to the youth and using the youth as an advantage because if the youth are unproductive, it can be a burden.
Unproductive youth or unemployment can be a stress on the country’s mechanism, slowing the economy, administration breakdown and violating social justice, for example:
1 Government’s dis-concern towards the youth (not providing proper education and creating new jobs for the graduated students),
2 Accumulation of unproductive and frustrated youth, this can result in disturbance in social peace of the country (increasing crime rate and people protesting for their rights in the country) and
3 Causing an administrative slowdown, creating a backlog in the country’s growth.
This is the reason behind the rise of Naxalites and terror attacks In India.
Though the youth are projected as India’s biggest advantage and is really an advantage but is the Indian government taking sufficient steps towards the advancement of the youth, is the government using the youth for betterment of the country, is government doing anything to provide proper and quality education, does this government create the jobs for the students, is the government motivating the youth to strive for excellence?
Q.3. You are graduating in Business Studies in the University of Lancashire in the U. K. Will this education help you to serve your career in particular and India in general?
A.) I believe that education is the only thing which serves everyone’s future whether it be academic education or practical education. In my understanding, education is something through which you learn and achieve growth in yourself or build yourself up. Graduating from Lancashire University will surely help me in a career as U.K has its own different pattern of education and teaching which will be useful for me in the future but more importantly I am sure, that exposure will benefit me as U.K is a developed country and is years ahead of us in technology and sees innovation very often. London sees more business start-ups compared to many other countries. U.K has a strong modern history, had a major part in the industrial revolution and many global historical events.
London is the world’s financial capital. People come from all over the world with their ambition, culture, mindset, ideology and goals. Meeting these people and having a talk with them regarding business or upcoming technologies will surely benefit me. Being an average student, I am pretty sure that studying in the U.K will give me an exposure on an international level which I won’t get while studying in India. I will learn how businesses are run around the world. It will help me to cultivate new ideas of my own, if not, I could avail a couple of ideas from here.
For India, in general, it is a win-win situation, as the graduated students from aboard with new set of skills and ideas will set their business back home in India, the business model will be different from the current businesses running in India which will result in two things mainly –
1. India will be having an advanced business model which will make India, a world competitor and 2. Create employment for the people of India.
I believe that students coming from aboard after completing their education will be playing a key role in changing Indian mentality and breaking the stereotype in India.
Q.4. With much stress on skill development, do you see the threat of Artificial Intelligence outdating the acquired skills?
A.) I am 100% sure that Artificial Intelligence will and should outdate the acquired skills but we cannot label Artificial Intelligence as a threat but a kind of threat and it is not something new or for the first time, it has happened in the past, happening in the present and will happen in the future like always. The past is repeating itself with a new variation.
New technology always overtakes the previous tech like, for example, barter system replaced with gold coins, then coins replaced with fiat currency and then fiat money has a chance of being replaced by cryptocurrency.
Like invention of television dropped the demand of the theatre acting, introducing mobile phone made many industries suffer due to having everything inbuilt, like the camera, radio, telephone.
New technologies are easy to use, convenient, efficient and cheaper than the previous technology, for example, people prefer buying things online rather than going out and looking for that thing. It is just possible because of internet connection on your smartphone or computer. One sitting in India can buy clothes from America, furniture from China, you are just a click away from anything you want in the world. Isn’t it great and convenient than before?
The reason why I say AI is a kind of threat is because, as in Industrial revolution factory owner replaced the human worker with the machine to increase their profit and produces goods faster than before, this has made a huge number of people lose their jobs, some revolted back by breaking into the factories and smashing down the machines, but the machine did create jobs as the machine needed a regular maintenance check-up and someone to keep a watch on the machine for their proper functioning. Even the internet made people lose jobs but today there are jobs which did not exist before the internet, like the internet providers or data scientists.
The only thing which is different will be that the people getting affected will be in huge numbers but I think there will be some solution to this problem, some new openings will be created because this will create an economic imbalance as companies using AI need to sell their products but there won’t be purchasing power in the market, as people are left with no jobs.
Q.5. Your opinion about politics as a career in India?
A.) Personally politics does not interest me, but my father being a politician and according to my close observation my opinion to anyone on making a career in Indian politics is as follows –
For what I believe first of all I don’t think politics is a career in anyway. As politics is supposed to be for the welfare of the people and betterment of the society and not for personal use. I believe politics should mainly be public-centric and not personal-centric. For example the government should not only favor their family and friends but give enough attention to the public, making better economic policies and focusing on development in every sector from agriculture to advancing technology. And It varies from person to person, as to, with what motive does he or she enter into politics. It can either be for personal interests or social welfare.
But in reality, Indian politics Is very different and complex. Politics in a simpler sense is about the few people on the top who are fighting amongst each other to stay in power to earn money, fame and position by misleading people against each other for personal gain.
Q.6. Your remarks about education in India and U. K.?
A.) The education system in India and the education system in the U.K have a great difference in them, as both have their different pattern and different way of teaching which results in two different respective outcomes.
It was in the British rule when public schooling became mainstream due to the lack of technical staff and clerks in that era and to avoid a disturbance in management and the British teaching the Indian and I don’t think the Indian education has undergone a major change from that time.
Indian education is more based on memorizing the book and increasing the student’s memory and writing the exams based on what they have learned in the class and from his or her books and nothing out of the box, or anything which will motivate the students study but whereas education in the U.K is quite different, 60-70% is based and focused on the assignment given to the students which forces them to build and improve their analytical power and reasoning capacity, where students are taught about the latest technology or latest inventions made, where the syllabi are changed and updated every two years due to the advancement in various fields. Students are allowed to express their opinion even if they are wrong. There are courses where the students have to do a year of internship before giving his or her final year examination. This helps the students to get theoretical knowledge and some experience, thus making them more confident before they go hunting for a job.
Q.7. Your reading of Youth Power in Navi Mumbai?
A.) I am just a 19-year-old teenager so I may be wrong, but according to my understanding, things I see around and saw back in my junior college days, what I feel is the youth of Navi Mumbai are kind of unmotivated, unproductive and have no track of their future career. The youth of Navi Mumbai are attracted to a luxury lifestyle even having a weak financial background, an auto-rickshaw driver has no slippers on his feet but his son demands the latest iPhone. More than half of the college students are seen on the cigarette tapir, passing their time playing ludo on their phones or loitering around the mini seashore and Sagar Vihar. There is a quite an increase in the drug consumption in the youth, only the difference comes with their financial background, the poor students do drugs while sitting in public gardens and the rich consume drugs in their cars or clubs. Anybody can hardly see the youth doing something productive other than going to their school or college. I see this generation only going to school and having no extra activity, hobbies or productive work where he or she builds themselves. I am sure that the youth of Navi Mumbai are capable, there is a very small percentage who do things which are beyond regular college attending, but my concerns are with the bigger percentage which are uncertain of their future.
I suggest if the colleges and universities take initiative in motivating the youth through various ways such as organizing events where motivational speakers are invited to give speeches about life, sports, business, etc., at least once a month, have a number of industrial visits and spread awareness about drug use and its effects.
Q.8. What would you like to focus on for the development of Vashi-Sanpada region in particular and Navi Mumbai as a whole?
A.) What I would like to focus on the development of Vashi-Sanapda region in particular is that Sanpada Is kind of isolated and not well connected to the mainland. Sanpada just has two entry and exit points and both points meet at the same junction causing traffic congestion even at off- peak hours and for Vashi region I don’t have anything in particular to say.
And about development in Navi Mumbai as whole I would prefer widening of roads or a well-organized traffic control system. I would like to see connectivity in the city where people should be able to ply with the help of public transport rather than auto rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles.
I would like to see the city have hi-tech corporation hospitals, a proper ratio of gardens, parking facility and public utilities as per the need of the locality.
Q.9. You may not need a job as your parents can afford to settle you in some business. Yet what do you foresee as employment prospects of the educated youth in Navi Mumbai and in India?
A.) Me not needing a job due to my parent’s financial condition is different from my interest for doing a job, I have chosen to graduate in Business Studies due to my interest to be a businessman and running my own business.
What I foresee is that there are prospects for the educated youth in Navi Mumbai and India, several start-ups are coming up and youths playing a major role in those, several incubation centers are seen than before. New trends are coming up in this generation and are creating a new category of self-employment such as food blogger, travel blogger, freelancing. There are times when the economic cycle has its bad times and companies downsize but that does not conclude that youth won’t be employed in future. Even when Artificial Intelligence comes, the mainstream youth won’t be unemployed, it is only the economic cycle which makes the people worried about the future.
Q.10. Will you opt to settle in U. K. or India or any other country that offers good opportunity?
A.) I personally don’t like a monotonous lifestyle, I enjoy some ups and some downs, new experiences, new opportunity, new places to visit and meeting new people and enhancing myself. So, if given a great opportunity in any other country and my situations be stable, where I am not much needed in India, I would definitely go and work there for 3-4 years, gain knowledge and experience and not settle out there, as I prefer coming back to India.
India being my homeland I would like to serve my country back in some way or the other through the knowledge, skill and experience I have gained abroad. Set up a business back in India create employment and do some charity work.
Q.11. What are your present hobbies?
A.) I have few entertaining hobbies like football, movies, travelling new places, wishing to taste local dishes of the place I go to. Apart from that there are hobbies like attending conferences, meeting new people, watching documentary videos enabling me to widen my perspective and mindset.
Q.12. What are your feelings about students going abroad for higher studies?
A.) What I feel particular about the students going aboard for higher studies is that they are amongst the few and have been given a lifetime opportunity of going aboard for education and should use this opportunity to the fullest.
Students should experience the new world out there, get out of the comfort zone, be confident or an extrovert, whatever the student prefers and try to meet new people in their respective field, have an exchange of ideas, knowledge and culture, try to understand how things work in a different country. I suggest students do an internship in different companies and gain as much as possible and build themselves up.
I believe students should not only be well educated but also have a touch of their culture in them, even if exposed to the world they should not forget their homeland as they represent it wherever they go and should be benefitting their country in some way or the other.
Q.13. Would you like to share your views about the civic works in Navi Mumbai as compared to the U.K. city you are presently residing in?
A.) I reside in Preston city which Is a small city in the north-west of the U.K and my observation regarding the civil works done over there and comparing it with the civil works done here in India, there is a huge difference. The U.K has infrastructure which is standing from centuries and is still in use and is still able to hold the capacity of the population whether it is roads, drainage or anything. It rains all year round and Preston is the highest rainfall receiving city in the U.K but during my year’s stay, I have not yet seen the city getting flooded due to drainage problem or any such kind of problems.
People of U.K are always informed a week before any civil works are started, there are signboards put up in the radius of 100 meters from the work which is going to be done and the time period the road, footpath or the inconvenience of the work causing the people but whereas in Navi Mumbai people are uninformed which civil work has started and how long will it take to complete.
The work area is covered and no one is allowed to enter the premises, barricades are put to stop any kind of disturbances caused and the civil work has great speed and is finished on schedule. The civil work done is of a standard quality and there are regular maintenance check-ups.
While Navi Mumbai see death by accidents due to not taking necessary safety measures. For example, last month a 35 years old man died due to the electric cables not being covered properly.
In short, the civil work is done in U.K. in an organized way, without red tape, causing minimum inconveniences to the people and planning for a long term ahead.