Recently, a data released by the finance ministry, showing the GSDP data of the states had Uttar Pradesh at the 2nd position, leaving Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, seen as industrial states, behind. Also, the state achieved 2nd position in Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) Report published in 2020 taking a leap of 10 positions. These positive growths not only fill the people of Uttar Pradesh with optimism but also set precedence for others, especially the Empowered Action Group of states.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India with a population approximately equal to 20.42 crores. Area-wise too, the state is quite big. Thus, development requires a proper utilization of this human capital and other resources. A big front that plays an important role here is that of the MSME sector. In a country like India, where 30% of the GDP is contributed by this sector, UP owns the 2nd largest MSME units that recorded 100% growth in the year 2019-2020. From efficient disbursement of loans to encouraging investment via programs like ‘Nivesh Mitra’, along with improved infrastructure and connectivity seem to have given results, generating employment for many including the labours and workers who counter-migrated to their native places during the COVID pandemic. The invitation to large industries and multi-national companies too would add to these advancements. Apart from these, worth mentioning is the Dedicated Freight Corridor- a Government of India project that would boost the development of the regions it would pass by- UP being one.
The state, however, for long has been known more for the soft power it has. From being an abode to Hindu pilgrims due to places like Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura to holding strong the heritage of Buddhism via places like Sanchi and Sarnath to showcasing the Islamic royalty that reflects in the ‘Nawabi’ culture of Lucknow, the state not only has diverse population but also all the ingredients to hold onto this diversity. This opens gates to new horizons which could be chased for further progress. The building of Ayodhya temple to the advance design of mosque planned to be built on the 5 acres land allotted by the Supreme Court of India, etc. hold meaning in this context and could contribute largely to future too.
Nevertheless, one thing that worries many is the crime in the state. Although, it is true that UP in-spite of such large population and lower literacy rate sees lesser incidences if the stats for the rates of many crimes are seen but limiting loss of life and livelihood due to such acts to just numbers would be an injustice. The NCRB report shows UP at the 1st place in most of the criminal activities including violence against women, Dalits, etc. The political influence that many criminals held for many years in the past make things worse. With changing scenario towards positivity and a willing leadership, the time is ripe for action. Ensuring education wrapped with moral values, health and well-being to the last person is needed. The state needs to show stronger commitment towards prosperity to all beyond caste, creed, religion etc. and a decentralized approach towards this can uproot the ills that have been nurtured by earlier administrations.
It is the combination of administering with an iron fist and public centered welfare and developmental policies that seem to be working out changing the very identity of once infamously known ‘Bimaru’ state to a model- known as the ‘UP Model’ by many. Also, the citizens of the state must come together to sustain or even move ahead onto this path of progress. It is time to shed the differences and use every opportunity that governance provides. This growth can set bars high for many other states in the country. After all, if UP, which many experts saw as being ‘unmanageable’ once due to its size can, others too could, giving us all an India of our dreams.