Shri Gopal Krishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal, and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, presented his vision of India in 2021 to an enlightened audience at Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) on Nov 7, 2011. Crystal-gazing, Shri Gandhi portrayed a kaleidoscopic image of India in 2021 – young, impatient and angry despite a vibrant economy with projected economic growth hovering around eight percent. The growing resources crunch, especially those related to employment, food, water, housing et al could lead to further deepening of the present crisis, Shri Gandhi cautioned. He went on to add that generation of the deprived young and the enriched young would demand a leadership more representative of its age and status. Shri Gandhi’s predictive analysis categorized hazards that India is likely to encounter over the next decade into two broad segments – those caused by forces beyond our control, and those posed by situations which are caused by human actions, human decisions and public policy. His talk at VIF was a significant pointer to the challenges he foresaw India facing over the next decade - environmental hazards caused by forces of nature and human actions, pandemics, growing phenomenon of urbanization, Maoism, terrorism etc. Mr. Gandhi’s narrative however had some positives to count as well. He said that by 2021 India will be three or four years away from landing on the Moon.
While foreseeing monumental changes that India would go through over the course of next decade, Shri Gandhi argued that some of these pivots of change could also come from the ranks of simple citizens, including real-life renunciates who give up the gradients of power as also honest whistle-blowing officials. Behavioural changes, especially among those in power, accompanied further by such changes at the societal level could help in mitigating some of these hazards, Shri Gandhi advised. The talk was highly appreciated by the audience who applauded Shri Gandhi for taking them through India’s tumultuous journey over the next ten years.