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Local companies have their own worth and value for their contribution to the national economy and multi-dimensional growth of any country. A standard policy is always required for the empowerment of the local companies. Under this policy, organisations concerned help establish local and international economic entities from scratch. This is the policy that was pursued in Oman to reach the point where we are today.
Recently, the importance of this philosophy was realised when international companies, especially those in the oil and gas sector, started laying off local youth, despite the fact they were assigned projects worth billions of rials. What we expect from the government is to pay attention to the situation particularly in the oil and gas sector from where hundreds of millions of rials are going outside the country in one pretext or the other. Therefore, it is always advisable that the local companies should be set up and they should be assigned the projects according to their size. With government support, such entities can grow, excel, and get noticed.
There is no doubt that the national companies have proved their worth and usefulness if they got support from the government. Such companies have sustainability in their works and projects. If similar companies come up particularly in the oil and gas sector, after a certain period of support and empowerment, they grow to become international entities.
The growth of these companies would require a process of empowerment. The will to grow these companies should come from within. The government would need to take an interest in it. This would require more monitoring and accountability by the agencies concerned for the works and projects which are assigned to foreign companies. If these companies go against the approach of the government, they should be held accountable.
The government has been imparting huge responsibility to build companies since the 1970s. This has contributed to the creation of large entities working today in many economic sectors. Without government support, it was not possible for us to see such major companies. But this policy, which we had in the 70s and 80s, got diluted due to the clash of interests and multiplicity of authorities. On the contrary, this approach was supposed to be strengthened. This could also help save the jobs of the citizens.
Recently the idea of local added value has emerged. This should be adopted by the economic entities which reap the fruit and keep the money circulating in the country. Under the guidance of Late Sultan Qaboos, local companies were assigned the oil fields as a new experience. Now, these companies are doing formidably well in the oil sector and have emerged as major entities. In the same model, in recent years five major companies were also set up to expand the base. More such experiences are required in the oil and gas sector. More national companies should be given preference in construction and service projects.
Some of the companies are making efforts in the oil and gas sector, but they still below the mark. They are also not monitored and made accountable. They do not abide by even national standards. They serve the interests of international companies that take lion’s share from the proceeds of the projects which they actually do not implement. We hope that the government organizations and monitoring authorities would support this sector to prevent any wrong practices which lead to exclusion of national companies, which can accomplish the jobs they are assigned to do.
Of course, when the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh and the national General Secretary of BJP Kailas Vijayvargiya must have forgotten that the Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia was the founder Vice President of their party and two of her daughters Vasundhara Raje and Yashodhara Raje were the leaders of BJP. March 2020 brings a change and the leadership of BJP declared the same “Maharaja” Jyotiraditya a hero who was instrumental in installing Shivraj Singh Government by demolishing the Congress-led Kamal Nath Government! It be reminded that in 1967 one of the closest friends of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and a Congress MP Rajmata Scindia left Congress following refusal of ministerial berth. She joined Jan Sangh and was instrumental in formation of Sanyukt Vidhyak Dal ministry in Madhya Pradesh. Her son Madhavrao Scindia remained with Jan Sangh but opted to join Congress to have long lasting career as a Congress MP and Union Minister till his death in a plane crash. His son Jyotiraditya who lost his Lok Sabha election in May 2019 and was denied the Chief Ministerial berth in the state also remained with the Congress till he joined the BJP in March 2020.
The Rani Laksmi bai of Jhansi had cautioned Nanasaheb Peshwa, her co-leader in the Revolution of 1857 along with Tatia (Tatya) Tope, but the Scindia ditched even his ancestors’ boss for safeguarding his own interest at the cost of Swaraj and Swadharma. Barrister Savarkar writes: “They had written to the Scindia, ‘We are coming to you, so that we shall be enabled to proceed towards the south.’ But this ungrateful man had forgotten the former relations. Well then, remember the former and the present relations too. ‘The ancestors of the Scindia were our servants, our Hujres-that was the former relation. And, the present relation? The whole army of the present Scindia had joined us.
Tatia had gone to Gwalior, seen the leaders, and gained all necessary information!’ But still, forgetting all this the Scindia, with all his army and all his guns, advanced on the Peshwa on the 1st of June, near Gwalior. The Shrimant (Peshwa) who deserves the respect of the whole country thought for a moment that the Scindia had repented and was coming forward to salute the flag of Swadesh. But, Lakshmi said that he was coming, not to salute, but to smash that golden flag. She came forward with her three hundred horsemen and advanced right on the guns of the Scindia. Soon, she caught the view of Jayajirao Scindia and his personal guard the brave ‘Bhaleghate’ troops. The cobra shows not such rage when it is trodden upon as Lakshmi showed at the sight of this traitor!”
Savarkar describes; “Jayajirao Scindia, coward as he was, and his minister, Dinkar Rao, fled, not only from the field, but from Gwalior itself, and ran to Agra!....how can he who goes against his own country and against his own Dharma be a ruler ? …. On 3 June 1857, a big Durbar was held in Phul Bagh. All Sirdars, statesmen, noblemen, shiledars, and cavalry officers, who joined the Shrimant, took their seats according to their rank. Tatia Tope and the Arabs, Rohillas, Pathans, Rajputs, Rangdes, Pardeshis, and others under him came to Durbar in their military uniform and with swords by their side.
The Shrimant himself was dressed in the Peshwa’s uniform Shirpana and Kalgitura on head, pearls in his ears, and pearl and diamond necklaces, round his neck…..all stood up in reverence, salutes were received, and the Shrimant ascended the throne.” The victory over Gwalior was celebrated but Lakshmi was missing since she preferred the battlefield to the Durbar. Lieutenant Rose attacked Gwalior and captured it too. Away from there even the Rani was killed. Thus ended the last organized resistance of the Rebellion. In the famous words of Rose, she was the “best and bravest of the rebel leaders”.
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan’s celebrated poem “Jhansi ki Rani” is being recited even today by the people of India, presenting the darling queen; but the Government of Rajasthan headed by Vasundhara Raje Scindia got the poem removed from the school textbooks since it presented the Scindia ancestors in bad light. Of course, it raised a controversy. The RSS leader, Kanaiya Lal Chaturvedi openly challenged the Scindia government’s decision saying it was a historical fact that the Scindia of Gwalior sided with the British in 1857. Vasundhara’s mother, Rajmata Vijaya Raje, in her autobiography, “Rajpath se Lokpath par”, tried to influence the readers to believe that the Maharaja of Gwalior, Jayajirao, was a nationalist and tried to help the Peshwa under whom the natives tried to challenge the English rule in 1857. Most of the historians have come to the conclusion that the Scindia sided with the British. Savarkar preferred to call him “a Cobra and a Traitor”. And now unfortunately, the Indian political chameleons are busy making efforts to change or rewrite the Indian history.