With four per cent of world's land and 17 per cent of population, India is headed for a serious disaster if we “go on building like how they built palaces in the past”, Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation, has warned.
Addressing real estate developers at NARVIGATE 2023, a real estate convention and multicity expo, in Coimbatore, he also emphasized the urgent need to frame building laws and keep forced migration and unskilled youth in check.
“We (India) have only 4 per cent of the world's land, but we have 17.2 per cent of the world's population, and it could reach 20 per cent in a matter of 15 years, but the land is not growing….,” he said at the event attended by over 1,200 participants.
“If we go on building like how they built palaces in the past, we will be a serious disaster,” he added.
Hitting out at red-tapism, the spiritual leader questioned the system where everybody is treated as a criminal. “Every day you are confusing us with more and more amendments. Just frame the building laws and tell us what it is for - a village, town, and city. Most of us will go by the law. Not even two per cent will break the law. But now everybody is being treated like a criminal. To get one building permission 14 certificates are needed,” he said.
Asked how developers can contribute to nation-building when they really don't have a say in forming the rules, Sadhguru said: “This is why associations like these are very important. Why don’t you set up or employ two fresh people to research on what are all the rights of real estate developers? What are the things you can do?... Find out and then make a proper representation across the country- in every state and at the center…I understand that at the individual business level, if you go all out, they will fix you. But if the whole industry goes, nobody is going to fix you.”
“If all of you have to thrive, you must understand - if the industry does not thrive, you’re not going to thrive. But if you really want to thrive, this industry must thrive,” he added.
Replying to a question on finding a perfect balance for sustainable development with the urbanization led by increased migration, Sadhguru said people are forced to migrate because they have no livelihood. He called for developing skill centers to tackle the issue and also warned that the lack of skill in the young population is a “ticking time bomb”.
“At least, there must be 8-10 million children in the country right now who will reach 15-16 years of age. They think they're educated, but they can’t add two plus two. They don’t have skills of any kind, nor do they have education, nor are they going to university. This is a ticking bomb because you will have no possibility of employment and are a harvest for criminal and other kinds of negative activity.”
Sadhguru noted that a nation doesn't just happen because of the buildings and the bridges and the roads. “A great nation happens because we build great people. Physically, mentally, and in terms of skills, if you build great people, there's a great nation,” he said.