Four years on, are people happy? Under Modi government, there has been some success, but many failures. Despite all its achievements, which has driven by a deeper political agenda, the impression one gets about the government’s past four years is not all that positive, if you take the happenings in the entire country into account. An analysis, for Different Truths.
Modi government has completed four years in office and next year—May 2019 — it will go to poll. Various ministries have come out with four years of achievements. Naturally, they have painted a rosy picture of the work done. Among the ministers, who listed their achievement, the account of her ministry given by the External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, has been most impressive. In the sphere of foreign affairs, the BJP-led NDA government has done some commendable work.
Four years on, are people happy? Under Modi government, there has been some success, but many failures. Despite all its achievements, which has driven by a deeper political agenda, the impression one gets about the government’s past four years is not all that positive, if you take the happenings in the entire country into account.
Many would say that there has been stability and there is much more inclusive growth than before. A large number of bank accounts (51.4 crores) have been opened for the poor even though half of them are non-functional. There is the greater degree of digitalisation in the country and many more miles of roads and railways have been built. Many more toilets have been constructed in rural areas and serious efforts have been made to minimize open defecation. The whole country has been electrified. The informal workers have greater access to accidents of life insurance than before.
A very ambitious health scheme has been announced — Ayushman Bharat. Women in rural areas have been given gas connection. It does speak of a government which is actively searching for ways to gain the confidence of the people and give them hope for a better future. But quite transparently, the main agenda seems to be that Modi wants to return to power after the 2019 elections. The background theme song of Hindutava is loud and playing against the grain of India innate diversity that has existed for centuries. During the past four years, the many incidents of communal tensions have created fear and discontent to win the confidence of all Indians and not make minorities feel excluded and threatened.
Most people used to love Modi’s speeches, but now that whenever he speaks, it sounds hallow and the same big promises he made earlier now feel stale and uninspiring. He and his followers want the people to believe that he had made India great again but has he? The present government badmouths the UPA government at the first opportunity it gets. Never before has a Prime Minister himself abused and derided past leaders like Modi has.
The country has faced a terrible scoreboard problem of failure on the economic front. The banks’ scams are something this government has to own up and not pass the blame on the previous governments entirely. The corporate sector has continued to take advantage of the lax banking rules both in public and private sector banks.
Agriculture continues to be in crisis and not able to come out of its problem of huge farmers’ debt and low price realization for agricultural produce. Agricultural wages have remained stagnant and there is poverty in rural areas. Many papers have been written by Niti Aayog to improve agricultural marketing via electronic auctions, but the ground reality is that the same crisis situation continues. With almost 70 percent of the population in rural areas, agrarian stress has reached a tipping point.
Industrial growth has also been lacklustre and there has not been any spectacular increase in the share of manufacturing in the GDP. Export growth has inched up now and again during the past four years but there has not been a consistent and sustained rise in export growth that would give employment a boost.
In the recent months, the falling rupee has caused more headaches than boosting lacklustre exports. Imports have not fallen and as a result, the current account deficit has been widening, though it is still below the danger level.
The government is working to end corruption on a war footing. Demonetisation, a daring act, was an integral part of this effort. It has yielded handsome dividends through many channels: detection and closure of lakhs shell companies; disqualification of lakhs of company directors; destruction of black wealth in real estate through a sharp decline in prices; rise in the number of income taxpayers; and transmission of a strong signal of the government’s resolve to combat corruption.
Replacement of the Planning Commission by Niti Aayog has been a major institutional innovation. The new institution has emerged as an active promoter of the Prime Minister’s reform agenda. It has also forged a more cordial and equal relationship with the states.
Except for maintaining a relatively high rate of GDP growth, on the economic front, there seems little to boast of. Inequality of incomes and gender inequality are rising with fewer women participation in the labour force than ever before—hardly a rosy picture at the end of four years of the Modi government.
Photos from the Internet
#GDP #ModiGoverenment #Inequality #Hindustava #PoliticalAgenda #EconomyOfIndia #DifferentTruths