By Gyan Pathak
Modi had asked 60 months for ushering in ‘Good Days’ in India. People voted for him to become Prime Minister of India in 2014. Three years passed. Good days remained elusive. Then he came with the idea of creating a New India within five years by 2022. The period 2017-22 was mentioned repeatedly as five-year plan, and the newly created government think tank, the NITI Aayog was activated to work on it. Politically it worked for him and got extension for another five years though the promised ‘good days’ turned into ‘bad day’ by the end of 60 months of his rule. Economic growth slowed down to five years low and joblessness 45 years high. During the election campaign of 2019, he likened the next five years ie 2019-24 with that of the period between 1942-47 in India, a subtle move to avoid mentioning 2022 the promised year for New India, and placing a new year 2024 in electors mind.
The emerging pattern indicates that Modi goes on implementing whatever he likes in the first three years, as we have seen during 2014-17, and then goes in election mode with more alluring promises irresistible for simple ignorant common people. We have just seen how effectively it worked in the last Lok Sabha election. Three years from now will come the promised year for New India. That would be the year of Modi going on election mode. If he fails in ushering in New India by that time, as he failed in bringing the promised ‘good days’, he would come with some more enticing promises, such as an India of $5 trillion economy by 2025, which he had already said in various international fora.
It was reported eight months ago the Modi government targeted $ 5 trillion economy by 2025, and $ 10 trillion economy by 2030. His finance Minister in the first term even went farther during vote on account this year. He said that India aimed at achieving $ 5 trillion economy within five years ie by 2024. It may be mentioned here that India’s present economy is worth $2.6 trillion on an exchange rate basis. Such government announcements trigger the imagination of not only the imagination of the common people but also the young aspirants who starts dreaming about ‘good days’ ahead under Modi’s dispensation with political implication in his favour. By nature, people forget their ‘bad days’ and always willing to welcome the perceived ‘good days’.
Let us have a look at the ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’ Scheme announced in 2017 which aimed at attainment of New India through resolve by 2022. The New India Pledge read – Let us pledge for a new India. In 1942, our freedom fighters had taken a pledge of ‘Quit India’ and in 1947, India achieved Independence.” Modi’s promised New India by 2022 will be a clean, poverty free, corruption free, terrorism free, communalism free, and casteism free. Many programmes were launched under each of the six heads and none of them are doing well. Angelic talks are being resorted to as masks for covering up the hard reality the common people are facing.
Clean India project are already exposed. We have most unclean cities in the world with polluted air and water along with organic and inorganic garbage littering everywhere except some limited areas. All the major rivers of the country are polluted. Cleaning rivers is a difficult task and government is to blame primarily that they are not able to put water treatment plants even in the Nation Capital Territory Delhi. What we cannot reconcile is the dishonesty of the government. A case was reported from Delhi that Yamuna water quality was found improved by an international body. How was it done is a sad story. Water was released from upstream barrage which carried away much of the polluted water downstream. The sample of water was taken after that. Obviously, water quality was found to have improved. Millions of washrooms were made both in urban and rural areas with insufficient or no provisions of water resulting in majority of them unusable. There is PM’s piped water supply programme under which all the household will have piped water supplied by 2024. We are already undergoing severe water crisis in most of the country. Even drinking water is not easily available.
As for the poverty free India, the status is disgusting. Modi had launched doubling the farm income by 2022. However, our farmers are suffering from much reduced farm income. Modi had assured two crore jobs every year, but joblessness has reached 45 years high. He had assured high level of economic growth, but DGP has slid down to five years low at 5.8 per cent. There has never been a time when the government data was so doubtful. Many national and international organizations are raising fingers on the credibility of the data. What we cannot accept is the hiding and manipulation of the data. Even Ex-Economic Advisor of Modi has come with a shocking revelation that the government overstated the growth rate of the country by about 2.5 per cent per year. Cost of education and health has been on the increase. All of these suggest that poverty must have been on the rise during the last five years. House for all by 2022 has also a limited success.
Corruption free India has also been elusive. Only modes of corruption has changed. Bribes, grafts, and kickbacks all are rampant. It is another matter that favouritism is not considered as corruption as we have seen in the Rafael deal in which even Modi was seen as favouring an industrialist as offset partner. Bank frauds are the biggest example of corruption. It is also well known that majority of NPAs are due to corruption. India remains in the most corrupt list of the countries in the Global Corruption Index.
Government needs to work even more for terrorism free India. The political claim that there has been not major terror attack in India since 2014 is false. Even Ministry of Home Affairs data belies this claim. A total of 388 “major” incidents of terrorism during 2014-2018 are clear proof of governments failure in preventing them. The latest Pulwama attack and the subsequent surgical strike has probably drew the voters in Modi’s favour, but it does not mean end of terrorism. Application of brute force against terrorists should also be backed up by more wise socio-political measures which this government lacks, and may make even the comparative peace earned by shedding blood of our people may not live long.
Talking about communalism free and casteism free India is totally a joke coming out from the mouth of Modi. Even his political campaigns have been found impregnated with the twin evils of communalism and casteism. It is also an open secret that his party also gives tickets to the candidates on communal and caste considerations. The worst is that he is presiding over a Ministry in which people of criminal and communal backgrounds were included by himself in large numbers. (IPA Service)