Why Modi has been bad news for India

The economy is in a shambles. The government is going to miss its fiscal deficit target at the end of the current fiscal

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Political Bureau

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi waxes eloquent at the rich people’s gathering in Davos, Switzerland, in his bid to attract investment, the damning report of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Inclusive Development Index 2018 ought not to have escaped his attention. India has been ranked a poor 62 out of 77 emerging economies. All of our neighbours including Nepal (22), Bangladesh (34), Sri Lanka (40) and Pakistan (47) have been ranked considerably higher.

To rub insult into injury, international rights advocacy group Oxfam came up with its own report which shows that the richest 1 per cent of Indians cornered 73 per cent of the wealth generated in the country in the last year. As many as 67 crore Indians comprising the population’s poorest half saw their wealth rise by just 1 per cent in the last one year. Modi and his BJP government’s “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas” hoopla lies in the dust. The nation is fast joining the chorus that the Gujarat elections threw up: “Vikas Gando Thayo Che (Vikas has gone mad).” The WEF report states that “6 out of 10 Indians still live on less than $3.20 per day.” Narendra Modi rode to power promising to fix all the ills and turn this Republic into a land of milk and honey with streets paved with gold. People are beginning to separate the wheat from the chaffe and though cows do wander the streets of India with greater impunity and freedom than ever before, the milk remains elusive and women are finding it increasingly unsafe to step out on the roads.

With fuel prices across the country hitting a three-year-old high; with Karni Sena and other Rajput groups engaging in widespread arson and protests in at least five states of the country; with Modi’s Cabinet colleagues rubbishing the scientific veracity of Darwin’s theory of evolution; with ten cases of rape being reported from the BJP-ruled Haryana within the last fortnight; with as many as 11 BJP MLAs being accused of holding offices of profit in Chhattisgarh, yet another BJP-ruled state; with the ghost of Justice Loya refusing to fade out, one can’t help but wonder if the Prime Minister has his handle on the situation back home while he rubs shoulders with the rich men in the snow-capped backdrop of picturesque Switzerland.

The economy is in a shambles. The government is going to miss its fiscal deficit target at the end of the current fiscal. Small scale businesses are yet to recover from the crushing twin blows of demonetisation and hasty and unwise implementation of Goods and Services Tax. Even the IT sector, once the pride of the nation, is on life support while the Prime Minister tom toms the unique entrepreneurship of India’s pakoda sellers.

A pliant media is trying its best to paint a rosy picture of the economy by citing the bull run in the stock market but then statistics are a realm that vedic mathematics is yet to revolutionise. During PV Narasimha Rao’s prime ministership, the Sensex rose from 1,361 to 3,823 in 1791 days, a jump of 281 per cent. During Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, Sensex reached 4,961 from 3,820, a jump of aproximately 30 per cent.

During Manmohan Singh’s first tenure, Sensex rallied from 4961 to 13887, a jump of 280 per cent. At the end of his second tenure, it reached 24716 which marked a jump of 80 per cent from 13,887.

Now compare that with how the Sensex has been faring in the Modi era. In 1,332 days, it has reached 35,801 from 24,716, a jump of 42 per cent.

That is the hard reality the country is grappling with. Modi has not just broken the backbone of the poor of the nation, it has jeopardised business and has not taken the stock markets to any unprecedented heights. And people of the nation are fast realising all of these.

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