Today we stand at an important tri-juncture of problems. The internal ones being hesalthcare,shelter,education and un-employment. The external ones include volatile neighbours in Pakistan and a superpower in China which wants to reinstate its dominance as a big brother in Asia. The political one where every problem is dealt with rhetoric and false narratives. The year 2019 will be an year where every Indian will once again participate in the democratic exercise of voting and choosing their leader for next 5yrs. The choice will a tough one as we get mired in the plethora of information that is being fed to us using various mediums. Every second some propaganda in the form of news is fed to us via Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter. While some paint a pretty picture ,some highlight the plight and a handful websites that do fact finding. The importance of fact finding is all the more necessary and relevant now as at times even our PM has stated figures which do not match the data provided by various ministries. Let us analyse some pre-election promises to what has been delivered :
Job Creation :
Promise : At a rally in Agra in 2013, Narendra Modi, then campaigning for the position of Prime Minister, had said the BJP would create 10 million jobs: “If BJP comes to power, it will provide one crore jobs which the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government could not do despite announcing it before the last Lok Sabha polls,” the newspaper DNA had quoted Modi in a November 2013 story.
Delivered : Looking at the data provided by the Labour Ministry we can safely assume that not much has been delivered on the job creation front and the flagship scheme of Make in India failed to deliver on many fronts. After the initial enthusiasm the whole idea fizzled out as the government could not create a conducive environment for doing business. India ranks 130 on Ease of doing business index. The overall campaign costs borne by the common man did not bring anything new to the plate and was reduced to a mere political gimmick.
Women & Child Safety :
While passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill was one of its key electoral promises, the BJP government is showing a complete lack of political will to pass this landmark measure. Introduced and passed in the Rajya Sabha during UPA-1, the bill awaits a little effort by the government to get it passed in the Lok Sabha, where it has a majority.
The UPA government has already done half the job, as bills passed in the Rajya Sabha don’t lapse. But the government has not taken any step so far to table the bill in the Lok Sabha.
Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act 2016 not only reverses the gains of the 1986 Act, but actually contradicts the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act of 2000 that makes it punishable for anyone to procure or employ a child in a hazardous occupation. They also contravene the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Minimum Age Convention and UNICEF’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a signatory. According to UNICEF, a child is involved in child labour if he or she is between 5 and 11 years, does at least one hour of economic activity, or at least 28 hours of domestic work in a week. And in case of children aged between 12 and 14, 14 hours of economic activity or at least 42 hours of economic activity and domestic work per week is considered child labour.
Lets look at some stats for Crimes again women in Delhi & rest of India :
Rape cases in Delhi
|Year||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017 (till March 15)|
(Source: Delhi Police)
Now let us look at the all India figures. Like Delhi, the national figures of rape too went up substantially in 2015, if compared with the 2012 data.
Rape cases in India
Clearly the government has failed its people on this front as well .
Corruption & Black Money :
One of the biggest pre poll promises of the current government was to bring back black money. Our honorable PM went on to the extent of crediting every Indian’s account with 15 lakhs once his government is in power. On that front the government did sign an automatic data sharing deal but anything fruitful will materialize only in 2019 . To silence critics back home the government undertook a massive exercise in Demonitization on 8th November 2016. The exercise had a crippling effect on the economy and literally bought life to a standstill. While the government kept claiming long term benefits and kept changing the objectives of Demonitization,after 9 months the data provided by RBI presents a different picture. The outlandish measure further crippled the ailing economy rather than doing good.
The Reserve Bank of India said in its annual report on Aug. 30 that 99 percent, or around 15.28 trillion rupees ($238.7 billion), of the demonetized 500- and 1,000-rupee notes were deposited or exchanged for new currency. That figure suggests that most people — including corrupt officials businessmen and criminals said to have hoarded their illicit wealth in cash — have managed to preserve their fortunes.
The war on black money and ill-gotten wealth turned out to be a war on the poor who reposed their faith in the PM Modi’s willingness to fight corruption .
Farmers & Farm Produce
Addressing a rally in Punjab in 2014, which is a leading agrarian State, the BJP prime ministerial candidate said, “If NDA comes to power it will ensure remunerative prices to the farmers by adding 50 per cent profit into the peasants’ input cost.”
Improve the supply chain infrastructure. This includes proper market/mandi-level facilities for trading, storage and handling capacity, waste reduction, and improving roads and road transport at the local level.
According to an Indian Express report farmer suicides rose by 40% between 2014-15 under Modi government .
The minimum selling price failed to transpire into reality and many farmers ended up dumping their produce as more losses would be incurred transporting them to the markets. Tons of tomatoes were wasted as no cold storage facilities were available to store the produce. A couple of moths later the tomatoes were sold at Rs 100 per Kg as there was supply shortage. The scenario further went on to demonstrate the inefficient management by the governmemt.
While 3years of BJP government has failed to generate anything substantial ,there is a picture perfect India which is being marketed to the citizens. We are worse than what we were yet the narrative is that of a ‘Golden Era’ . While Chandra Gupta Maurya’s golden era was about the prosperity and well being of its citizens.These years will be remembered for communal tensions, farmer suicides, child deaths and a sinking economy. While all of this is happening the narrative of delivering on promises has been moved from 2019 to 2022, taking the vote of the citizens for granted .