Indian Govt’s Stunts And Gimmicks Continue Unabated
Justice Markandey Katju says the Indian government’s recent steps which are being termed achievements, are in fact nothing more than gimmicks.
India has been run by stunts and gimmicks for the past many years, e.g. Yoga Day, Swatchata Abhiyan, building Ram Mandir, ghar wapasi, cow protection, MNREGA, Namami Gange, Digital India scheme, Ujala scheme, demonetisation, ‘surgical’ strikes against that ‘villain’ Pakistan, abolition of Articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, the Chandraayan moon trip, etc.
90% of our gullible people have cheered and clapped their hands at these ‘great’ achievements. However, there is one field in which one cannot bluff, and that is economics.
The recent sharp dip in GDP, steep decline in manufacturing (growth rate now down to 0.6 %) and agriculture (growth rate down to 2%), steep downturn of auto, IT, real estate and other sectors all across the board, and huge job losses, all attest to a steep recession which has hit India.
The test of every political and social activity is one, and only one: Does it raise the standard of living of the people? Does it give them better lives? If not, it is just a stunt or gimmick. Consider the following:
1. Abrogation of Articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution (which gave a special status to Kashmir)
How will this make any difference in the lives of Kashmiris? In my opinion, it is irrelevant, except that the restrictions which have been in place for over a month have caused great hardship. Hence this abrogation was just a gimmick to divert attention from the terrible economic crisis in India.
It is said that now businessmen from outside Kashmir will buy land and set up factories in Kashmir, which will create many jobs. But who will do so in a disturbed area where any time one may be struck by a bullet? Hence, this is just wishful thinking.
2. Chandraayan visit to the moon
But does this abolish or reduce unemployment in India? Will it reduce farmers’ suicides?
3. Yoga Day
When every second child in India is malnourished (according to UNICEF, Global Hunger Index, and other agencies ), and 50 % of our women are anaemic, is it not a cruel joke to tell hungry people to do Yoga?
4.‘Surgical’ strikes against Pakistan
Both India and Pakistan are suffering from the same problems of widespread poverty, massive unemployment, appalling child malnourishment, huge farmers’ distress, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, etc.
So should they not unite and help each other in resolving these problems instead of striking each other? See indianreunificationassociation.co.in
5. Building Ram Mandir
There are thousands of Ram Mandirs already in India. How will building another make a difference? Will it solve the problems of poverty, unemployment etc in India? Is this also not just a diversionary move to divert public attention from the terrible economic crisis?
6. Swatchata Abhiyan
There may be a few ‘Potempkin Villages’ here and there, but otherwise one can see the same mounds of garbage and filth lying everywhere in India, air pollution, and polluted rivers and lakes.
So this loudly proclaimed scheme, like others, hardly scratched the surface of the problem, and was more of a stunt.
I have stated in my article ‘The only way to revive the sinking India economy is by raising the purchasing power of the masses ‘ published in indicanews.com. That is the only way out of the dilemma, but it is not possible within the present system.
So things will get worse in the coming days, and we will witness more such stunts and gimmicks by a desperate government as the economic crisis intensifies. With huge applause by our mostly sold-out media, and cheering by our gullible people.
However, time will surely come when the Indian people will see through such stunts, and demand real solutions to their socio-economic problems. But the real solutions lie outside the present system in India, and it is only by a massive historical united people’s struggle, like the French Revolution, that this can be achieved.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.