Herald: Modi government not pro-poor
Herald News

Modi government not pro-poor

16 Jun 2017 06:15am IST
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16 Jun 2017 06:15am IST

The Narendra Modi government is high on decibel and headline grabbing exercises but low on performance and achievements. In its strategy to make the highest amount of noise is the inherent desire to drown out all voices that are inimical to their policies. Intolerant of criticism and fond of engendering just the one and given viewpoint has been their forte. There is a concept of white noise in electrical communication which is defined as the level above which only any signal can be detected and then heard. The present government's approach is to raise the level of white noise in public discourse to such a level so as to erase any other signals (voices) so that theirs is the only voice which is above the white noise level that will be heard. In this approach if the government finds continuous absence of conformity to its views, it is not beyond the use of its law enforcement agencies and sets them loose on such entities. 

The latest in such instances being the CBI raids on NDTV which is clearly an attempt to cow down this media Co.  Such tactics the BJP had consistently decried while being in the Opposition for the last few decades but it is pursuing the same tactics when it is chairing the government. Must be the fault of the chair and not the BJP!

Apart from this the Narendra Modi government has been desperately trying to wear the tag of being the champion of the poor and the down-trodden. 

This hype is absolutely untrue. If you see the farmer agitations and distress we have been seeing in the last 3 years including the latest one in Maharashtra and MP, you will understand where the truth lies. In both States there have been skirmishes with the police including some deaths of farmers in MP. One cannot understand when in Kashmir you use stink bombs, rubber bullets, why is it that in Mandsaur live bullets were used?

  In MP the CM took the decision to part payment of 50% in cash at the APMC's which did not improve matters and therefore the current agitation. 

 Where farmers have to take to the streets before the government even accords them the courtesy to look at their problems of bad loans, the industrialists have things made easy for them since they get their bad loans resolved by the government while they sit in their centrally air conditioned offices and cozy homes. The government also goes out of their way to issue an Ordinance to bail out the magnates and the concerned bank officials who sanctioned these loans. And these loans run into thousands of crores while the bad loans of farmers are more in the region of lakhs of rupees. Take the case of Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher House in Mumbai which the banks have been trying to auction with no buyers forthcoming at the base prices set, where just last week a 5th attempt was made. Real estate prices have not dropped so much as to have the banks find no buyers so the other logical conclusion is that the property prices were inflated when loans were given against the building as collateral. With a clear case like this why is the government not proceeding to haul up the concerned bank officials at SBI for this fiasco. If the government takes action in such cases then it will send a message out to all concerned and those involved in similar transactions to be wary and follow due process. It is precisely this cosy bureaucrat-banker-industrialist nexus that has led up to the massive NPA's with banks necessitating the Ordinance referred above since bankers have washed their hands off these dues and the industrialists are with their feet up on their desks tapping their fingers on the arm supports of their cushioned chairs waiting for the write-off of their loans completely confident that they will not be liable to any civil or criminal action. 

Their confidence stems from the fact that whatever profits they have had to extract from these projects, they have already pocketed and they are least interested in what settlement is arrived at by the banks and the government on their loans. The blackmail that the industrialists employ is to hold future capital investment leading to less employment generation so that the government is brought to the negotiating table to settle. Even the RBI for all its wisdom has come out against the write-off of farmers loans while saying that it will expedite the process of write-offs of NPA's at banks running to lakhs of crores. Strange situation, this! The machinery in this country seems to be oriented to help and support the big thieves while showing off how many little thieves they have been able to net. With this you will see that this government of Narendra Modi on the one hand kills farmers but plays footsie with the industrialists. So you decide who is championing whose cause, the poor or the rich.

In the same way the demonetisation exercise never looked at the impact of the measure on the unorganised and the micro-enterprises which operate on cash. In the first 3 months after Nov 8, 2016, lakhs of daily wage workers in the unorganised sectors and otherwise, small enterprises went out of business because their suppliers demanded cash for raw material and they had to pay wages in cash but then these were not the focus for Modi since these people have no voice. No one would take up their cause. The politicians have been exploiting the lot of such people and the latest in this exercise is Modi and the BJP. This would have no meaning for them but the lure of a single button money transfer on a catchy ‘Bhim’ sways thoughts and aspirations. But the truth remained that the poor were hit and hit badly by norganized on and nobody cared. 

Similarly on this cow slaughter and beef ban issue, who gets hit? It is the poor who get beaten up, lynched, murdered. If cows are not slaughtered then the leather industry will be badly affected which is in the unorganized sector and lakhs of jobs will be lost. The problem with the Narendra Modi government is that they rush to action with no thought and with no back-up plans like alternate employment or whatever. They move on looking for the next headline in the newspapers leaving a trail of the crying and miserable poor in their wake.

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