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Disappointing 100 Days! A Weakening India

The BJP captured power by making lofty promises and selling unrealistic dreams. The 100 days story of this Government has proved to be disappointing, non-fulfilment of promises, undermining of institutions and compromising administration & governance and promoting a work culture nurtured by distrust and fear. Today, the Congress Party has asked the Government and the BJP to respect the mandate given to them by delivering on the promises they made and working sincerely towards alleviating the problems of the people, rather than creating media hype about nonexistent achievements, creating electoral slogans aimed solely at perception management and taking credits of the schemes and initiatives of the previous Government by just indulging in renaming exercises. The past 100 days point to nothing but,‘Over promise and Under deliver’ on part of the Prime Minister and the Government and they had failed to deliver on every single issue that they had trumped up in the run up to the elections.

The first 100 days only seem to be an extension of the election campaign, which should end immediately for Governance to commence and this shameless exercise of renaming and plagiarizing the initiatives and schemes of the UPA Government, solely for the purpose of taking credit should proceed to concrete steps that involve actual governance rather than mere perception management and media manipulation.

It is time that the media and through it, the people of India took serious stock of the work that their government has been doing and the public discourse shifts to actual analysis, lest a personality driven cult begins to take roots. The government’s grace period is over and we demand a clear road map for our future socio-economic and political development.

The government is claiming credit for 5.7% GDP growth rate for the first quarter of the current financial year as one the biggest achievement in its 100 days. They have conveniently forgotten that the figures are for the first quarter (April 1- June 30) during which they were in power only for 35 days.

We would like to draw the attention of the people and the Government to some critical issues so that clarity could emerge out of the maze of propaganda being spun:

  1. Untamed Food Inflation-

After having incessantly harped on rising food prices in the run up to the polls the BJP/Government has ensured nothing but costlier milk and sugar and skyrocketing prices of vegetables and fruits. Even if one were to ignore the prices of vegetables being sold by retailers, Government data itself shows that Food Inflation rose to 9.36% in July from the previous 7.90% in June.

The Government has done nothing to address Diesel driven inflation (due to freight, transportation and use in agricultural implements) with price of the fuel being increased 4 times. While the Finance Minister gives a perfunctory statement about food inflation being a challenge and yet not being of concern, with an obvious attempt at playing to the gallery, he refuses to pitch any figure for inflation in the future.

 

  1. Unprecedented escalation of ceasefire violations on Borders-

While we have a part time Defence Minister and the Home Minister of this country plays deputy to his own MoS,the country is witnessing unprecedented incursions and violations across both our international borders and LOC with Pakistan and China. Pakistan hasindulged in heavy unprovoked shelling and firing resulting in the death of11 Jawans and 3 civilians and displacement of thousands of people.Over 70 ceasefire violations have occurred since the new Government took over and the DG, BSF has said that the intensity of shelling and firing has been the worst since 1971.

A party and its leaders who during their election campaignfaultedthe leadership in Delhi for LoCviolations went on to invite the Pakistan PM over shawl and saree diplomacy, is yet to explain the absence of firmness and clarity in dealing withPakistan.

 

  1. Women insecurity emanating from the Cabinet itself –

After having the pitched the slogan of “Bahuthuanari par attyachar, abkibaarModisarkar”, Mr. Modi went on to include a rape accused in his Council of Ministers. Repeated pleas by the rape victim to meet the Prime Minister and Home Minister have gone unheeded.

Even as incidents of rape spiraled across the country, especially in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the Prime Minister’s colleagues in the Government and the Party, Shri ArunJaitley, Sri BabuLal Gaur and Ramsewak Paikra (Law Minster, Govt. of Chhattisgarh) came out with insensitive statement trivializing rape and insulting women. The response of the Prime Minister is a resounding silence.

 

  1. Hoodwinking the peopleon bringing back black money-

The UPA Government had signed treaties with more than 80 countries to facilitate the return of black money to India, the BJP and Shri Modi created a smokescreen and hoodwinked the people of India with the promise of bringing back a supposed 85 lakh crores rupees. The then BJP President Shri Rajnath Singh gave a deadline of 100 days to bring black money back, after coming to power.Shri Modi gave a “personal commitment” to bring it back “by forming a task force and amending legislation” and “distribute the money amongst honest tax payers”. However, the Finance Minister, Shri Jaitley now says they have no information about black money and that he could give no time frame for bringing it back. Doesn’t this U Turn and double speak require an explanation? Don’t the people of India deserve an answer regarding their money in foreign banks? Or were they just taken for a ride? The Nation as indeed every honest tax payer is waiting for an answer.

 

  1. Corruption& probity in Public life

The biggest bulwark against Corruption-the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act passed by the UPA Government remains a nonstarter due to the petty politicking being done by the Government by not fulfilling the statutory requirement of constituting the selection committee for the appointment of theLokpal. This double speak of the Government has been noticed even by the Supreme Court while making strong observations on the issue of delay in appointment of theLokpal. The PM and his government it seems is bent upon replicating the Gujarat Model of thwarting the Lokpal/Lokayukta till the last moment so that convicted and charged Ministers could continue to remain in his Cabinet- as was the case in Gujarat.

13 Ministers in the present government have serious criminal charges against them, while Shri Modi promised a “dream team” before coming to power. His lack of commitment to probity is amply demonstrated by the fact thatthe Government did nothing to take forward the 5 basic anti-corruption legislations,viz. the Judicial Standards and Accountability, 2010, the Prevention of Bribery of foreign public officials Bill 2011, the Right of Citizens for Time bound delivery of Goods and Services and redressal of Grievances Bill 2011, the Public procurement Bill 2012 and Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2013. Is it because 98 of BJP LS MPs are facing criminal cases including those for corruption?

 

  1. Subversion and weakening of Institutions

The arbitrarily decision of dismantling of the Planning Commission strikes at the base of our federal structure in the middle of the plan period without putting into place even an a semblance of alternative mechanism to subverting the very basic feature of Parliamentary

 

Similarly, democracy by undermining and politicizing the spirit behind the institution of the Leader of Opposition,this Government is surely and steadily hitting at the very foundation of India’s federal decentralization and democratic dissent.

 

Apart from politicizing the bureaucracy now there is an attempt to co-opt and create a system of committed judiciary. When the judiciary asserts its independence, the tendency in this Government is to be overtly confrontational towards it.

 

  1. Extreme sectarian and divisive politics and the PM’s double speak there to-

Prime Minister on several occasions has claimed that the constitution will be his guiding doctrine and said he was the PM of 1.2 billion Indians with the call to put a ten year moratorium to sectarian and divisive issues, the record of his government and colleagues tells a different story. There have been more than   600 riots in the past 100 days and non-issues like ‘Love-Jehad’, ‘Forcible Conversions’, blatantly communal statements by hardliners like, Yogi Adityanath are being pushed deliberately in the media space and public domain to create mutual fear and distrust amongst communities with the sole aim of polarizing voters for political gains. While the Prime Minister speaks of moratorium, his Government gives Z+ security to rioters and his party appoints rabble rousers as in-charge of elections.

 

  1. Inconsistency in foreign policy and Trivialization of Multilateral Commitments

The foreign policy of the BJP government is opaque, directionless and confusing for India’s partners and all interlocutors. From an inconsistent stand at WTO that led to India’s isolation for the first time or the flip-flop with regards to talks with Pakistan, inability to check ceasefire violations at the LoC or cancellation of the Commerce Minister visit to ASEAN + 6 (East-Asia Summit) conference to Mynamar, the Government seems to be floundering on all foreign policy fronts. Even the on-going visit to Japan of the PM has its basis in the initiatives taken by the previous Government. If only they were to continue on the sound footing that the UPA Government had established with regards to foreign policy such embarrassing situations would not have arisen. The Government has trivialized the presence of the Nation at multilateral fora, hence displaying non-seriousness towards foreignpolicy issues.

 

  1. Minimum Governance, maximum PM

All that the slogan of minimum government, maximum governance has led to:-

  1. a) Half-baked restructuring of key ministries
  2. b) Major ministries being headed by non-cabinet ministers
  3. c) Part-time Defence   Minister
  4. d) Exclusion of key ministers from Appointment Committee of Cabinet
  5. e) Secretaries of Ministries reporting directly to PMO, instead of respective Ministers.

All this has led to nothing but thorough weakening of Cabinet system of Government that our Constitution envisages and has led to a situation characterized by fear and distrust.

  1. Systematic Destruction of Educational System& Institutional Autonomy-

With the RSS-driven Siksha Bachao Andolan Samiti and Vidya Bharti, becoming the guiding force behind the government efforts to “reform” the education system and curriculum, the obscurantist agenda of the BJP for politicizing education has started. It will result in nothing but distortion of curriculum which will lead to polluting of young minds and coloring the outlook of generations to come.

 

While the premiere research institution, the ICHR has already been compromised by appointing an RSS nominee as its head, the prestigiouscenters of excellence such as the IITs and the Delhi University are facing constant threats to their autonomy at the behest of the HRD ministry.

 

  1. No game-changers, only name-changers-

 

Several schemes initiated under the UPA government have been marketed as new under new names. In some of the cases, the government did not even make additional fiscal allocations.

 

The Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan of the UPA government has been rechristened as Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan without any enhancement in budgetary allocations made during the interim budget presented by Shri P Chidambaram.Special provisions for toilets in school was made under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

 

Similarly by renaming the UPA Government’s universal financial inclusion schemes and amalgamating our insurance schemes into the financial program, their claiming credit for ‘Jan DhanYojna.’

 

This Government has a long time to complete its term. The first three months have been disappointing to say the least. While the Government aims at projecting itself as a strong entity, the process of weakening India as a nation has begun. The Congress party will continue to protect the integrity of India and will not allow the fundamentals of the Indian-political, social and economic to be destroyed.

 

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