Prime Minister Modi made an unexpectant announcement. PM Modi, who appeared to be the poster boy for India’s Amritkaal (a period to denote India’s growth post-75 years of Independence), has coined a different term to replace the former. India need not crave any “Amrit” (Elixir) from the Government but keep battling the hardships of inflation and unemployment as their “Kartavya” (Duty).
That’s right, Indians have entered Kartavyakaal until 2047. In the 25 years to come, let us not whimper under the unnecessary pain and hardships for securing the basic amenities of life but convince ourselves that the Government is doing all it can (without any substantial proof for the same) to gift us “Achche Din.”
Why expect the Government to deliver perfect governance? The onus is on us, the people of India, to pay taxes and still do more “Kartavya” to pay for the Netas’ subsidised canteens and luxurious Bungalows. We must not demand answers for the rising petrol and LPG prices but keep mum and retort to doing our “Kartavya.”
If we screen carefully enough (which we should), terms like Achche Din, Amritkal, and Atmanirbhar Bharat, are vague terms aimed at instigating the masses and giving them a fake sense of comfort. During elections, the BJP will keep pitching brand-new lucrative promises and schemes to entice unsuspecting voters. What we have never seen is their leaders taking accountability or even addressing the masses regarding their previous unkept pledges, or what Home Minister Amit Shah brazenly calls “Jumlas.”
15 Lakhs for every poor person
During his electoral rally in 2014, Prime Minister Modi made an astonishing announcement. Modi claimed that if all the black money (belonging to corrupt politicians, unlike himself) stored in Swiss Banks returned to India, each poor person would get credited with Rs. 15 lakhs as a grace! He assured the masses gathered in the rally that when elected, he would ensure this black money returned to India.
A couple of years later, Indians stood before the bank in extensive queues to collect money. No, not the 15 lakhs, but to exchange their hard-earned money that got frozen by the Central Government overnight due to a random whim of the Prime Minister. Numerous eminent economists and even former RBI Governors expressed their apprehension against such an offhand move. However, the sidekicks of those in power retorted to justify the Government’s stand and slander the experts on the subject.
Speak about getting the black money back to India. In 2020, the total funds of Indian clients with Swiss banks was Rs. 20,700 crore. The highest in 13 years!
Bullet trains by 2022
One of the most lucrative promises made by the Modi Government was to connect India with high-speed bullet train services from four directions by 2022. In reality, however, the joint venture between India and Japan turned out to be smoke and mirrors, as not even one out of the four corridors for the Indian Bullet train project has seen the light of day.
India’s demography suggests that not even 1% of the population can afford the luxury of a Bullet train, with 66.66% of India standing on the verge of poverty, Indian Railways is the only affordable means of communication for them. The bullet train is an ordeal for multiple reasons because the Government should have increased its focus on the existing railway infrastructure. Rather than strengthening the necessary infrastructure to support India’s growing population, the PM launched one Vande Bharat after the other. While a “hospital train” like the Coromandel Express got derailed, and the lives of 288 people got lost.
Double income for the farmers in Amritkaal
While addressing a rally before the farmers of Barreily in February 2016, PM Modi promised to double every farmer’s income by 2022! Forward to 2022, the Modi Government wreaked havoc on farmers by retorting to nullify even their Minimum Support Price (MSP). After much fiasco and unrest, during which numerous supporters and politicians of the BJP defamed the farmers by calling them “terrorists and Khalistani separatists,” the Modi Government got forced to repeal their controversial “Farm Laws.“
According to a report, between 2016-17 and 2020-21, a farmer’s net income had decreased by 1.5% instead of increasing by 100% (as promised). The Modi Government shamelessly amended the statistical procedure to determine Farmers’ suicide rates to manipulate the actual data.
Mehengai and Achche Din
One of the imminent reasons for Modi’s electoral sweep in 2014 had been his sheer criticism of the UPA Government for its inefficiency in tackling the rising inflation rates. Today, inflation ceases to be a concern for the state, not because it has got dealt with, but because Godi media is grinding it out to avoid public discord over sky-rocketing inflation rates.
- In 2014, the price of petrol was Rs. 74.51 per litre. Today, it is Rs. 96.72 per litre. Despite the fall in crude oil prices in 2020, the Modi Government kept increasing taxes.
- In 2014, the price of diesel was Rs. 57.28 per litre. Today, it is Rs. 89.62 per litre.
- In 2014, the price of an LPG Cylinder was Rs. 410. Today, it is at an absurd Rs. 1120.
- In 2014, “Arhar Daal” was Rs. 70 per kilogram. Today, it is Rs. 180 per kilogram.
- In 2014, the price of Mustard Oil was Rs. 90 per litre. Today, it is Rs. 140 per litre.
Let us evaluate “Achche Din” through indices given by esteemed International Organizations:
- According to the Global Hunger Index, India ranks at an abysmal 107 out of 121 countries. Under UPA, India ranked at 55. Today, India’s rank fares lower than even Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal!
- According to the World Happiness Index 2022, India ranks 126 out of 146 countries.
- According to the World Human Development Index (HDI), India lingers at 132 out of 191 countries. Over the last nine years, India has fallen by two ranks.
Guess why you learned these dreadful facts through a Digital news platform? It’s because India ranked 161 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index!
What lies ahead?
Our leader appears rather picky. He relishes in bashing the West and its agencies for their criticism through the publication of indices. But on the other hand, he and his Netas book the first chartered flight to accept “medals of honor” or deliver speeches in the West’s pompous assembly halls.
While the popular leader elected by us is winning laurels overseas, we must exercise an unspoken duty pertinent to each citizen of a democratic country. We should demand accountability. Every time we hear a new Jumla, we must hold a mirror before their cunning faces and ask them about their previous unkept promises. It is definitely NOT our “Kartavya” to bear with their Jumlas.
Unless we exercise our scientific temper and trouble those in power through the spirit of inquiry, India will get plagued by the whims of one demagogue after the other, and the nation’s hard-earned freedom will get left with little value.