Prime Minister Narandra Modi 72 Independence day speech from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort was a dam squib affair. It was just a talk the talk with no meaningful take away. Millions of Indians were expecting that he will come up with pointed achievements that have been made under his rule. However, the high sounding words of laurels attracted no admiration for the Prime Minister who is seeking second term in office.
Here are few highlights of the 72 Independence Day speech that is analyzed threadbare with an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Our Prime Minister says India has progressed with great speed since 2013 keeping that as a base year. He has not given the GDP rate in 2013 and the 2018 to substantiate his claim. There was no mention of the previous progress in terms of economic growth and current one to illustrate the progress of India. What he is trying to say then?
Then he said, India economy that was counted in the 'Fragile Five' (when he gives no date, was that before 2014) now is the sixth biggest economy in the world. Again he fails to give any date when it happened. How he takes credit for it?
PM says India is now a multi-billion dollar investment but he does not give any figure of investment made under his regime. The general understanding is that the FDI has slowed down under Modi rule. What he is then trying to from the echelons of the Red Fort?
He goes on to say; Indian business is all about reform, perform, and transform. Does anyone agree? What is index number of India in terms of ease of doing business?
He talks about 13 crore 'mudra loans', which four crore Indians took and says that its testimony to changing India. Does anyone agree with his remarks? We all know Indian banking sector is struggling with nonpayment of loans. There are many high profile loan defaulters; Nirva Modi, Vijay Mallaya has duped the country.
He says his schemes such as Ujjwala and Saubhagya Yojana has enhanced the dignity of the Individuals. Whose dignity he is talking about? Indian Dalits and minorities remain most oppressed people in the country.
Then he is taking pride in the passing of the GST, and blames the previous government. He does no mention that it was previous government that initiated GST but could not be passed because his party’s opposition. He then goes on to thank the business community for accepting the GST regime happily. Has any survey been done to find the happiness index of the businessmen? The fact is many of them are weeping about their business suffering due to GST.
He talks about Swatch Bharat mission and proclaims its success and says millions of children are having better health due to this scheme. Does anyone ready to accept his claim?
On International Relations, he says India's voice is being heard effectively at the world’s stage and now India has become an integral part of forums whose doors were earlier closed. He did not disclose the gates of the forums, he has been able to open or were they opened by his predecessors.
He announces that in 2022, that is the 75 years of independence, one Indian will be sent to the space mission. It is his contribution or of ISRO?
He announced Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan an affordable health care scheme for the poor. Will it be another announcement like smart cities? We have to wait for his claims to be true.
Then PM talked about reforming the farming sector with his ‘Beej Se Bazar Tak' approach. He said that the farmer’s income will double by 2023. However, he never talked about farmer’s suicide that has increased or decreased, lack of rural irrigation, rural migration, making Indian villages a model villages, a dream of Gandhiji. Well, it was another talk - the talk to fool the farmers.
As part of gender equality, PM said women officers in Army in short service commission will get permanent commission. What he has to do with it? Then he talked about rape and cited Madhya Pradesh example where a rapist was hanged. Has rape stopped in India? He goes on to talk about ‘triple talaq’ and helping Muslim women. How many women have got divorce through triple talaq and will their life change if there is no trple talaq. He has no answer of Muslim women pain on many other counts than this. Why maintain silence on cow protectors lynching Muslims?
Then he goes on to talk about three women judges finding placed in the Supreme Court list of judges. Was this because of him? Then he talked about maximum number of women in his cabinet. However, he does not mention about the role of these women? Our Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is reduced to a minister for Indians in distress abroad.
On Kashmir, he sounded like the Blind man and the elephant. He says he wants to embrace the patriotic people of Kashmir. He does not elaborate on this; does he mean those patriotic to Kashmir or patriotic to India? Why Mufti Sayeed was embraced in the first place itself knowing well that he is pro-Kashmiri. He has forgotten ‘Rubiya Sayeed’ episode? Why he did not explain his wisdom on Kashmir policy. It is apparent that he has no vision on Kashmir and how to deal with those who are patriotic to Kashmir?
He did not talk about demonetization, surgical strike, rupee depreciation, petrol hike, rising prices, rising unemployment, internal peace, neighborhood policy, China factor, India, Iran and US. There were many issues to talk about that he skirted. He failed to impress the people that he deserves second term in office. It was dam squib affair.
[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a jopurnalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at email@example.com.]
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