On May 26, three years back after a landslide victory in Lok Sabha elections in 2014, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed government at Delhi. NDA is coalition of political parties in India led by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). At present the coalition of political parties comprises about 47 political parties which include both regional and national political parties[i]. It is not at first time that NDA formed government at Delhi. The coalition enjoyed the power from 1998 to 2004 and returned into the power in 2014.
Narender Modi, the leader of coalition was sworn as 14th Prime Minister of India. He served Gujrat, as Chief Minister from 2001 to 2014 and introduced his own model of development popularly known as “Gujrat Model of development”. The model enjoys the peculiarity of having both hidden and apparent agenda both serving and strengthen the interest and ideology of BJP rather Modi. The apparent agendas are economic development, better roads, better health facilities, education and what not, but only on papers. According to a senior economist Aditya Chakrabortty (2014), “as for the so-called Gujarati development model, there isn’t one”. Further it has been argued that under Modi Raj, Gujrat “has lagged behind the other major states in India in tackling infant mortality, in reducing poverty, and in increasing literacy. In 2006, there were even more undernourished children in Gujarat than in 1993”. The hidden model and agenda which is having appeal for fanatic Hindu brigade constitute Godhra massacre, Gujrat riots model, Dalit and minority atrocities, Gau Raksha (cow protection).
Modi has not changed the course of Indian politics but the functioning and nature of coalition politics. NDA government is no more coalition government in taste. The whole discourse is surrounding Modi and BJP. Coalition partners have no weightage and say and they often bow before BJP and follow dictacts from Nagpur. People’s Democratic Party and BJP coalition is just an instance from Jammu and Kashmir. Despite both the parties composed agenda of alliance before forming the government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, BJP dictates terms and her decisions prevail and the agenda of alliance just catches the dust. The Modi and company deserve a credit for upholding the interest of their party.
At national and international affairs Modi, government has remained in sensational news due its policies and programmes. It won’t be just and logical to deny the achievements Modi, has achieved in his three years of rule. It is in his tenure that BJP has left imprints throughout the country. He and his company made it possible for BJP to trump many state elections particularly Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and brought forth Yogi Aditinath, like hard core leaders to fore front and yet again blowing spirit to “Gujrat Model of Development”
Bismark, said that “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best”. The credit goes to Modi, for displaying the art and achieving the best no matter for nation or his political party and ideology. Realist school of thought held that politics is the struggle for power. The nature of Indian state is very favorable and fertile to keep this struggle on. A country with diversity India is divided into 29 states and 8 union territories which keeps the process of elections – power struggle among political parties in motion throughout the year. Since Modi, assumed office in 2014 he has displayed extraordinary powers in the struggle of power. He not only displayed his art by using “Jumlas” but translated Chankaya politics into reality and keeping Gujrat model of development alive. Despite his failure at the development and governance front he kept common masses busy in cow politics, Kashmir issue and Pakistan factor. Whether agreed or not it is really a big and worthy achievement that Modi, is achieved in his three years of rule. With the help of paid and unprofessional journalism, fake news, false propaganda, photoshoping, and ‘Jumla Bazi’ he succeed in distracting attention of people from core issues which country is facing at present.
It is worth to mention that before elections in 2014 BJP promised to employment to millions of youth and to end corruption. The election manifesto included breaking vicious cycle of high inflation and high interest rates, provide access and better quality services at a lower cost, Public spending on education to be raised to 6% of GDP, abrogation of the Article 370, Ensuring minimization of black money, Promoting and support area specific crops and vegetables, Dealing with insurgency with a firm hand, Foreign policy will be guided through pragmatism and doctrines of mutually beneficial and interlocking relationships, Universalisation of secondary school education, Return of Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with full dignity and security, Sabh ka Saath Sab ka Vikass, Social Justice and Empowerment and the list goes on. According to The Hindu, report BJP made 246, promises in its 2014 manifesto. To analyze and summarize all of the here won’t be just and possible here. Some of the most important promises will be examined in the right up.
Public spending on education
Education across the globe has been identified as an important toll of progress and development. Education is not capable of guiding a country on the path of economic development but competent to liberate people from traditional superstitious beliefs and practices. The importance of education was realized by the founding fathers of nation and that is why kept education in the priority list. BJP realizing the fact and importance and perception of people towards education promised public spending on education to be raised to 6% of GDP in its manifesto. However, World Bank data reveals that India spends a little under three percent of the GDP on education. There are still about 300 million people illiterate and most of those enrolled in schools are no better than illiterates due to poor quality of education, government expenditure on education has historically remained low[ii].
The attitude of government towards educational institutions reflects the policy of government towards education. In last three years of since Modi, assumed charge of his office there has been a lot of intervention and interference in the functioning of universities. Many students from marginalized sections were forced to quit their life and even after their “suicide” rather murder they were not spared. Number of allegations and questions were raised to their character and social background. Some have been disappeared physically and intellectually so that no one will think democratically and critically and come forward to question autocratic and unjust policies of government. The student movements and activities which are part and parcel of education have been curbed. The space for democratic debates and discussion have been curtailed curbed. There has been attack on the autonomy of educational institutions, cut to seats in research and withdrawal of scholarships.
This is not accidental and unplanned. The government knows the power of students and education and every unjust ruler is sacred of true education. By installing stooges in administration and academics – manipulating history and polluting texts – the intention is what Ivan Illich called domestication. They want educational institutions to produce submissive lot, a bunch of fools without having ability to think critically and questioning.
What happen to the promise of Employment?
One of the important promises made by BJP in its manifesto was employment to millions of youth who join the job market every year. BJP not only promised jobs but criticized United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Indian National Congress. “The country has been dragged through 10 years of Jobless Growth by the Congress-led UPA Government,” the BJP manifesto said. This tempted a lot of youth and mobilized voters in favor of BJP. However, after three years of Modi, rule the promise not only remained unfulfilled but job creation in India has crashed down to 135,000 during 2015-16, from 421,000 in 2013-14 – the last year of the previous government (Shriya Ramakrishnan, 2017).
After three years of Modi, rule not only job creation promise fell short but the rate of unemployment has gone up. There has been shift from regular job to casual and contractual engagement with high insecurity, instability and minimal wages.
The unemployment rate has experienced increase since Modi, assumed charge of his office.
Shreya Shah, (2017) compared job creation between July 2014 and December 2016 (Modi’s rule) with July 2011 and December 2013 and found that eight major sectors of manufacturing, trade, construction, education, health, information technology, transport, and accommodation and restaurant created 641,000 jobs, in Modi’s rule In comparison, these sectors had added 1.28 million jobs between July 2011 and December 2013. It was found that unemployment rate in 2015-16 was 5% of the labour force, up from 4.9% in 2013-14(. The author further highlights “The total number of jobs created in the first three years of the BJP government, calculated by adding data from the eight major sectors included in the labour ministry’s quarterly employment surveys and data on the PMEGP until October 2016 would be 1.51 million–which is nearly 39% less than the 2.47 million created during the three previous years”
No government in the world can compromise on the health care of people. The economic prosperity and progress of a country revolves around the health care. Healthcare is globally recognized index of development. The better health care not warrants prosperity of people but development of a country. BJP in its manifesto promised to improve the healthcare of the country. “The current situation calls for radical reforms in the healthcare system with regards to national healthcare programs and delivery, medical education and training and financing of healthcare,” manifesto said. The manifesto was appealing to the people and was applauded by the people. Healthcare experts also welcomed the manifesto and stressed that the country is in dire need for a healthcare reform focused on addressing the healthcare needs of the country. However, even after three years of Modi rule promise is yet to be translated into reality. Even the healthcare of the country worsened.
Currently India ranks 154 among 195 countries in the Healthcare Index at global level behind its neighbors Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In the era of globalization and technology India performs poorly in tackling cases of tuberculosis, diabetes, chronic kidney diseases and rheumatic heart diseases Public health expenditure has remained stagnant at 1 percent. According to Medical Council of India, the doctor-patient ratio in India was about 1 to 1,700 in 2015.
In last three years of Modi, rule lots of changes have been experienced by Indian society and polity. What once was confined to a single state is experimented and implemented in the whole of country. The illusionary model of development is not only practiced in the whole of country but propagated with 56 inch Shati (chest). Despite failure in the development front anti farmer, minority and Dalit policies the boundaries of Modi influence are spreading unchecked and uncontrolled. It is an extraordinary phenomenon which can be made possible only by an extraordinary person.
Bansal, Samarath (28 May 2016). “Two years on, Modi manifesto scores 70/100” . Delhi The Hindu. 28 May 2016
Chakrabortty, Aditya ( 7 April 2014). “Narendra Modi, a man with a massacre on his hands, is not the reasonable choice for India”. The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2017
Shah, Shreya (23 May 2017) Three years of Modi govt: Job-creation promise falls short as unemployment rate up. Hindustan Times. 23 May 2017
[i] Tiwari, Ravish (5 March 2014). “Partners & possibles in BJP’s target 272 | Page 2”. The Indian Express. Retrieved 05 June 2017
[ii] Government expenditure on education, total (% of GDP).United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics . Retrieved 07 June 2017http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.XPD.TOTL.GD.ZS?end=2013&locations=IN&start=2012 .
[Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, is a student of Sociology, social activist and currently teaches Sociology at Government Degree College, Sumbal Sonawari, Jammu and Kashmir, India. He is an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.Dr Fayaz is working on new concepts and terms like mal-education, Hidden steering, self syndrome, Multi grade holding, Islamic lag, , Educational Shephered and Disappearance of Daughters. The above article is first published by Countercurrents.org]