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Thursday, October 5, 2023
HomeEditorialBranding, brainwashing and boasting is what about BJP’s basics

Branding, brainwashing and boasting is what about BJP’s basics

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Every government does advertise its schemes and achievements. I suppose they must be having budgets set aside for advertising too. But the fact is that these days the political parties are willing to spare ambulances and public toilets as a publicity tool for their candidate and political party. We all know covering the ambulance van is not possible, not the walls of public toilets. These political parties during their tenure invest in such crucial pockets to make the best use of them during election protocol.  It does seem that the money could have been put to better use, but then the fact is that everything is important in some way and a lot of seemingly frivolous government expenditure actually helps in keeping the economy going. Government expenditure has to be spread out across sectors. The money spent on advertisements and publicity helps provide liquidity to the media sectors as well as allows the government to reach out to voters. Any government expenditure in India is money being put back into the economy, which generates employment and also further income for the government in the form of taxes. It doesn’t seem appropriate to spend public funds with the intention of popularising itself but every government has done it and will keep doing it.

The ruling government is always alleged of spending inappropriate funds on its own PM’s and party’s publicity. During these years Modi government spent lots of money on publicizing their agendas but no control over his ministers. From giving illogical, offensive statements to killing witnesses, in all these occurrences PM Modi was a mute spectator. Big promises, of giving a huge chunk of 15 lakhs to every Indian (indirect benefits of the same amount), bringing back all the black money, etc. were the main promises given by Modi to win the election. But now the party members simply call them as jumlas. Demonetisation should have been the second step. In the first step, the government should catch the known defaulters and other’ who fled from India. They already knew many politicians, bureaucrats who hold billions of black money. They must be the first targets and if handled properly then demonetisation can be postponed and implemented with proper planning and correct implementation. But the government chose to make the common man a sufferer.

They opposed the FDI when implemented by UPA. It’s impossible for a normal retailer to compete with brands like Amazon, Walmart, etc. It will destroy the traditional markets of our country and bring a monopoly of big brands only. Data point out that economic slowdown did not begin in 2019. It had been building up over time. Declining growth in consumption has been held as the primary factor for the current economic downturn. It is about money in the pocket. Data tell that wages have been falling since January 2018 both in agriculture and non-agriculture work. Consumption had begun its slide from a high of almost 10 per cent in September 2018 quarter. It continued to decline till it reached an 18-quarter low of 3 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2019. Private consumption has improved to 5 per cent in the September quarter. It is a real good news. But the damage has been done. Similarly, investment has gone from about 12 per cent growth to 1 per cent in quarter ending September 2019. It was 4 per cent in April-June period. This happened despite Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting almost a parallel budget after her July Budget speech in Parliament.

The Modi government announced a Rs 70,000 crore recapitalisation of banks. She also announced another Rs 20,000 for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) through liquidity support to Housing Finance Corporations (HFCs). In addition, a Rs 1 lakh crore credit guarantee scheme was announced for purchase of pooled assets of NBFCs and HFCs. In simpler words, the government (or, the tax payers’ pool) was to bear the risk of these financially imprudent lenders. Incentives were announced for almost every sector of the economy including a waiver of super rich tax. But economic malaise is deeper. It has a lot to do with agricultural distress and sinking of real estate ship. Agriculture has been under stress now for about two decades. The past 10 years have been particularly bad for those dependent on agriculture. The worst sufferers have been the marginal farmers.

Economy watchers have found a connection between agricultural decline and supply of labour to the real estate sector in India. Till real estate kept doing well, earning in rural India and thus the consumption by rural India helped GDP sustain a handsome growth rate. Shifting of labour to real estate also supplied the capital to marginal farmers for agriculture and maintained viable farm wages. But as an HSBC report earlier this year showed that the NBFCs crisis triggered a virtual collapse of the real estate in India. The real estate was heavily dependent on NBFCs for borrowing which, the HSBC economists found, had increased from 35 per cent in 2011-12 to 60 per cent in 2018-19. They asserted that the real estate in India can only revive when NBFCs again start lending money to the construction players. The public sector banks are in heavy debt. They have become too risk averse. They are not in a mood to fund any risky business at the moment. Mudra loan has, meanwhile come as a big dampener. Recent reports say, proving the skeptics right, only 20 per cent of total loans disbursed under Mudra scheme actually turned into a new business. Allowing Reliance JIO was the biggest favour where government preferred to be blind. Now some may argue that Reliance invested a lot on 4G and it’s their initiative. Then what if tomorrow Microsoft wants to invest same amount of money for 5G and snatch all the customers of telecom from JIO?

A mute spectator in Education field appointments and tuition fees hike, students have taken up to the streets for their rights. State wise; Caste wise politics are a license to people for creating chaos. Changing Supreme Court decisions, appointing President on the basis of caste etc. are some points where PM Modi not only failed big time but also contributed in bringing country backward. Many fake pages are running on social media by promoting lies (both supporting and against the government). It can be tamed down with an agreement with social media barons but BJP IT cell was aggressive than anyone in spreading fake news and PM rather felt comfortable with it. He himself distorted the facts and blatantly spread lies through his election speeches.

Earlier BJP had many commanding leaders in the party, who could uphold the position fearlessly, were brave enough, competent and intellectual. Now the entire power is limited to Amit Shah. No one in the party has the courage to go against him, talk anything against him, oppose him. He is the one who brings more bad practice in politics. He can go to any extent for the power. PM remains either a mute spectator or found supporting him; but he never reinforced a healthy democracy. Lastly, at times, PM has always cursed the opposition for his failures too. The Mantra that “they had not done anything in 60 years, we are at least doing something” is again a bad practice. We know they had experienced failures.. And that’s why BJP has got the chance. So, work instead of wasting time and resources on the comparison. Advertisement, publicity, money spending, propaganda and far more are credited to the Modi government, but still, if we look at the larger picture.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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