Government policies are tailored to help people in general. The planners and strategists are supposed to work on the nitty-gritty of every policy or programme before it is brought to the public domain. Those who work in the board-rooms will assess possible impact of a policy before it is implemented. However, the BJP-led government at the Centre seems to have moved by pre-set party-agenda rather than expert opinions. It is bulldozing policies tearing the very soul of India, destroying its demography, culture and much more. This has been the bane of 2019 and a few years prior to it.
It is not that the previous governments have been free from policy paralysis and bad policies. But the country is seeing a government which is adamant and audacious to bring in policies with unprincipled and deceitful intentions. We have seen it in demonetization, GST implementation, withdrawal of Article 370, the Constitution Amendment Act and the National Population Register. The proposed National Register of Citizens too is no different. The cat was out of the bag when after implementing each of the above policies, the government changed its goal posts several times. It realized its folly and the enormity of its blunder only after the implementation of each policy. The government lacked foresight to see the brewing nation-wide protests and violence over the issues. Moreover, faulty implementation of flawed policies will lead to unimaginable chaos; exclusion of certain communities, the weakest and the poorest sections of society; and create a human right issue of unimaginable magnitude.
The wrong policies have a catastrophic fall-out in the economic scenario, leaving the country bleeding. The GDP rate at around 4.5 per cent is one of the lowest in the recent years; the nose-diving employment opportunities have taken the unemployment level to an all-time high; lack of demand has forced many industrialists to either cut down production or down the shutters. It is easy to sell the dream of making Indian economy $ 5 trillion; but the reality is that with the present bleak economic scenario, India cannot reach anywhere near the dream figure.
A major trust deficit has hit the government. It is normal for Opposition parties to doubt the genuineness of the government over issues. But it should send alarm bells ringing when BJP’s allies start doubting the ‘big brother’ on many issues and they distance themselves from decisions. Long-term allies like Shiv Sena deserting the NDA is a clear sign of the widening gulf between the saffron party and its allies.
Equally disastrous for the BJP is its contempt for the intelligence of the general public. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister are contradicting themselves and changing colours like chameleon with their statements shifting from one extreme to another, leaving people with jaws dropped. People are slowly realizing that they have been hoodwinked by the top leaders of the saffron party. T his is manifested in its electoral fortunes. The party which had governments in over 70 per cent of States has shrunk to 35 per cent of States. The writing on the wall is clear. The party has to take a closer look to see and understand it.(Published on 06th January 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 01)