From subjugation to independence is no small step. For those who gave sweat and blood to an unprecedented struggle through the unheard method of non-violence, the Independence Day of 1947 was the most memorable one, unparalleled and supreme. Whatever the country is today, its evolution through layers of growth, is the result of many visionary leaders. It was Jawaharlal Nehru’s left-of-the-centre ideology and long-term planning by then leaders and experts that gave birth to several public sector undertakings which changed the destiny of the country. Their focus on infrastructure development like dams, known as ‘temples’ of modern India, laid the foundation of a new nation.
As the nation is on the cusp of 75 years of independence, a narrative has emerged looking down upon the achievements of the past seven decades. A ploy is put in place to castigate the previous governments and portray the present regime as the harbinger of development. Only those who refuse to see the ‘monuments and landmarks’ of development would babble such non-sense and create a hallow around the incumbent government. Going into the whole gamut of data would be unwieldy, but a glimpse into some of the statistics would nail the lie of the camp followers of the present regime. From 21 universities in 1947, it has gone up to 1000 varsities; from 19 medical colleges, the number has zoomed to 542; those who play around with the education system should learn from the IITs and IIMs which played a stellar role in producing experts who worked wonders domestically and globally. Moving to another area, the total length of national highways at the time of independence was about 21,000 kms which has phenomenally gone up to 1.40 lakh kms, with India becoming the second largest road networks in the world. One can fetch an unending list of achievements since Independence though ‘Goebbels in the government’ would spin a yarn of different nature.
At a time when the focus has moved from promoting scientific temper to Vedic science, Vedic mathematics, myths and mythology, the ruling coterie refuses to admit the Herculean efforts undertaken for rebuilding India with the five-year-plans. Only those with jaundiced views can turn a blind eye to the mega public sector undertakings that revolutionized industrial production; the farm sector too made quantum jump making the country from a food grain importing one to exporting one. The present regime is reaping the benefits of the profit-making national assets, created by the previous regimes, by selling them to fill the public exchequer.
It is indisputable that the Modi government has implemented many major schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana with 42 crore bank accounts; Mudra Yojana through which a few lakh crores have been disbursed as loans; the Ujjwala Yojana under which as many as 9 crore LPG connections were given to the poor. The Swachh Bharat Mission was yet another ambitious project to build 10 crore toilets to make India open defecation free. So far so good. But the other side of these mega schemes are disconcerting. Over 4 crore households, who got gas connections under the scheme, have not gone for a refill; Many Jan Dhan Yojana accounts have no balance in their accounts; many of the toilets are lying unused. The ruling party and its government which tom-tom the success stories and find happiness in berating the previous regimes should give a thought to the success rate of its prestigious schemes.