From Promises to Disappointment
“Give me 50 days, burn me alive If I am wrong,” said an emotional Prime Minister of India after his government’s demonetization measure to bring back the black money hidden by the opposition during their 70 years rule in the country.
“Na khaunga na khane dunga” (literally “I will neither eat nor let you eat” but should be understood as “Neither will I loot public money nor let others do it), he said before his election campaign 2014.
These bold and revolutionary statements gave a lot of hope to Indians that finally they have found an “Avatar”, a leader who can transform their country – by transforming they yearned for a decent living conditions with food, shelter and clothing. Not too many fancy demands. But the transformation that the leader has brought upon this country is a disaster.
When these reasonable demands are not made reality, the ruling government took a very dangerous weapon to hide their inefficiency. Spreading fake information about how the country’s majority population is under threat by the minority communities, one of the Fascist strategies that help authoritarian governments distract the populace from reality and commit heinous crimes against the minorities, like how Hitler did it with Jews and how in turn the Jews are doing it with Arabs in Palestine.
With this new propaganda, the youngsters are made to believe in fake news, information and history leaving them disabled to differentiate between what is obscure and common sense.
The Financial Burden of India’s Debt
The wave that formed in 2014 is now a bubble. Inflation is over the roof. Food prices, fuel prices are not within the affordable range for the poor. The government is spending more money on interest payments than ever restricting it to spend on productive areas for the public.
In the financial landscape of India, the government’s debt and the interest it pays on that debt have become increasingly significant over the years. Back in 2014-15, the government paid about 4.02 lakh crore rupees as interest on its borrowings. While such payments were expected to rise gradually, the last three years have witnessed a sharp surge in these interest expenses, both in terms of absolute amounts and concerning the government’s total spending.
In the fiscal year 2021-22, the government’s interest payments ballooned to a staggering 8.14 lakh crore rupees, accounting for a substantial 21.6 percent of its entire expenditure for the year and a striking 39.1 percent of its revenue receipts. This marked a significant increase of 19.7 percent compared to the previous year. The growing burden of interest payments raises concerns about how the government allocates its resources, as a substantial portion of its budget is dedicated to servicing its debt. These figures underscore the need for careful financial management and addressing the growing challenge of servicing the country’s debt while still funding essential public initiatives.
For example, Students from minority communities can’t get interest subsidies on overseas education loans anymore because the Ministry of Minority Affairs stopped the Padho Pardesh scheme.
To summarize, the Modi wave before the 2014 elections promised an economic revival, offering the common man more money and a departure from the era of corrupt politicians. However, over the past nine years, the ability to achieve these objectives has been questionable, as the Indian Union government’s focus has shifted towards a divisive religious intolerance agenda.
Regaining the Avatar
Not only the youth but also some of its potential leaders are making empty promises and taking actions to regain emotional attention from people, all the while neglecting the daily survival challenges they face. They want to bring back the wave while appealing to masses like an “Avatar”.
On November 3, 2023, an excessively crowded State transport bus in Tamil Nadu was brought to a halt by a leader from the BJ Party. Shockingly, she was observed slapping minor students and verbally abusing both the bus operators and the students onboard. Traveling on the rooftop of the bus and hanging at the gates could be fatal for students and these events prompted such a reaction from the BJ Party State leader. The next day she was arrested by the State Police for obstructing duties of government officials.
The ideal response to witnessing an overcrowded bus with students performing life threatening actions is to take a legal route by informing the concerned authorities and demanding additional bus service in the route during the school timings.
But the reactionary response of the BJP leader is to become an “Avatar”, having no regard for the rule of law.
Yet another leader in the state has vowed to remove statues of a social reformer placed in front of temples. Their strategic belief is that these actions will emotionally charge the majority and make them believe in the “Avatar” again.
We will find answers in 2024.