Bharatiya Janta Party is a right-wing party and was formed on 6th April 1980. It has close ideological and organisational links to Hindu Nationalist RSS i.e, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
A brief history of the (BJP) Bharatiya Janata Party –
The BJP was originated from Bharatiya Jana Sangha which was formed in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. Our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a member of BJP. The official ideology of the BJP is “Integral Humanism” and was first formulated by Deendayal Upadhyaya in the year 1965. The party is committed to Hindutva and advocates social conservatism.
How did the BJP evolve in MODI’s time?
BJP led by Narendra Modi had promised a lot of positive changes and his slogan “Achhe din aane wale he” (Good days are coming) along with his Gujarat Model impressed the people of India a lot. Let’s look at how BJP policies perform over the last 4 years.
BJP Policies and how did they perform in last 4 years?
1. MAKE IN INDIA:
Modi launched ‘Make in India” campaign to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and built best in class manufacturing infrastructure. It promised to make the world’s largest democracy to the world’s most powerful economy. This initiative was based on four pillars. They are:
New Processes – Make in India believes that the most important factor to promote entrepreneurship is “ease of doing business”. A number of initiatives were undertaken to ease business environment. The aim was to de-license and de-regulate the industry during the whole cycle of business.
New Infrastructure – Availability of modern and facilitating infrastructure is a very important requirement for the growth of industries. Thus the Government intended to develop industrial corridors and smart cities to provide infrastructure with high-speed communication and integrated arrangements. Existing infrastructure was also intended to be upgraded and strengthened.
New Sectors – 25 sectors were identified in manufacturing, infrastructure and service activities. Detailed information was shared through web portals and professionally developed brochures. FDI has been opened up as well in Defence Production, Construction, Railway infrastructure etc in a big way.
New Mindset – The industry is accustomed to seeing Government as a regulator. But this policy intends to bring a shift in this relationship by becoming a facilitator and not a regulator. This would show how the Government interacts with the industry and partner industry in the economic development of the country.
2. SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN:
This mission was launched on 2nd October 2014 by Sri Narendra Modi throughout the country. The main aim of this mission was to spread awareness that “a clean India” is necessary for a greater India. Modi himself initiated this drive by picking up the broom and cleaning the dirt at Mandir Marg influencing the people of India and making it a mass movement. He gave the mantra “Na gandagi kare, Na Karne de” (do not litter, not let others litter). He also spoke about the importance of sanitation and the importance of using toilets. People from different sections of our society came forward and joined hands for this noble work. The hashtag i.e #MyCleanIndia was also launched simultaneously as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Mission).
3. NITI AAYOG:
National Institution for Transforming India or NITI was set up by the Government of India in the place of erstwhile Planning Commission with the aim to serve the needs and aspirations of the people of India in a better manner. A wide consultation was held prior to the formations of the NITI Aayog with Chief Ministers, Experts, and Economists along with the general public. The main objectives behind the creation of NITI were:
- To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active participation of states in the light of national objectives by providing a “National Agenda” to the PM and CMs to provide impetus to.
- To foster collaborative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the states
- To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate those at a higher level.
- To ensure that the interests of national security are well incorporated in the policy.
- To pay attention to those sections of the society who might be at a risk of not benefitting adequately from the economic policies.
- To design long-term policy along with monitoring their progress for feedback.
- To provide advice and encourage partnership between national and international key stakeholders.
- To create knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national & international experts.
- To focus on technology up gradation along with focusing on other activities which are necessary.
On November 8th, 2016, the Government of India announced the demonetisation of all 500 and 1000 rupees notes. The government claimed that this action would curtail and crack down the use of illicit/black cash to fund illegal activities and terrorism.
Read more: Was Demonetization A Success Or Failure?
How did Make in India fare?
As of announcement of Make in India on August 15, 2015, there has been no evidence that the manufacturing has gained momentum. Rather it seems that it has lost its influence. In 2016-17, the sector has weakened a lot. The growth rate of manufacturing GVA between Q1 & Q4 of 2016-17 has halved. The weakness of the manufacturing sector is reflected in the steady drop in the growth rate of overall GVA. The conclusion is that apart from the announcement of ‘Make in India’, there has been little policy or administrative support. All other data also point to the same conclusion.
In the five quarters between Q4 of 2015-16 and Q4 of 2016-17, Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) as a proportion of GDP had declined i.e 30.8, 31.0, 29.4, 29.4 and 28.5. A drop of 2.3% in 12 months is a bad news. Considering that GFCF was 34-35% only a few years ago and the government has done nothing to step up private as well as public investment, it is disturbing.
Data on IIP point to the same conclusion. In May 2014, the index was 183.5, in August 2015 it was 184.8, in March 2016 it was 208.1 and in February 2017 it had fallen to 190.1. Data on credit growth point to the same conclusion. Credit growth to the industry sector has been negative since October 2016. Credit growth to micro/small and medium industries has been negative since March 2016 and June 2015 respectively.
Data on job creation point to the same conclusion. The eight leading job-creating industries created only 109,000 jobs during the period April-September 2016. That is a sign of stagnation. Data on electricity demand point to the same conclusion. The average Plant Load Factor of thermal plants is about 60% reflecting poor demand for electricity. ‘Make in India’ was innovative. Unfortunately due to less homework and no other support, ‘Make in India’ turned into a hollow slogan.
Has Swachh Bharath Abhiyan served its purpose?
The government’s focus on the construction of toilets seems to be an intentional effort to divert attention from the fact that many of these toilets generally do not work. Only 33% of the toilets built are sustainably safe, while the rest are barely useable and as high as 35% of those toilets are highly unsafe. Additionally, the lack of proper plumbing to provide clean water and the removal of waste and excrement makes this a pointless and useless form of infrastructure.
The worse fact is that because of discrimination, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and minorities are being routinely being denied access to these facilities. Lack of government funds, poor planning and implementation have only added to the woes of those at the bottom of the social pyramid. The end result is nothing other than open defecation near slum areas which has continued and the government’s insistence that a real solution has already been provided.
Read more: Can BJP Win The General Elections 2019?
Also the government’s intolerance to any constructive criticism of the program, the lack of emphasis on clean drinking water that is responsible for more deaths than open defecation, the inability of many marginalised communities to find access to toilet facilities due to either lack of availability or caste/religion based discrimination points to the failure of this mission.
Had NITI Aayog transformed India?
Many promises made by NITI still remain unfulfilled and no exciting recommendation has been made yet. The suggestions on the privatisation of Air India, and on a larger disinvestment plan is less than compelling. Its suggestions on agriculture marketing reforms are no different from prescriptions of the past. They do not shed any light on managing the transition from an old set of institutions to new ones.
It had fewer plans on services and manufacturing powerhouse in a rapidly changing world, where automation is rendering a host of existing skills redundant. NITI Aayog was meant to be a lean, efficient alternative to the clumsy Planning Commission. It has options for funding sharing mechanisms but has very less focus decision making with respect to cooperative federalism.
Demonetisation: An open secret, known to all yet unrevealed !!
The biggest failure of demonetisation is that it was carried out without preparation and caused big losses to the unorganised sector. This has not been factored into the recent data on growth rate, so the loss to the economy would be in lakhs of crores of rupees. Farmers, traders, and the youth are all agitating.The black economy needs to be tackled, but demonetisation is not the way. The brunt of this move has been borne by those who never had any black money. The note shortage is slowly waning and the long-term economic and social effects are becoming evident.