The NDA government was elected in May 2014, and in few months it will be completing two years. On an objective analysis the country’s economy is running as before, and as Arun Shourie rightly put it, it is like UPA-III government. There is no stamp of NDA on it. The last budget is a change in the sense that some emphasis has been put on agriculture sector, which was long overdue. It is a very good sign and they must follow it up with implementation. The Prime Minister has said the he wants to increase farmers’ income to double in six years. There are only two ways of doing it: either productivity has to go up or the prices have to go up. Productivity cannot be doubled; it may go up ten percent if government makes concerted effort. But, the price can go up with minimum support price you can pay more, and if you go by the recommendations of various commissions and committees, it deserves the raise more than what they have done. Which means two things: one the farm sector prosperity will increase, rural sector will do better, but inflation will not come down. Food inflation is a contradiction farmer is paid a better price naturally consumer has to pay more. So government has to tread very carefully.
The second thing that happened is the fiscal consolidation. They have kept the fiscal deficit fixed as per the earlier announcements. The fiscal deficit by itself is not any figure which is fixed; whether it is six percent or five percent, the question is what does that money used for? After all, the fiscal deficit is only the difference between the income and the expenditure. What an extra expenditure? If you are spending it for revenue, then it is a waste. But if you are investing in an investment by putting industries, roads, dams, etc, it will get you return and there is nothing wrong in this kind of fiscal deficit. Now unfortunately the US model that we are following, they are like contract all these countries by putting fiscal deficit all these conditions. I think Raghram Rajan is doing a fairly good job as Governor of Reserve Bank, but fiscal deficit is government decision not the Reserve Bank’s and government have had a Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramaniam. The problem is all these people are of the same mindset of the Chicago Doctrine, as you call it or Washington consensus. They are all from the United States. I think there should be a think tank here. The Prime Minister do well on the lines of Vivekanada Foundation which is also affiliated to these organization RSS and BJP etc. to make a home grown model of economic growth, otherwise we will be doing things the way we have been doing. The second point which is very important point is unfortunately by these two actions – rohit Vemula suicide and kanhaiya kumar arrest – the countries discourse has changed, everybody has started talking of this nobody is talking of growth or employment or jobs or things like that. This is not a good sign. We are going into smaller things, it is a very big thing that Rohit Vemula death, which could have been avoided. Because of the Vice-Chancellor, the committee nobody was acting prudently, which is a sad thing. In my opinion it is an irony but I must say it that it looks as if the Sangh Parivar and its affiliates are only making things more difficult for Modi. Why they are doing? I don’t know. What purpose will it server, three years are left for elections everybody likes to get reelected and the last six months nothing has happened, so two and half years what you have got in hand. The government should not fritter it away by going into issues which are non-issues, and which may please the Sangh Parivar people that we have harassed the Muslims or we have harassed the Christians, beef and meat and all but these have nothing to do with the country, nothing to do with Sabka Saath sabka Vikas, which is the slogan Narendra Modi got a clear majority. Government must refocus back on the promise that you have made to the people and why you have come to power. Of course he takes his own initiatives like Make in India, but I think his own people are pulling him back, which is a sad thing.
Similarly the government must be clear on Afzal Guru’s hanging. He was hung on Supreme Court judgment. It was done during long way under the UPA government. He was hanged in the middle of night without his family being informed. It was absolutely against all civility and the law. Any way that is over. Now people criticize that there is nothing wrong in criticizing a court judgment; it is wrong if you impute motive in judgment. I can always say the Supreme Court has erred in its judgment, nothing is wrong in that. That is democracy. Now you arrest some students for slogan shouting in favour of Afzal Guru. But you have no compunction in making a government with PDP in Kashmir which has said that Afzal Guru’s hanging is wrong. Mahbooba Mufti cannot agree with what you have done, you can sit with them share the loaves and fishes of the office and you put a young man in jail just because he has said something. I think Modi must call a small group to decide the paradigm of government. Are you going on constitution as Congress has been going you must be clear? You must tell your Sangh friend that it is not possible. If you want change the discourse, change it. Start a new discussion on these things, tell PDP the you and we are poles apart. We cannot make a government with you. Let there be governor’s rule President’s rule. Let there be elections again, people will again decide whom they want.
The greatest trend in the Indian democracy is the voters. They decided in 2014 in favour of Narendra Modi. Again in February 2015 they decided in favour of Arvind Kejriwal again in favour of Nitish Kumar in Bihar. So the strength of the Indian public is too strong for anybody to break. But, the Sangh Pariwar does not like the system which is going on. But unfortunately they do not have courage to even oppose it. They want to come to power in this system and then subvert and sabotage it. It will not lead anywhere. Five years will be wasted. Of course country progresses, every day people do their own work and there will be some progress, but to achieve what the Modi’s vision was. Modi talked very big and I like that part of his personality that he say why are talking small? Let us take the country to the new heights and I like this very much that he wants to double the income of farmers in six years – very good thought. But how do you do it? You cannot do it with Washington consensus of three percent deficit or by reluctance of increasing the minimum support price. Then it would only be an empty slogan it cannot happen. Earlier the government focus on its agenda and comes to some thinking as to which way the country should that is the best thing this government can do for the next two and half years. Let us hope some happen.