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Articles

Black Paper: The Anyay Kaal and Modi

Abdul Qadir

THE charge sheet against the ten-year rule of Modi in India has highlighted once again the alarming economic and socio-political situation in the country. The AnyayKaal document, published by the Congress, lists several areas where India, as the potential regional power, has downgraded instead of making strident progress as promised by Modi before each of the electoral cycles from 2014 onwards. This document deals with a whole range of areas that have suffered immensely under Modi from 2014 onwards. However, the key among them that have a huge impact on Indians are discussed only.

Unemployment

Congress holds the Modi government responsible for the deteriorating job environment for the youth. Under the BJP’s watch, the percentage of unemployed youth has increased more than three times since 2012. While in 2012, the number of unemployed individuals was 10 million – 6 percent, it stood at 15 percent in 2022, according to the document.

The Congress took a dig at the government for the lack of appropriate avenues for engineering and PhD graduates, as they attempt to fill posts like coolies and peons, instead of utilizing their skills in relevant domains.

The unemployment recorded in India is the highest in 45 years with more than 45 percent of the college graduates under 25 age are unemployed. The flawed policies and indifferent attitude of the government have resulted in widespread depression among the educated youth, as two educated young people die every hour. Similarly, the workforce has witnessed a substantial drop from around a hundred million in 2016-17 to seventy million in 2022-23.

As the real wages stopped growing the agricultural sector recorded a 0.8 percent growth, after failing to keep the promises the government had made to the farmers, and a slight negative for the construction industry, anticipating a prolonged stunted growth. As the poor are getting poorer, there is no ray of hope shortly.

Furthermore, in 2020, the Modi government came up with laws that compromised farmers’ bargaining power while giving private corporations more leverage and control over the produce of farmers.

Tax terrorism

The Modi government has resorted to tax terrorism by taxing the common people and small businesses through poorly designed GST laws to balance against the subsidies extended to big corporations. The taxation is high as 14 lac crores have been collected in taxation. However, 64 percent of the total tax collected came from 50 percent of the population of lower strata, 33 percent from the middle class which form 40 percent of the population while only 3 percent is collected from the top 10 percent population. The poor spends most of their income becoming primary targets of the GST while the rich save much of their income. On top of that, the laws have been amended over nine hundred times over the course of only six years into Modi’s rule. Much to the chagrin of people and small business owners understanding the ever-changing laws, probably to benefit big fishes close to Modi, remains largely elusive.

Decline in the Manufacturing sector

India witnessed an abrupt decline in the share of manufacturing industries in the GDP. It has been constantly in decline since 2014, making Modi’s call for ‘Make in India’ a laughing stock. The growth in terms of numbers remained largely stagnant with only a 3 million increase in workforce over 10 years; with one crore youth entering India’s workforce market, the figure stands insignificant.

For over a decade, young workers moved into the manufacturing and services sector. This caused the number of agricultural workers to decline by around 67 million between 2004 and 2018. This entire progress has almost been reversed in a mere three years, as increasing numbers of youth moving out of the manufacturing sector. Ironically, this trend was visible even before the Covid made Indians’ lives miserable.

Democracy in danger

Indian democracy has been reduced to nothingness with ever-increasing misuse of the investigative and executive agencies; becoming pawns in the hands of the BJP government. The number of cases with ED and CBI has significantly increased with the increasing percentage of implicating the opposition.

Opposition members who resist Modi are put behind bars on charges of corruption while those accused of corruption are automatically dry-cleaned after their cooptation by the BJP.

Similarly, the attacks on the constitution and transparency are so rampant that the Supreme Court of India in one of its decisions told the Government that the electoral bonds that have been introduced are an attack on the transparency and fairness of democracy.

National security compromised

The Congress party accuses the Modi government of the failure to defend against the Chinese incursion as they deny Indian access to the strategic Depsang Plains, and other areas in eastern Ladakh. To be specific, India has lost access to around 26 out of 65 patrolling points, and, on top of that, the Modi government has agreed to buffer zones which may result in further area loss to China.

Similarly, what has happened in the state of Manipur needs not to be repeated here. With over hundreds of people having lost their lives and many more injured in the violence that spread across Manipur from 3 May 2023, the state machinery faced unprecedented paralysis to act. It is despite the fact, that the Modi government is ruling both at the center and state, still it failed to do anything substantial to address the law and order situation in the region, raising a big question mark on the efficacy and will of the Modi Sarkar.

It is heartening to see people publicly questioning the true intent of not only the BJP’s actions in run-up to the Lok Sabha elections but also its policies that have negative effect on the lives of people. Needless to say, people are beginning to realize the threat that the RSS-Modi regime duo poses to democracy and the Constitution of India.

—Independent Researcher abdulniner09@gmail.com

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