Skip to main content

Method in Modi’s 'directionless' economic governance: Manipulating public mind

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The world is heading towards worst economic recession in its history. The governments are worried about their citizenry and future of their country. But Narendra Modi cares little as long as his popularity and electoral victory remains intact. Modi fiddles with the future of India and Indians by manipulating the public mind with the help of mass media.
The Modi government spent over Rs 3,800 crore on publicity in print and audio-visual media, according to Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting in Modi government. According to the Centre for Media Studies, Modi led BJP spent nearly Rs. 27000 crores in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, which is about 45% of the total electoral expenditure in India.
This is the cost of maintaining Modi’s image in public with the help of propaganda when the Indian economy is going down in drains. Economists in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are projecting a gloomy economic scenario for India. It is worst economic growth since the 1991 economic crisis and liberalisation.
In December 2019, Arvind Subramanian and Josh Felman in the Center for International Development at Harvard University published a working paper called “India's Great Slowdown: What Happened? What's the Way Out?". The paper outlined the causes behind the slowdown of Indian economy.
It argued that adverse impact of demonetization and GST shocks, unsustainable credit boom in real estate market, fall in consumption expenditure and demand shortages are some of the causes behind the collapse of economic growth in India. The alternatives offered in this paper follow the same old neoliberal paradigm that led to economic chaos in the first place.
All major economic indicators in India look extremely miserable now. Indian industrial and agricultural growth was in a downward spiral well before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The manufacturing and service sector is contracting. Unemployment is at forty-five years high last year.
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the employment rate fell to an all-time low of 38.2% and unemployment rate rises to nearly 9% in March 2020 which is highest in last 43 months. There is also sharp fall of the labour participation rate which is a very worrisome sign for Indian economy. The formal and informal sectors are both sputtering in Indian economy.
It is political arrogance and economic ignorance that define the everyday economic policies pursued by Narendra Modi-led Government in India. The Indian economy and its development processes are at a crossroads. 
The centralisation of power and directionless of governance undermines well established constitutionally mandated institutions of policy, planning and economy development that firefights crisis in India. The net outcome of such a process is loss of credibility and public trust on the abilities of state and its institutions. This is the dangerous outcome of populist promises and politics of Hindutva in India.
It is myopic to expect that the Modi government will follow revolutionary economic policies and political economy of development which can permanently emancipate people from hunger, homelessness, poverty and unemployment. The modest liberal and Keynesian approach to Indian economic growth depends on stimulation of growth of internal markets and business competitiveness in the world markets.
This twin project of economics depends on the political abilities of state and government in creating favourable internal economic environment by empowering labour forces both as producers and consumers. But Narendra Modi led Hindutva government pursues every economic policy that disempowers producers and consumers in both formal and informal economy. 
Indian industrial and agricultural growth was in a downward spiral well before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic
The asymmetry of economic growth is pursued to empower both Indian and foreign capitalist classes. Hindutva forces and their myopic economist clans have little understanding that capitalist economic growth does not depend on concentration of capital accumulation in the hands of few. Such a process establishes a rent-based economy that destroys economic growth and development.
So, Keynesians argue that economic growth depends on expanding demand, investment spending and enabling employment for higher consumption. This is not possible in a stagnant economic environment of jobless growth that defines Indian economy led by Modi government.
The Modi government has failed to mobilise India’s internal resources to face and overcome the economic crisis. It is possible to overcome the economic crisis by mobilising human, technological and natural resources in India. State intervention in the interests of many and not few is the way forward to revive Indian economy.
But the Modi government has already abandoned its responsibilities for the recovery of Indian economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not taking any initiative towards the economic recovery. It is madness when a government abandons its citizenry.
It looks like there is a method in Modi’s directionless economic governance in India. The Modi regime is accelerating economic, political and social disasters in India. It is a method of shock doctrine that inflicts extreme violence and pain on majority of population in pursuit of power.
The economic policies pursued by the Modi government is a shock therapy that helps Modi’s crony capitalist classes whereas majority of Indian population suffers under hunger, homelessness, illiteracy, unemployment, ill health, deaths and destitution. Drunk with power, the cocktail of ignorance and arrogance keeps Hindutva ideologues in RSS and BJP in a state of bliss when the entire country cries for help.
Hindutva can never offer any alternative to the people of the country because Hindutva is neither politics nor economics. It is a constructed cultural logic of perverted upper caste capitalists in India. Their political and economic demise is the only way forward.
Resistance is the final and only alternative for the survival of India’s democratic and secular traditions of economic growth and development. The defeat of the ruling classes represented by Modi is written in history. Indians must fight this government to write history and reclaim their republic for social harmony, peace and economic prosperity.
There is always time for songs and poetry in dark times. It is important to remember and recite the last paragraph of the prophetic poem called ‘The Masque of Anarchy’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley:
“Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!”

---
Senior Lecturer in Business Strategy, Coventry University, UK

Comments

TRENDING

Whither Govt of India strategy to reduce import dependence on crude oil, natural gas?

By NS Venkataraman*  India presently imports around 80% of it’s crude oil requirement and around 50% of its natural gas requirements . As the domestic production of crude oil and natural gas are virtually stagnant and the domestic demand is increasing at around 7% per annum, India’s steadily increasing dependence on import of the vital energy source is a matter of high energy security concern. This is particularly so, since the price of crude oil and natural gas are considerably fluctuating / increasing in the global market due to geo political factors, which are beyond the control of India. India has promised to achieve zero emission by the year 2070, which mean that the level of emission has to start declining at slow and steady rate from now onwards. It is now well recognized that global emission is caused largely due to use of coal as fuel and natural gas as fuel and feedstock. While burning of coal as fuel cause emission of global warming carbon dioxide gas and sulphur

Muslim intellectuals met Bhagwat, extra-constitutional authority 'like Sanjay Gandhi'

By Shamsul Islam*  In a significant development a delegation of five Muslim intellectuals namely former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi; former senior bureaucrat Najeeb Jung; former AMU vice-chancellor and Lt Gen (retd) Zameer U Shah; politician-cum-journalist Shahid Siddiqui (presently with RLD); and businessman Saeed Shervani [Samajvadi Party] met RSS Supremo Mohan Bhagwat at RSS Delhi headquarters. The meeting was kept secret for reasons known to the participants and was held in August. According to the Muslim intellectuals the meeting held in “a very cordial” atmosphere continued for 75 minutes whereas time allotted was 30 minutes! In a post-meeting justification of the parleys Quraishi stated that their main concern was “the insecurity being increasingly felt by the Muslim community in the wake of recurring incidents of lynching of innocents, calls by Hindutva hotheads for genocide and the marginalisation of the community in almost every sphere”. This delegation consistin

'Massive concern for people': Modi seeking to turn India into global manufacturing hub

By Shankar Sharma*  The news item quoting Narendra Modi at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet, "Want to turn India into a manufacturing hub: PM Modi at SCO Summit" should be of massive concern to our people. One can only continue to be shocked by such policies, which can be termed as ill-conceived to say the least. Without objectively considering the environmental and social impacts on our communities in the medium to long term, such policies will also result in massive economic impacts because a lack of environmental and social perspective cannot be economically attractive either. In order to become the global manufacturing hub, India will have to meet an enormous demand for energy of various kinds, and in order to meet this much energy demand the economy has to manufacture enormous number of appliances/ gadgets/ machineries (to generate and distribute commercial forms of energy such as coal, nuclear, gas, hydro, and renewable energy (RE) sources such as so

Denying dissent democratic space in Gujarat: 'sad narrative of eroding ethical values'

By Sandeep Pandey*  A padyatra (foot march) was to be taken out between 26 September and 4 October, 2022 from Randhikpur village in Dahod district of Gujarat to Ahmedabad to apologise to Bilkis Bano. Randhikpur is Bilkis Bano’s village. In 2002 Gujarat communal violence she was gang raped, her 3 years old daughter, another child in womb and a total of 14 family members were killed. 11 people were convicted and sentenced for life in 2008. However, on 15 August, 2022 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a speech from Red Fort appealing to people to change their attitude towards women and treat them with respect, a district level committee of Panchmahal decided to release the 11 rapists and murderers. A Bhartiya Janata Party leader described four of these criminals as virtuous Brahmins. Before the padyatra could begin from Randhikpur, on 25 September night, 7 activists were picked up from Godhra corporator Hanif Kalandar’s house where they had gone for d

Pesticide companies' lobbying 'seriously impairing' basics of governance, regulation

Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi*  The Indian agricultural sector is grappling with low incomes, shortage of natural resources, increasing pest incidence and low public investments in research and extension. Pest attacks are increasing. Previously unknown pests are attacking crops. Farmers, indebted as they are due to various market mechanisms, are finding it hard to protect their crop investments. Thus, farmers are pushed into the conundrum of pesticide usage by pesticide markets and companies. Pesticide usage in India is increasingly becoming a regulatory problem. Regulation has not been effective in the face of such challenges. Scientific expertise on pesticides is often subsumed in the policy tradeoffs that, in the ultimate scenario, encourage production and marketing of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs). Expert Committee reports, which are recommending withdrawal of certain HHPs, are not being acted upon. Lobbying by pesticide companies has seriously impaired the basics of governance an

Kerala health bill public hearing? Here the minister 'ensured' cameras were turned off

By Our Representative  On Friday, September 30, 2022, about 100 members of the general public gathered at the conference room of the collectorate at Ernakulam, Kerala, to express their apprehensions about the Kerala Public Health Bill, 2021, which the state assembly referred to a 15-member select committee chaired by state health and family welfare minister, Veena George. Minister Veena George asserted at the outset that this was a sitting of the select committee, and all cameras would need to be turned off. Advocate PA Pouran, general secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties in Kerala, stood up in protest, arguing that the meeting was a public hearing and should ideally be televised to reach vast numbers of people. Other members of the audience protested too, but the minister insisted that the gathering was part of a sitting of the select committee.  “Why then did you invite all of us?” protested George Mathew, who had arrived from Aluva and earlier served as a member of t

How Gandhian values have become 'casualty' in India under majoritarian BJP rule

By Sandeep Pandey*  A Muslim youth was beaten recently when he tried to witness the famous garba performance during the Hindu religious nine days festival of Navratri in Gujarat. There was a time when Muslims could easily participate in Garbha events in an atmosphere of cordiality. Bilkis Bano was gang raped in 2002 Gujarat communal violence, her 3 years old daughter, the child in womb and a total of 14 family members were killed. 11 accused were awarded life term. However, recently a District level committee has decided to release all the culprits. A ruling Bhartiya Janata Party leader has described some of these criminals as virtuous Brahmins, the highest among the Hindu hierarchical caste system. In a communally polarized Gujarat today most Muslims feel offended by the decision of the government and BJP supporters either justify the release of rapists and murderers or just ignore the ignominious decision. Mahatma Gandhi came from the Guj

GoI 'feeling threatened' by forces which can potentially fight 'Brahmanical fascism'

Counterview Desk  A network of civil rights and people’s organisations , Campaign Against State Repression (CASR)*, has characterised the recently-imposed ban on Popular Front of India (PFI), National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) and other organisations as “Brahmanical Hindutva fascist” move of the Government of India (GoI), calling it “onslaught on democratic dissent”. In a statement, CASR said, the move is aimed at terrorizing and vilifying the Muslim community, adding, at the same time, the GoI is curbing any protest and demonstration against the “fascist diktat of ban”, with peoplebeing “detained and arrested.” It added, “This kind of attack on right to oppose or criticize any step of government should be conceived as an attack on the very democratic values of the people.” Text : On 28 September 2022, Central Government led by BJP-RSS banned the Popular Front of India, National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations, Campus Front of India, National Wom

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”