It’s been 5 years since the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. When the BJP govt. led by the Prime Ministerial Candidate Mr. Narendra Modi came into power, the concept of ‘Acche Din’ was what everybody dreamt about. These 5 years have been greatly charged with energy. The wave of BJP has swept away Congress and many other parties from the states, and has led to the BJP govt. being formed in as much as 17 states of India. Now, the BJP has won again and Mr. Narendra Modi has been re-elected as the Prime Minister of India with an even more thumping majority. Everybody is filled with the speculation of what the govt. has in store for us for the coming 5 years. Amidst this speculation, let us see how the BJP govt. delivered within the last 5 years.
Note – This article is not written in pursuit of any political allegiance and no allegiance towards any party should be understood from it. It is a subjective evaluation based on authentic studies and an objective point of view while reading this article is expected from the reader.
The growth of GDP has been quite good in the BJP led government. Sure, the government did introduce disruptive reforms such as GST, Note ban, and others. However, the GDP is back on a 7% mark. The GDP was at it’s highest during the year 2015-2016, with a mark of 8.15%, which is great for the nation.
The price of oil fell for some time, reaching as low as 34.7 dollars per barrel, from a stunning 109 dollars per barrel, and has now increased again to 76 dollars per barrel. The Fuel prices are also quite high. However, one major advantage this government has brought to the economy is the easing down of the fiscal deficit, as it has ignored the temptation for boosting growth via pump priming. The exports did suffer a hit but are back on a growth rate and the imports unfortunately were quite good during the period of 2015-2016 but are growing again.
One of the major moves of this government which has led to the success in the economy is the ease of doing business. China, during the time of economic crisis, encouraged people to set up businesses in their backyards. The Modi government has done something similar, except for backyards, the govt. has provided people a good platform to set up their businesses and has also set up a loan approval scheme using which people can easily avail loans for the investment for their businesses. Other than this, the government has done quite a number of things to catch people’s attention as well, in a positive way. The budget date was changed to February 1 which made sure departments had more time to spend the money allocated to them. The Planning Commission had been replaced with NITI Aayog and conflicting ministries like those of steel and mines or coal and power were brought under one minister.
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2. Lifestyle Development
In terms of lifestyle, roadways, electricity and washrooms will be the primary reference for this article. The Modi govt. was planning to showcase before polls a 2.3 billion dollar goal in terms of electricity. They had imposed a target on self to electrify every home. The govt. did do quite a brilliant job at that despite missing the mark. Approximately 23.9 million households across 25 states were given electricity connections. However, about 1.05 million homes in 4 states still lack power. Achieving full energy access had been one of the key reforms promised under the Modi govt. and despite them missing the mark by 1 million, the nation is quite happy with their ability to perform and deliver at least something that was promised.
Regarding the washrooms, Mr. Modi introduced a 20 billion dollar Clean India mission which aimed to construct 111 million latrines in 5 years. Not only was this plan good for the health, safety, and dignity of hundreds of millions of Indians, but also benefitted the sale of concrete material meant to be used for construction purposes.
Since 2014, approximately 80 million household toilets are estimated to have been built. This action received international praise as well, from Val Curtis, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Environment Health Group, who has also led the programme in India. Hygiene awareness has been created and movies like ‘Toilet : Ek Prem Katha’ have come into limelight and helped increase the awareness regarding hygiene, open defecation, and toilets and sanitation.
As regards to the roadways and connectivity, the Modi govt. has been successful in cutting down the logistics cost to 8%, which was as high as 14%, as compared to China which also revolved around 8-10 %. The NDA govt. functioned with ambitions and a target of 45km per day was set for 2018-2019, financial year, when the government already achieved a target of 27 km per day in the year 2017-2018. The Roadways minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari has put in a lot of effort to deliver the set targets and the government is also looking for a independent financial institution to cater exclusively to the roads and highways. The Bharatmala (roads) and Sagarmala (ports) projects were launched and the total investment was Rs. 10 trillion and Rs. 8 trillion respectively.
3. Maintenance of Constitutional Integrity
As regards the constitutional integrity, the BJP government has failed to deliver and rather has taken much from the citizens of India. And that is all the nation is upset about regarding the BJP government. The projects are welcome, the GDP is welcome, but the constitutional integrity is also needed. The BJP government has failed to represent minorities as many platforms and clearly does not care for such niceties. It is argued by many that ‘Sabka Sath’ clearly does not involve the minorities of the country. Aadhar was rammed down the throats of the citizens, with no regards for privacy and functioning of the state as well. Even when the Courts declared Aadhar as not mandatory, the organizations used to lure people by stating that the work done with Aadhar will be delivered quickly and in good quality. Aadhar had become like the ‘Login via Facebook’ option for many organizations.
It is an achievement that 3 critical judgements were moved in the tenure of this government. The triple talak judgement, the right to privacy judgement, and the gay rights judgement.
The government, over a tenure of these 5 years has been accused of promoting a number of negatives for the Indian Constitution. These are military nationalism, casteism, communalism, patriarchy, and more.
The choice of people has been reduced to two options – either you are a follower of Modi or you are anti-national. Moreover, in terms of religion, anybody talking about secularism is branded as Anti Hindu. There was this recent debate where Sambit Patra was calling a Hindu politician a Muslim leader because he opposed Ram Mandir construction due to his belief in secularism. And that too as if being a Muslim was derogatory. Statements of Hindu rashtra are constantly made by many such as Subramanian Swamy, Yogi Adityanath, Pragya Thakur, and others. There were many instances of beating up people in the name of cow protection. In September 2015, Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched to death by people who suspected he had beef in his fridge. Then, Muslim Abbas in march 2016 who was merely transporting bullocks to use on his fields. The family reported that the police was threatening them rather than helping them. Two Muslim cattle traders in the same year were hanged to death from a tree in Latehar, Jharkhand by people claiming to be cow protectors. The police reportedly had been ignoring several complaints from the Muslim community against the cow protector groups. Same year, June, three people were beaten by 150 people claiming to be Gau-Rakshaks.
And then came the famous Una incident, wherein 7 members of the dalit community were skinning the carcasses of dead cow, and 2 Yadav goons came and beat them up with sticks, iron pipes and a knife. By the time police arrived, they fled in their car and the video of the assault went viral on social media. Even in the aftermath, when the protests were being held, 10 dalits were injured and their vehicles set to fire as they returned from a non-violent, peaceful protest. Moreover, what is shameful was that 2 victims of the Una incident were again attacked by the accused who was out on bail in 2018. ( Source)
Hence, it becomes quite a necessity for the current government to work for the minorities.