Achche din went in for a radical overhaul in the speech delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mathura on the eve of May 26, 2015, which marks his government’s one year in power. During the campaign, achche din were the keywords for a lot many young voters who were looking for change. A year later, they hadn’t bargained for a critical rewrite of achche din, yet another jumla, like the Rs 15,00,000 remittance every Indian would get once black money stashed abroad is brought back. Nowadays, there is general silence though Parliament okayed a watered down Bill.
Not to speak about how good the achche din are, the prime minister chose to focus on how bure (bad) the days are for scamsters in his government. It was an inversion of the classic “Is the glass half full or half empty?” But nobody noticed and the crowds clapped and roared in the heat of Mathura, achche din were indeed here.
To take the message of the Modi government’s successes to an already-bored-by-dead-promises citizenry, the BJP is going all out with some 200 meetings and calling it the Jan Kalyan Parv. Seldom do governments celebrate a year in power like this lot is crowing from the rooftops. Or maybe some tin pot democracy did and that too on the rebound from a malignant dictatorship.
This again is evidence that the BJP doesn’t see itself as a party in power but as an opposition party set on an adversarial course. The PM is no stranger to this feeling, he dwells on domestic politics when abroad. Then he said people were ashamed to be born Indian until he came to power. Incensed Indians took to Twitter with #ModiInsultsIndia to get their message across to the Twitter-savvy PM. But he hasn’t chosen to correct himself or even apologise. A recent report on the government’s eye on social media said the Modi government had deployed a full division to track negative sentiment on government decisions and suggest quick course corrections.
Yes, the government has money to deploy bureaucrats to keep an eye on 140-character policy experts and their tweets but has only cuts on social welfare expenditure.
Women and children don’t seem to matter since the budget of women and children’s welfare schemes have been halved. The average BJP voter is male, this is not to deny the phalanx of stars of yesteryear in its ranks both in Parliament and in cheering squads.
Health funding is down 20 per cent. Education is down 17 per cent. But there is talk of phenyl made of cow urine being put to use in cleaning government offices. Haryana has even ventured to give Aadhar-like ID cards to its bulls, cows and calves. Some Jan Kalyan Parv it is going to be after such welfare cuts.
Don’t know about the rest but it is achche din for the PM. He’s been to 18 countries within 365 days. But those bitten by the achche din bug seldom throw it off; they are still waiting for the bullet train to Darbhanga or Mangaluru.
Or will it be like those men and their magnificent pushpakvimanas?