High-profile political accusations and high decibel controversies are welcome as they add masala to the public discourse. For more than 300 news channels, it has been all about raising TRP ratings, the very sustenance of expensive telecasts.
But what about some serious issues that affect the lives of millions, particularly when the Narendra Modi government is about to complete two years in office?
Take the black money issue, for instance. Where is all that wealth stuffed in the vaults of those isolated islands like Canary Isles or Jamaica or Seychelles that you promised to bring back in 2014, they taunt the PM.
|Where is black money you promised to bring back in 2014, they taunt the PM.|
A statement by the finance ministry claims that as much as Rs 50,000 crore of indirect tax evasion and Rs 21,000 crore of undisclosed income have been unearthed in two years.
For the first time the regulars with secret vaults know it is becoming increasingly difficult to ply their trade from India. Over 1,400 cases are facing prosecution within two years of the Modi government being sworn in. A special investigation team is at work over this hidden wealth. But one does not hear a word about all this!
Very little of the discourse in the media is focusing on this new approach that is yielding results. The Modi government’s appeal to the well-off to voluntarily give up subsidies on the cooking gas has done wonders. Over one crore users have voluntarily given up the subsidy, so more is available for the needy.
Never in the past has such an appeal from the government for voluntary giving up of entitlement received such overwhelming response from the public. Surely, this level of response is an index of people’s confidence in the prime minister who made the appeal.
His sincerity alone has been responsible for such an incredible result. Here is something more and that too will ease the lives of millions, who unfortunately have fallen victim to a host of health problems.
On May 10, the drug price regulator — National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) — slashed prices of 54 essential medicines by up to 55 per cent, including commonly used drugs for cancer (brain and breast), hypertension, diabetes, and several heart disorders. This was the second price revision in the past three weeks.
On April 28, the NPPA had fixed prices of another 54 drugs. This bold move, on the part of the Modi government, will surely benefit countless Indians; irrespective of whether TRP-starved news channels bring it into the public discourse or not. Did anyone find a mention of it in the news channels?
The prime minister has received commendation even from his academic critics for keeping his government clean and transparent in the past two years. No small achievement where temptations fly fast and fine, and pitfalls are many and unseen.
That also brings us to a silent revolution going on in this government at the level where it counts. A complete understanding between what the government at the political level wants and what the bureaucratic level can deliver.
Only the other day, this was demonstrated when several groups of secretaries under the leadership of Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant produced for the prime minister a document — "Creating a movement for change".
The entire approach reflected a government that wants a firm connection between what is projected and what is achievable. There is apparently no place for targets that are a pie in the sky, numbers projected merely for an applause from the gallery.
The document was unusual in every way. Normally such a document with a target of taking the economy from about $2 trillion to $10 trillion — a five-time jump — would run into a huge roll of paper. It, incidentally, was just a bunch of power-point deck that could be grasped in a few minutes.
With the bulk of the government business going online, the corridors of power get lightened up. A sign that the Modi government is really transforming both India and Bharat.
That is not welcome for a section that wants both the government and the public sector business behind the bamboo curtain. No wonder, the vested interests are hurt. And shifting the public discourse from the real to the mundane is a part of their strategy to hit back.
(Courtesy of Mail Today.)