The great Indian elections, what is it about? Is it the crores that parties spend to win elections? Is it the fancy schemes that parties come up with weeks before the election and aim on never accomplishing them? However, we have always asked what the real American dream is about but dont you think it’s time we ask ourselves, what the real Indian dream is?
Indian politicians have started competitive populism, where they give out money in exchange of votes. This is one of the biggest and best ways to attract people in a developing country especially because of lack of employment.
This is not the first time that competitive populism is being implemented to attract votes. In the 2014 elections Modi promised the voters 15 lakh rupees to each and every voter that voted for him. 2 years after the election Amit Shah said that it was just a ‘chunavi jumla’ (electoral rehtoric).
Over a month ago the PM launched the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana which promises to give a dole of Rs. 6000 a year to every small farmer at the cost of Rs. 75000 crore annually. Modi plans on focusing on the agricultural economy for the next 5 years, which I think is a smart move because even if he doesn’t implement it, he sure as hell will get votes due to the underlying fact that India makes a major part of its money through the agricultural sector which happens to be dissolving in the past few years.
On the other hand Congress president Rahul Gandhi has now fired back with a Nyuntam Aay Yojana – NYAY (minimum income guarantee scheme). He promises to pay Rs. 6000 per month to 50 million families. This number adds up to be India’s bottom 20% of the poorest households. That means Rs. 72000 per year for an estimated 250 million people and a total annual cost of Rs. 3.6 lakh crore, which happens to be more than our defence budget. This scheme alone will comprise of over 10% of the total central government expenditure budget.
Now, for some obvious reasons there is some debate going on about how practical Rahul’s promise is. Well firstly because he’s Pappu and secondly because the Congress is again trying to break down people into different castes and religion where they are faking empathy towards SC, ST, OBC and Muslims. Ask yourselves, when was the last time you saw Congress actually do something completely selfless? I don’t think you recall.
Anyhow, if you add both the parties expenditure you get dole worth 5.34 lakh crore annually. This is a staggering 32% in the central government’s expenditure budget and more that what we spend on health and education.
Implication of such schemes would lead to domestic inflation and impact our international credit rating, eventually leading towards a crippling economy. Unfortunately, such ideas are lost in the din of elections because the voter is only interested in what he’ll gain out of the election, he doesn’t really care about the long term consequences and its affection on the nation.
By the end of it all I would like to remind you that democracy is just not an election, it is our daily life. So choose wisely or pay the price.