International agencies based in western countries are not exactly fond of presenting India in glowing colours. Despite this inclination, their predictions for the Indian economy are quite positive, even better than the expectations they have for developed nations. So, India must have done some things right despite the fact that, with its large population, it was among the most susceptible to the depredations of the Covid period. And, yet, many Indian ‘experts’ are unwilling to give credit for this to the ruling dispensation; they would rather attribute it to ‘chance’ and ‘good fortune’.
This, of course, does not mean everything is hunky-dory – there are many mistakes that can be made if there is a lapse in judgement. This is why there has to be some maturity displayed by politicians when playing electoral politics. It has been seen that important reforms, such as the farm laws, have been derailed just because opposition leaders failed to provide support and, instead, celebrated their repeal. One of these was AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal and, now that his party has formed the government in Punjab, he will have to bear the repercussions in the times to come. Unfortunately, the larger fallout will be on India as a nation.
It should be the job of the intellectual class to inform the general public about the intricacies of economic policies so that, come election time, they can make the right choices and understand the dangers of falling for populist freebies. In fact, bad policies hurt the poor the most as they live on the margins of the economy. The rich and the enterprising still have the skills and financial cushion to ride out a storm.
In the present day, the most popular bait thrown by aspiring parties is that of handing out jobs, government ones in particular. Rather than honestly go into the reasons for unemployment and the cures for it, they pretend that their coming to power would magically open up the doors to employment. In the case of the Congress, such promises go against its own policies implemented during the time of Manmohan Singh. Promises being made to restore the old pension policy, for instance, would bankrupt state governments and leave nothing for even everyday expenditure, leave alone development. One wrong step and India can be transformed into a Cuba overnight.
Hopefully, there are enough Indians who are willing to work hard and build their own futures rather than depend on the mumbo-jumbo of self-serving politicians.