According to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the United Progressive Alliance has killed India’s growth story. Some of the party’s spokespersons decided to share this opinion with a few members of the press yesterday. They also had this prediction to make: The poor shape of the economy, coupled with massive corruption, will result in a defeat of the ruling coalition in the next general elections.
This prediction was then backed by a reference to the Emergency in 1975, when inflation was high and corruption was rampant. Déjà vu, anyone? What we find rather amusing is how the party that sits in opposition — irrespective of whether it is the BJP, UPA, Congress or any other — routinely accuses the party in power of the exact same things every other year. The BJP now says that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to steer the economy despite being an economist, adding that indecision and policy paralysis on the part of government resulted in the aforementioned blow to our growth.
Let’s take a step back in time to around 2004. The time when a certain ‘India Shining’ campaign was launched by — surprise, surprise — the NDA. It launched a media blitzkrieg back then, splashing its achievements in print and the electronic media. Yet, the coalition could not gather enough seats in the Lok Sabha. What those political parties failed to take into account was how radically different achievements touted on billboards were from ground realities, especially in rural India.
This isn’t about supporting the UPA or the BJP, or attacking either. What the NDA and UPA both need to understand is that manufacturing a brand isn’t as important as making sure the common man has access to the benefits of progress. At the end of the day, it’s pretty much all that matters to most of us.