The “back series data” on Gross Domestic Product prepared by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics has busted the myth of growth and development that the BJP has been playing as its trump card so far. The numbers clearly reveal that the UPA consistently out-performed the NDA in terms of average growth of economy. The average economic growth under the two UPA governments as had been reflected by the increasing GDP has been faster than the average economic growth under the current NDA regime, reiterating once again that ‘growth’ under this government is nothing but a farce.
All along, the aim of the BJP has been to portray the Congress party as the anti-thesis of economic development and Mr. Modi as the country’s saviour. For that, the government has perfected the art of cherry picking data and selectively presenting a story that creates a false narrative. However, the recently released back-data for GDP growth under the new series clears the misconceptions spread by the government and offers an insight into the actual peaks and troughs of growth in India. Calculated as per the new methodology, the GDP growth at market price was the lowest under the NDA I regime at 3.47% during 1997-98 and then again in 2000-01 at 3.66% while it touched historic double digits twice under the 10-year UPA government, a feat unaccomplished by any previous government. Even while faced with a global depression and a crumbling world economy, India under Manmohan Singh showed extraordinary resilience and recovered fast from the meltdown, bringing the economy back on track.
On the other hand, despite Mr. Modi’s tall claims of India’s economy transforming itself after the ‘dark ages’ of UPA government, the truth remains that the current government has failed to live up to to its own promises and Mr. Modi has failed to be the reformer that he represented himself to be. While the Modi government clocked an average of 7.3%, UPA outperformed it with an average growth of 8.1% as per factor cost.
So far, the government has relentlessly attempted to twist and distort data into speaking a language favourable to them. The recent announcement of India surpassing France as the 6th largest economy and Mr. Modi himself claiming that India’s economy is thriving despite a global slowdown, along with other economic success stories, all appear to highlight a deceivingly rosy picture while the underlying disturbing realities are swiftly brushed under the carpet by a highly efficient PR mechanism. With the back series data is shattering the hollow claims of the government, it is high time that it realises that PR stunts and rhetoric cannot replace good governance.