On 31 March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be interacting with the people who have pledged their support for the campaign ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’.
Recently, the BJP was successful in making use of technological innovation named as ‘conversation cards’ developed by Twitter. This card was used for sending the personalized messages from the PM to the target audiences who took the ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ pledge. As per the stats, the campaign was successful as 20 lakh people tweeted about it times and it created about 1680 crores impressions.
However, there are several criticisms well pointed out by the Congress party speculating ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (watchman is the thief). But to what extent this is true needs to be critically analyzed.
Let us look at some of the scenarios where the ‘chowkidar’ has failed to protect India and its citizens:
1. Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Although GST is considered to be a landmark decision under the Modi regime, it was surrounded by controversies that created a strained relationship between centre-state. Further, due to several issues in the implementation of GST, the initial period of its roll-out was marked with a lot of glitches.
2. Make in India/Startup India
PM Modi’s aim to build India as a global manufacturing hub to cater to the needs of both domestic and international market failed to give the expected results. The program envisioned providing vocational training to the unskilled youths through newly created skills development ministry.
3. Demonetisation and Black Money
The sudden note ban (₹500 and ₹1000) by PM Modi on 8th November 2016 created hustle and bustle among the Indian citizens. This move was taken to bring back the unaccounted black money in the formal economy. Instead, this decision heavily jolted the informal economy affecting millions of people.
One of the agenda highlighted by PM Modi during the 2014 elections were to double the farmers’ income by 2022. However, this promise seems to be far from the reality and the facts to support it can be seen from the multiple strikes carried out by farmers all over the country.
5. Rafale Deal
As per the pre-Modi regime, Rafale deal involved providing 126 aircraft to Indian Air Force wherein most of them would be built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. But under the Modi regime, the old contract was thrown out and a new one wherein 36 aircraft would be purchased without any technology transfer was signed. However, the reality is in front of us, it is almost the end of the Modi regime and still, the country has not received their first Rafale.
6. Nirav Modi Scam
Diamond merchant Nirav Modi succeeded in commiting a fraud of $1.8 billion (around ₹11,400 crores) at Punjab National Bank (PNB). However, before this scam could come out to the public and action could have been taken, Nirav Modi fled from India leaving a pitfall in the Indian banking system. Moreover, the Modi government has failed to bring him back just like they failed in bringing Vijay Mallya.
7. Aadhaar and privacy
The government argued with the Supreme Court on linking the Aadhaar to all the possible services ranging from school admissions to railway tickets. But based on the fundamental right to privacy, Supreme Court denied permission to the government and curtailed the further project implementation – thereby denying compulsory linking of Aadhaar.
8. Jobs and Unemployment
There are several reports released by the government on the increase in the employment rate, but the reality is the changes being made to the methodology of calculating GDP that makes it appear artificially higher.
9. Dalit Controversy
10. Weakening of the Institutions
Thus, the above ten incidences represent the scenario where PM Modi has failed to fulfil his duty and be the chowkidar for India and its citizens.