It may look funny to some but the development agenda of political parties such as BJP and Shiv Sena is only for those who just don’t buy their communal or domiciliary agendas. Those who buy their communal agenda — which aims at aggregating all Hindu vote into one big monolith, the way many political parties doing politics of muslims and other minorities usually do — will vote for them irrespective of development or not. For BJP, the percentage of such voters is less than 18 percent. The additional 13 percent votes which BJP got in the Lok Sabha Elections 2014 (31 percent), came from those who believed in Modi’s Developmental Agenda. These 13 percent voters voted for BJP, as they believed or were made to believe, that Modi can deliver on development. Although not much came out of new Government’s 100 day rule, especially for those Indians for whom the Government subsidies do matter, still we must give more time to the new Government. Hundred Days out of 1825 days (5 years) is a small time to judge a Government. Although I firmly believe that a Government too much conscious about profitability can never be good for a welfare country such as India. Why? Let I explain.
Why Talking of profitability and stellar development is Not Good for any welfare country
As even if any Indian Government tries to hand over (in real), 5350 USD or Rs 32000 per year to 25 percent of its population (31.25 crore people), it needs 1,67,187 USD or Rs 1,00,31,250 crores (One crore Thirty One lakh, two hundred fifty crore rupees).
The entire budgeted expenditure of India is around 16 Lakh crores. Thus the budgeted expenditure is just 16 percent of the amount a Government will need to raise the level of living of a quarter of its population.
You may be thinking, no one calculates the money, the way I do. Of course, no one calculates the numbers like that. But, no one talks about profitability and stellar development either. Good Governments in Welfare countries (where the governance is for the welfare of the people) simply do their best to meet the ends. They don’t get bothered by deficits and borrowing. As even when they grow and have World’s all resources at their disposal, they will not be able to give the dignified level of living to their every citizen. That’s why large countries with equally large populations don’t give too much thought to the money spent in subsidies given to farmers, food security schemes, Public distribution system, rail fare, bus fare, education etc. USA is believed to be the most powerful country in the World. It’s developed. But still it’s the biggest borrower in the World. It continues to increase its borrowing and spending, while paying just the interests on the interests. It’s unlikely that it will ever pay the principal borrowed.
But this is the way Welfare countries work. And how they manage to get loans even at such dismal conformance? As they are sovereign (in Hindi ‘swambhu’). If a common man can manage to have an eternal account at the nearest grocery store, then why can’t a country. A welfare country is like a father heading a big family, who although doesn’t believe in beautifying his house or eating even average food; but doesn’t think twice, when one of his children has a real necessity.
When a Government talks about development, the worst hit are the poor and above poor. As they are the ones who need Government’s welfare policies and subsidies to live their lives.
BJP-Shiv Sena Alliance and Overlapping Vote Banks!
The current impasse between the BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra is being seen as each party’s desire to have its own Chief Minister. Although that can be one of the things in mind; but the real cause is something else. It’s the overlapping of the vote banks.
When BJP tried to create one big hindu vote bank, it forgot that it will infringe on the vote banks of not only its rivals, but also its allies. Like BJP, many other political parties have mixed hindutva with development. And these are often BJP allies.
There’s no such problem with Development and other tangible promises made during electioneering , as “no one and everyone” can stake claim to them. The fact that development is often limited by resources and resource allocation (unless some political party chooses to make impossible to fulfill promises, as BJP did in LS Polls 2014) hence it’s a non-issue in any democratic election.
This can’t be said of religious and domiciliary issues. For instance, for long Shiv Sena sees Shivaji as its flag bearer. What will happen if BJP starts calling Shivaji their own? Shiv Sena calls Lord Shiva as its identity. What of BJP starts using the Lord in its campaigning? What if both the parties stake claim to the very Hindutva agenda? What if BJP starts portraying itself as the flag bearer of Marathi Asmita?
Ever since LS Polls 2014, BJP has started seeing itself as the party of every state in India. And to make that a reality, it has started hijacking the domiciliary issues and political identities of other parties, including their allies. BJP may be behaving like a big shopping mall, where it’s hard for a buyer not to find anything interesting to buy; but what about Shiv Sena? Obviously it can’t let allow BJP take away its identity!