There is chaos and confusion in the air. Nothing seems moving in the normal course, the great Scientist Robert Brown must be enjoying in the skies for his theory on Brownian motion, random motion of particles suspended in a fluid, having made its way into social setup and political circles in India now. Everyone is confused and everything is recklessly being pushed and sprained along the corners without any sense of direction. The parameters that determine the success of a nation are shockingly unpredictable, things are being run amuck without any progressive aim and without any foreseeable purpose.
Blank faces have replaced the intellectual expressions of Economists, Political scientists, thinkers, Scholars, Academicians and the level minded journalists. High pitch verbal lashes have repressed the soft tones of intellectuals who till this age knew only to put across their views with logic, reason and the instinct to breed sense of common good. These erudite intellectuals have been swapped with the new generation, high decibel, short tempered English knowing reprobates who have essentially a skewed layman's opinion, gathered from street discussions, on every other issue they feel they have developed expertise upon. Whenever they feel they are losing a point they change the hue of discussion with personal remarks, bring 'Nationalism' into the course of discussion and ally the 'Opponent' in the discussion with the enemies of nation to flare up passions of the common masses in their favor.
This chaotic atmosphere is being coated with the colors of 'Nationalism' and every dark spot is concealed behind the sentiments flared up through the passions of 'Patriotism'. The GDP has slid down by around 2% as envisaged by Manmohan Singh at the time of demonetization. The economists across the globe were skeptical but the masses in India were fed with the pills of 'Patriotism' with the advice to bear with the troubling times to help the nation choke terrorist funding, to book the black money hoarders, to track money and teach rich the lesson who evade taxes. General masses became ecstatic with the prospects of seeing rich losing their riches accumulated in old currency notes. They became ready to line up near ATMs braving scorching heat with the contentment that they too have become soldiers fighting a war against terrorism. But after around seven months of demonetization results seem to reflect its success contrary to the claims made.
Chaos does not limit to this aspect alone. Foreign Investment in the first quarter of 2017 has touched the record low. Mainly the reasons that could be attributed are economic jitters caused due to demonetization and an increase in right wing arrogance coupled with their intolerance against those who do not subscribe to their viewpoint.
Made in India slogan was hinged on three major premises. 1. Job creation 2. Economic development 3. Global Recognition Mission, "Manufacture in India and sell worldwide." Having promised to create one crore new jobs per year by the present ruling dispensation, after three years into the government, the job creation is at its 'eight year low'. Only 1.5 lakh jobs were created in 2015 and 2.31 lakh in 2016. The lack of jobs is triggering social unrest. The higher level of political and social violence in the country is just the manifestation of anger of the jobless youth whose aspiration levels have been raised over the period of time while being caught between the slumping job market and lofty political gimmickry.
The economic scenario is well explained by the constant downward slide of GDP from 9.2 in the first quarter of 2016 to 7.9, second quarter to 7.5, third quarter to 7, in the fourth quarter of 2016 and then plummeting to 6.1 in the first quarter of 2017. The sharp slowdown from the 7% expansion from the previous period and below the expectations of 7.1% is due to the slowdown in consumer spending and a drop in investment primarily attributed to the demonetization program started in November, 2016 that pumped out 86% of currency in circulation.
Despite bumper crops in the last two years farmers are committing suicide. The farmer agitations across the country is not limited to loan waivers and better prices, it is more of the rural urban divide. The farmers are not merely frustrated with the governments agricultural policies but with the sense of neglect and the policies favoring the urban. The restless rural youth who find no rewards from their lands find themselves not relevant in the job markets too. This frustration finds its way in protests and agitations adding to the already chaotic atmosphere in the nation.
Another factor that has made things blurry is the concerted pattern of law being taken into hands by goons in the name of 'Vigilantism'. These protected people, carrying out heinous acts even in presence of local police personnel, are disintegrating the country and are demolishing every other secular fiber, if any, left in the country. In India almost twenty thousand dialects coexist since time immemorial, but the means of polarization adopted during the recent times are completely going against the national integration.
Now, what remains to be shown in the progress card in the upcoming 2019 elections is the tough stance towards 'Kashmir'.
(S.S Qadri is a post graduate in Management Studies from the University of Kashmir)