Job creation: Myth and reality

One of the promises that Narendra Modi, as the BJP candidate for prime ministership in the 2014 general elections, made was to create twenty million or two crore jobs a year during the next five years. That this has not happened is well known. This fact has now been brought out in the Labour Ministry’s data on job creation, causing acute embarrassment to the Government. The data were given in the report of the Estimates Committee of Parliament headed by none other than the veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi. Two BJP members of the Committee, Nishikant Dubey and Ramesh Bidhuri, are now reportedly opposing the adoption of the report and insisting on giving ‘notes of dissent’. Joshi’s clarification to the dissenting BJP MPs that according to parliamentary conventions reports of financial committees like the Estimates  Committee do not carry any dissent notes because they are based on data provided by the Government itself, does not seem to have any effect on them.
The misguided zeal of the two ruling party members is self-defeating. Suppressing publication of government data will call into question the credibility of the government itself and give a potent weapon of propaganda to the Opposition. That employment generation has come nowhere near the promised twenty millions a year is all too obvious. Blocking the report will serve no useful purpose, except making the government a target of public ridicule. There have been failures on many other fronts as well like stabilizing fuel prices, preventing the depreciation of the rupee or farmers’ suicides. Even on maintaining law and order, the State Governments run by the BJP have an abysmal record of lynching, rape, murder etc. These cannot be pushed under the carpet and the annual report of the National Crimes Bureau will give all the figures.
Suppressing truth does not succeed as truth has its own way of becoming manifest. It will be better if the BJP in course of its electoral propaganda patiently explains to the people why the targets fixed could not be fulfilled and what is being contemplated to ensure that they are met the next time. The Indian electorate today is politically far more conscious than it was half a century ago. In the digital age it has far better techniques of accessing data and finding out the truth. It is better to be honest with the people rather than try to mislead or confuse them.

Tuesday, 16 October, 2018