Down to Earth:Â One year of Modi government: no more achhe din, claims citizen report

According to the authors, the document was prepared after consultations with stakeholders in 100 districts across India.
A latest “citizen report” states that the one-year-old Narendra Modi-led government has neither lived up to the expectations of people nor to its own claims. The report was published by a network of more than 4,000 voluntary organisations across the country.

Titled “Citizens’ report on one year of NDA government: Promises and Reality”, the report that was released on Sunday critically looked into the promises and achievements of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. To gather data and collate the report, experts had consulted different stake holders in 100 districts to understand the impact of different schemes under the banner of Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA).

Paul Divakar, Convener of WNTA, stated while releasing the report that it makes an attempt to see the impact of the flagship schemes of NDA on the poorest of the poor and the vulnerable communities.

“Janata Mazdoor colony in East Delhi, located only 18 km from Connaught Place, is a cesspool does not have sanitation facilities, civic amenities, electricity connection for all, mostly the juggis and jhopdis,” said Divakar. He added that the city has 200,000 workers, including city makers, domestic helpers, small factory workers and rickshaw pullers. “There is no trace of government in the colony. One wonders if schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, smart cities and Beti Bachao will benefit people of this area,” he said.

Source: Down to Earth:Â One year of Modi government: no more achhe din, claims citizen report

The Hindu: The gap between stated intent and ground reality

The Save Girl Child initiative also promises to protect girl children from sexual abuse and improving girl child education.

In January this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ambitious Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save Girl Child) initiative from Panipat, Haryana, promising to address the issue of declining sex ratio. India has seen a steep decline in child sex ratio in the last decade, from 927 (girls per thousand boys in the 0-6 age-group) earlier to 918. But Budget 2015-16 shows a decrease of about Rs. 3,900 crore in allocations for the National Health Mission that has a crucial role in ensuring the health and survival of women and children, the stated BBBP goals.

These and several other contradictory tendencies between stated intent and action on the ground by the NDA government that turns a year old this month have been documented in a citizens’ report put together by the civil society group ‘Wada Na Todo Abhiyan’ slated for formal release on Sunday.

The Save Girl Child initiative also promises to protect girl children from sexual abuse and improving girl child education. Yet, the NDA government has made no effort to make appointments in nodal government agencies such as the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which monitors the implementation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Right to Education Act, the report notes.

The BJP’s election manifesto spoke of bringing about an economic revival through strengthening the traditional employment bases of agriculture and allied industries. But the budget allocated by the Central government for agriculture is less than 2 per cent of the GDP, which is grossly insufficient to meet farmer’s needs, the report notes.

“Attempts by the Central government to balance this out with the increased rate of compensation for crop losses due accruing to natural disaster can by no means be treated as an important decision,” the report notes.

Source: The gap between stated intent and ground reality

Reuters:Â Charities unsure Modi’s first year brought “good days” for India

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In his first year in power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought in banking for the poor, set up campaigns to improve sanitation and curb the abortion of female foetuses – but slashed funds for education, health, women and children.

In “Promises and Reality” – a report focusing on policies affecting the poor and marginalised – charities gave a mixed verdict on Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, which took office exactly one year ago.

Compiled by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), a coalition of more than 4,000 civil society groups, the report examined budgetary allocations, changes in laws and initiatives against Modi’s 2014 election campaign slogan that “acche din” or “good days” were coming.

“For children that make up 39 percent of the population, ‘acche din’ appear very far away,” the Delhi-based group which has members across India said in a statement.

“With slashes in budgets to the ministry of women and child development, and in health and education, it will be near impossible to deliver on the right to education and ensure health and well being.”

The report commended Modi for launching the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter) campaign to stop sex-selective abortion and ensure girls’ education.

But the charities said the campaign jarred with massive budget cuts in flagship social welfare programmes.

The National Health Mission and the Integrated Child Development Services – public health schemes which reach out to millions of poor – have seen their federal government budgets cut by 17 and 52 percent respectively in 2015/16 from 2014/15.

Outlays for programmes promoting education for all and giving hot meals to students in government schools have been slashed by 28.5 percent and 31 percent respectively.

Government officials say they have not cut funds to these schemes, but have decentralised some social welfare programmes by giving money to the states to spend how they see fit. Charities say there is no guarantee that states will prioritise these schemes over projects such as infrastructure.

The report also said that NDA moves to pass “regressive” amendments to some laws would put children at risk.

One change would allow children aged 16 to be given adult punishments for serious crimes, another would let children under 14 work for their families out of school hours.

“The new amendment to the Child Labour prohibition law, which intends to not ‘disturb the social fabric’, would provide sanction to girls being kept at home, counter to the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiative,” it said.


Modi’s first anniversary was greeted with much fanfare with ministers and senior officials of his Bharatiya Janata Party holding rallies, conferences and press events to mark the occasion.

In an open letter to the public on Tuesday, Modi said his government had not only reined in inflation and rejuvenated the economy, but had also brought in laws to ensure transparency, stem graft and alleviate poverty.

“Our Government is dedicated to the poor, marginalized and those left behind. We are working towards empowering them to become our soldiers in the war against poverty,” said the letter, widely published in Indian newspapers.

Modi listed numerous schemes launched in the past year, such as the “Clean India” campaign to promote better sanitation and the “100 Smart Cities” initiative for the homeless.

The government’s universal bank accounts scheme has brought banking to the poor – more than 150 million bank accounts have been opened so far.

But the WTDA report said it was not clear whether poorer account holders would be allowed overdrafts and at what rates.

The charities also questioned the Smart Cities initiative, Housing for All and the Clean India campaign, saying they appeared to be overly ambitious plans which lacked detail.

“The NDA government has announced ‘Housing for All by 2022’ without studying the technical feasibility of building millions of houses in such a short time,” the report said.

“Given the huge housing shortage (26.53 million and growing), it needs to build more than 8,000 houses per day to reach the target.

Source:Reuters:Â Charities unsure Modi’s first year brought “good days” for India

Frontline, June 12, 2015 issue: The big let-down

The huge gap between promise and performance marks the first anniversary of the Narendra Modi government. There is also growing opposition within the party and Sangh Parivar outfits against the Modi-Amit Shah-Arun Jaitley triumvirate, which acts as the power centre. By VENKITESH RAMAKRISHNAN.

TWO political anecdotes recounted by a senior Delhi-based Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader at different junctures in the one year of Narendra Modi’s regime denote the trajectory charted by the government, the party and the Prime Minister. The two accounts are starkly different in character and in many ways represent the soaring political hopes and aspirations as well as the striking disappointments and disillusionments that have come up within the BJP and the larger Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)-led Sangh Parivar in the past 12 months.

The leader shared the first anecdote a few days before the completion of 100 days of the Modi government. It essentially related how Amit Shah, who had been nominated president of the BJP a few weeks earlier, had started taking tuition to learn more about the people and culture of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Shah was also apparently picking up rudiments of Tamil and Bengali as part of this process.

A few associates of Shah made certain political projections with regard to this learning venture. These were that Modi would rule India for the next 10 years and during that period the BJP would emerge in its own right as a strong political force in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, shaking off the historical baggage of lack of growth in these regions. The projections were that with this the BJP would become a comprehensive replacement for the Congress and become the only dominant national party. Shah himself expected to lead this political-organisational drive from the front with the skills he would develop through the dedicated coaching. Of course, the natural interpretation was that once he had effected such path-breaking growth for the BJP, Shah would be chosen to lead the government post-2024.

Source: Frontline

India: promesse e realtà del governo nazionalista di Modi (un anno dopo)

di Nirmala Carvalho
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (Wnta), rete di oltre 400 organizzazioni volontarie sparse in tutto il Paese, ha steso un rapporto sui primi 12 mesi di governo della National Democratic Alliance (Nda). Tante campagne e programmi di sviluppo lanciati, ma pochi effetti sulla popolazione. Preoccupano i tagli all’istruzione e alla sanità, settori cruciali per il futuro delle nuove generazioni. In aumento le violenze contro le minoranze religiose e sociali.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – La colonia Janata Mazdoor a East Delhi, appena 18 km da Connaught Place – il centro finanziario della capitale –, è una fogna a cielo aperto. Non ha servizi igienici, impianti per lo smaltimento di rifiuti, allacci elettrici. Sono per lo più baracche di fango e lamiere arrugginite (Juggi Jhopdi), abitate da 200mila persone che lavorano come domestici, operai, tiratori di risciò. Non c’è traccia del governo in questa colonia. La popolazione dell’insediamento non sembra giovare di campagne come Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India, “Pulisci l’India”) o Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (“Salva la bambina, educa la bambina”).

Ne è convinto Paul Divakar, coordinatore di Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (Wnta), rete di oltre 400 organizzazioni volontarie sparse in tutto il Paese. Il 24 maggio scorso ha presentato un “rapporto dei cittadini” sul primo anno del governo targato National Democratic Alliance (Nda), la coalizione guidata dal partito della destra nazionalista indù Bharatiya Janata Party (Bjp). Intitolato One Year of the NDA Government 2015 – Promises and Reality, il documento analizza l’impatto delle politiche attuate finora dall’esecutivo del Primo ministro Narendra Modi sulle comunità più povere e vulnerabili dell’India.

Gli autori del rapporto – tra cui figura anche il noto attivista cattolico John Dayal – hanno raggiunto e intervistato quei cittadini che vivono ai margini (geografici e non solo) della nazione e che, per questo, spesso non figurano nelle indagini ufficiali. Tra le comunità intervistate vi sono dalit, tribali, musulmani e altre minoranze; poveri delle città e lavoratori non organizzati.

Promettendo di “rompere” con il passato ed emendare gli “errori” dei precedenti governi, sia in campagna elettorale che in questi 12 mesi Modi ha ripetuto che Achhe din nanne wale hain, “Giorni buoni sono in arrivo”. Tuttavia, il rapporto nota che “per i bambini, che rappresentano il 39 per cento della popolazione, questi ‘giorni buoni’ appaiono ancora molto lontani”. Con i tagli al bilancio del ministero per lo Sviluppo delle donne e del bambino e nei settori educativo e sanitario, sarà quasi impossibile garantire alle future generazioni il diritto all’istruzione e l’accesso alle cure minime.

Il documento sottolinea che, nelle prime settimane del nuovo governo, sono avvenuti 113 episodi di violenza di natura etnico-religiosa in varie zone del Paese. A maggio e giugno 2014, 15 persone sono state uccise e 318 ferite. Tra il 26 maggio 2014 e il 13 maggio 2015 vi sono stati 43 morti in oltre 600 casi di violenza: 194 contro la comunità cristiana, tutti gli altri contro quella islamica.

Radicali indù hanno vandalizzato decine di chiese e preso di mira i musulmani. L’invito del Primo ministro alla tolleranza religiosa e all’armonia, nota Wnta, “deve ancora superare il test”. La popolazione dalit (fuoricasta) dichiara di sentirsi insicura. Datta Patil, coordinatrice di Wnta, sottolinea: “Apprezziamo la dichiarazione del premier su una moratoria per la violenza religiosa. Tuttavia, questo non sembra riflettersi nella pratica. Dovrebbe esserci tolleranza zero sulla violenza contro le minoranze religiose e sociali”.

Con la campagna Make in India, il Primo ministro si sta dedicando ad attrarre investimenti stranieri nel Paese, in modo particolare durante i suoi viaggi all’estero (su tutti Stati Uniti, Giappone, Cina). Resta però la domanda se questi investimenti produrranno impiego tra i giovani indiani, o se porteranno solo a un trasferimento di terreni dalla popolazione alle grandi multinazionali, causando – tra l’altro – danni irreparabili all’ambiente. La velocità e la determinazione con cui il governo sta spingendo per approvare gli emendamenti alla legge sull’acquisizione dei terreni, rafforza soltanto la preoccupazione.