Budget 2021 epitomises Hindutva quackery in India
Budgets are political visions with economic planning based on resource allocation and revenue generation to face any crisis, fulfil the needs and desires of citizens, and shape the path towards the future prosperity of the society. But the Union Budget 2021-22 presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is less of a budget and more of a Hindutva quackery dose to an ailing economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Finance Minister Sitharaman’s budget speech and her budget documents in the tablet made by a South Korean company—and backed up in a tablet made by a Taiwanese company—does not develop digital infrastructure. The presentation of the budget in a tablet does not make digital India. The higher investment in health and education can only shape both agrarian and industrial revolution for digital India.
The abysmal social spending makes this budget as one of the worst in independent India. It shows a lack of priorities and commitment for the people and their everyday needs. The government shows no commitment to invest in the people of India. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, led by Modi, has failed the people of India, yet again, in the Budget 2021-22. It is a document of apathy.
The budget lacks a mission and a vision to move India and Indians in the path of economic growth and human development. The budget has failed to ensure health, education, employment and other essential welfare services to the people. The half-hearted documentation of data, time gaps, fictional accounts with a dubious presentation in the budget makes it more as a propaganda document than a serious and trustworthy economic exercise to revive India’s growth story. But the budget doesn’t include Modi’s estimated propaganda expenses.
Despite all limitations, the Budget 2021-22 shows its unflinching commitment to neoliberal economic policy prescriptions shaped by the corporates and for the crony capitalist classes in India and abroad. The budget also shows the hollowness of so-called economic nationalism of the BJP and its parental body Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The idea of deception is written within ideological narratives and political strategies of Hindutva quackery. There is neither anything bold nor any cure in it. The budget is a Hindutva quackery’s guide to economic recovery where the corporate profits and mass miseries are ensured.
This budget is another shock therapy to the Indian economy and society to deepen the crisis further. It truly upholds Mr Modi’s idea of minimum government for people and maximum support for his crony capitalist friends. It is a corporate budget devoid of democratic accountability to the electorates. Like quacks, Hindutva quackery still has buyers and a market.
The budget will neither inspire demand nor fuel production and distribution. It will further intensify crises of availability and accessibility of essential goods and services. This budget will further marginalise people and ensure the deepening of poverty, food insecurity, unemployment, illiteracy, ill-health and economic crisis.
These conditions of crises are essential requirements for the sustainability of Hindutva quackery. A combination of crisis trap created by conditions of poverty, ignorance and illiteracy produces Hindutva quackery in Indian politics, culture and society. The RSS-trained Hindutva quacks hide their deceptive practices and ignorance by shouting aggressively about their power and skills in crowded streets, marketplaces and remote villages. The Hindutva quacks use every opportunity to promote themselves as only alternatives.
The quacks hypnotise their victims by the sugar-coating propaganda skills driven by organisational networks and fear-mongering propaganda. The RSS and BJP follow dictums of quackery in letter and spirit. The corporate mass media is their biggest asset to hide the arrogance and ignorance of Hindutva quackery.
Indians are seeking emancipation from their immediate pains and sufferings. But Hindutva quackery does not want that. The path of peace, prosperity, good health and education, scientific ethos, social harmony, secured employment and conscious citizens are perennial threats to the very existence of Hindutva quackery in India. Therefore, Hindutva quacks shaped and led by the RSS and BJP are using every opportunity to stop the path of economic growth and social development in India. The indefinite conditions of crisis is a perfect condition for the Hindutva quacks to control, manipulate and dominate India and Indians for a long time.
History has witnessed to the limited life span of all quacks. All their quackery always bites the dustbin of history. It ends as soon as mass consciousness spreads. Mass consciousness and mass struggle against Hindutva quackery is the only hope for peace and progress in India. The future of Hindutva quackery will be no different in India. This budget reflects that Modi-led BJP government is nonchalant about the basics of Indian economics, democratic politics and inclusive culture. The defeat of Hindutva quackery looks imminent and nearer.
Bhabani Shankar Nayak is a political economist working as Reader in Business Management in the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), UK.