25 January, 2021

A Promise To Betray

Translate the manifestos into real numbers, and they read: mislead the people and get power

A Promise To Betray

BJP manifesto: In the next 10 years, over 10 crore people will be provided jobs.
Congress manifesto: India must add 7,000-8,000 MW of generating capacity every year.
Janata Dal manifesto: Increase bank credit and investment in agriculture to 28 per cent of total investment.
United Front manifesto: Food in every home, every Indian healthy, every child in school.

WELL designed, deeply deliberated, achievable policies, or unadulterated rhetoric? Ask Atal Behari Vajpayee, Sonia Gandhi, or Inder Kumar Gujral, as they pose for pictures, and their faith in implementing these unimplementable programmes is as sound as their quest for power—get it at any cost.

Ask the ailing Chokhelal in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, a bidi roller who earns Rs 15 a day, and the answer would, depending upon his hunger, range between passionate indifference and rustic hatred for the drafters of these manifestos. He, by sitting on his haunches for 12 hours a day, rolling 1,000 bidis, votes for the next...



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