Editorial

Ideology and economy

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/30/2020 1:23:09 PM IST

 It was certainly not an opportune time for the Modi government 2:0 to list out its achievement when the nation is going through a tremendous crisis due to the current lockdown 4:0. Though things overall are not at all much to cheer about, yet Modi is still perceived as a strong leader who is hugely popular. He is seen as being bold enough to take hard decisions and plough the lonely furrow-at the same time, he doesn't hesitate to let go of things that are not relevant anymore. These are the impressions as Modi completes the first year of his second term - a year which saw momentous acts such as the scrapping of Article 370 that was fodder for separatism and insurgency in Jammu & Kashmir; criminalisation of triple talaq, anti-terror terrorism law, Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case as an incentive. In a way, the current lockdown will be an unwanted happening for the government, just as it had been highlighting various decisions made by the government. However, the most important aspect is on the economic front that has not been doing well and the lockdown has only accentuated the downslide. Millions of migrant labourers were left to fend for themselves when they found themselves out of job, without money, starving and hundreds of miles away from home. The reverse migration that is witnessing millions of helpless migrant labourers walking or hitchhiking to their own home states is indeed another great tragedy reminiscent of the exodus during partition. Modi's focus remains on big reforms, structural changes and in the ease of doing business. However the projected growth rate at 7.5% has now slipped to 3.1 per cent in the January-March quarter of 2019-20 showing impact of COVID-19 pandemic. While urban India talks about reopening of travel, shops, malls etc, villages have borne the brunt of economic slowdown. Consumption has been particularly low in rural areas creating a ripple effect on the overall health of the Indian economy. The slowdown in consumption is directly related to declining earning or less money in pocket to spend. Worse for the economy is the decline in income which is the result of loss of employment or rise in unemployment. India’s unemployment rate was a bit higher at 24.3% for the week ended May 24 compared to 24% in the preceding week or the average unemployment rate of 24.2% in the past eight weeks of the lockdown. The unemployment rate stood at 8.8% in March 2020 prior to the lockdown. According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy(CMIE) data 91.3 million including daily wagers and those working with small traders were out of jobs in April followed by 18.2 million employment loss of entrepreneurs, and 17.8 million among salaried class. The Modi 2:0 government's economic emphasis has no answer to the extreme problems that are haunting the Indian economy at the moment. Around 4.5 crore migrant workers are in dire straits due to the catastrophic handling of the lockdown declared unilaterally on March 24. The rural workers especially labourers are distressed and economically weaker sections have been pushed to an utmost crisis because the pro-capitalist proponents and advocates in the government. Achievements that divide the nation along religious lines is bad but dividing the nation between urban rich and rural poor is the worst recipe.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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