Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

The U-Turn Sarkar

Its churlish desire to ensure the previous government does not get credit has robbed policy-making of its credibility and gravity.

The U-Turn Sarkar
Illustration by Saahil
The U-Turn Sarkar
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

“NREGA should stay as a proof of your failings. After so many years of being in power, all you were able to deliver is for a poor man to dig ditches a few days a month.” That was Prime ­Minister Narendra Modi, in February 2015, taunting the Congress after freeing the nation from its clutches. Exactly a year later, his government now says the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, named after the Mahatma, is a “cause of national pride and celebration”. The 180-degree turn on this flagship programme, launched by the Manmohan Singh regime 10 years ago at the advice of the much-maligned National Advisory Council of Sonia Gandhi, captures pretty much all that has gone wrong with Modi Sarkar’s first 20 months: an overwhelming urge for premature articulation; a petty and peevish desire to personalise every debate; an arrogant and unshakeable belief in its own virtues (and the vices of others); and a bizarre disdain for intellectual expertise.

After bad-mouthing the Unique Identity (UID)Scheme, Aadhar is now on every minister’s lips. On the Land Acquisition bill, the ruling party did a switch hit. On talking with Pakistan, it did a cartwheel. The examples are too many to list—one newspaper report counted 25 U-turns in the first 180 days. Admitte­dly, governments have every right to change their position because of evolving circumstances. These could range from polls to public pressure to court verdicts, or just a plain reality check. Notwithstanding all that, the NDA government’s rec­ord of U-turns on stated positions goes past all possible benefits of doubt. Its churlish desire to ensure the previous government does not get credit has robbed policymaking of its credibility and gravity. In a complex democracy like ours, no individual or institution, no politician or party, howsoever mighty, can claim...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

A Message Not Delivered, A Matisse Painting Never Gifted: A Co-Star’s Tribute To Shah Rukh Khan

A Message Not Delivered, A Matisse Painting Never Gifted: A Co-Star’s Tribute To Shah Rukh Khan

Sayani Gupta, a star-struck teenager who acted with SRK, reveals what endears the superstar to his millions of fans across the globe.

In Valley, Amit Shah Says No To Talks With Pakistan, Yes To Dialogue With J&K People

In Valley, Amit Shah Says No To Talks With Pakistan, Yes To Dialogue With J&K People

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Sunday called for talks with Pakistan for the sake of peace in the region.

IPL: RPSG Group, CVC Capital Win Bids To Own New Teams

IPL: RPSG Group, CVC Capital Win Bids To Own New Teams

RPSG Group will be based in Lucknow while CVC Capital will have Ahmedabad as their base city from IPL 2022.

With Lalu, TMC Taking Potshots At It, Congress Faces Trouble From Anti-BJP Regional Parties

With Lalu, TMC Taking Potshots At It, Congress Faces Trouble From Anti-BJP Regional Parties

The challenge Congress faces at present is it has to fight not just internal dissidence and the BJP but deal with anti-BJP regional parties, who are no longer seeing it as a viable ally.

Advertisement