Intensive Economic Crisis Threatens India’s Federal Union By Sajjad Shaukat

Intensive Economic Crisis Threatens India’s Federal Union

Sajjad Shaukat


One of the important causes of the disintegration of the former Soviet Union was that its greater
defence expenditure exceeded to the maximum, resulting into economic crisis inside the country.
In this regard, about a prolonged war in Afghanistan, the former President Gorbachev had
declared it as the “bleeding wound.” However, militarization of the Soviet Union failed in
controlling the movements of liberation, launched by various ethnic nationalities.
Learning no lesson from India’s previous close friend-the former Russia, Indian fundamentalist
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leader of the extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is acting
upon the similar policies. Modi has remained obstinate in his policies to make India an economic
power, implementing aggressive strategy against Pakistan and China, including other South
Asian countries, increase in defence budget and escalation of arms race which has given a blow
to regional balance of power.
However, intensive economic crisis has started threatening India’s federal union which
comprises 36 states and seven union territories. Acceleration of the economic crisis has not only
increased poverty in India, but also resulted in to multiple problems and crimes which have
exposed the myth of so-called “Incredible India.”
In this respect, India figures among top 10 countries where highest number of rapes are taking
place every year. In 2015, as per National Crimes Record Bureau, 34,651 rape cases were
registered in India. The year also witnessed registration of over 327,000 all sorts of crimes
against women.
The counterfeit drug industry is estimated to be worth $200 billion a year and has been defined
as the “The crime of the 21st century.” India leads the 75% of counterfeit drugs supplied world
over. For Dr Pascoal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the figures show
that “India lost three million girls due to female infanticide.”
Indian farmers are paying the price of apathy of Indian government to their sector. Past three
decades have witnessed an alarming increase in the suicides of Indian farmers and farm workers
which stands around 300,000 since 1995.  
In this context, a former Manipur state policeman told journalists that he had been involved in
more than 100 extrajudicial executions in the state between 2002 and 2009. The Supreme Court,
hearing a case related to over 1,500 extrajudicial executions in Manipur, ruled that armed forces
personnel should not enjoy “blanket immunity” from trials in civilian courts.
India constitutes 40% of the world’s 800m malnourished population and the highest rate of
underweight children. 17% of India’s total population is undernourished. According to official
statistics, 29% of children below the age of five are underweight in India. How can it be that
close to 60 million Indian children are underweight even though India is a member of the G-20,
the group of the economically most powerful countries in the world?

India has by far the largest electricity access deficit; exceeding 300 million people out of the 1.2
billion people worldwide.

Besides, India is becoming a nightmare for journalists, lawyers and human Rights activists, as
Hindu extremists under Modi have unleashed terror against them. In the 2017 World Press
Freedom Index, India sank three places to position 136 (least free). The 2017 India Freedom
Report, published in May by media watchdog The Hoot, spoke of “an overall sense of shrinking
liberty not experienced in recent years”. It counted 54 reported attacks on journalists, at least
three cases of television news channels being banned, 45 internet shutdowns and 45 sedition
cases against individuals and groups between January 2016 and April 2017. In October 2016,
“the Kashmir Reader”, a prominent English-language newspaper, was asked to stop publication;
it returned to newsstands in December.
India has become world’s 2nd ‘most racist’ country, which has also exposed the myth of Indian
claim of secular state and the largest democracy.
It is noteworthy, on October 16, 2017, in an article, under the caption, “Sleepless in Modi’s
economy,” which was published by the daily Dawn, Delhi-based Indian journalist Latha Jishnu
wrote, “Who is sleeping well in India in these days of economic gloom and the terrifying spectre
of joblessness that is spreading across the country? It’s an intriguing line of inquiry sparked by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s astounding response to worries articulated in public by elder
members of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as economists and commercial
organisations. There are some people who sleep well only after they spread a feeling of
pessimism. We need to recognise such people…a decline in growth to 5.7 per cent in the last
financial quarter was unwarranted since it had fallen to much lower levels below that during the
previous Congress rule. Modi is right about that. But his response is revealing of the way he and
the BJP regime deal with criticism even within the party…Firstly, it uses fudged facts—the
decline in the growth has been consistent over six quarters—and neatly sidesteps inconvenient
truths (such as the lowering of growth rates by everyone from the IMF to the Reserve Bank of
India). However serious the issue, the doctrine of denial and deflection relies on ad hominem
attacks and uses the abrasive language of the hustings to demolish critics. Above all, the rhetoric
is dangerously delusional and sinks to ludicrous levels as when the BJP party chief claims the dip
in growth rate is due to ‘technical reasons’ without explaining what these could be. As growth
rates dip and industries fold up, unemployment remains a terrifying prospect for young India…
From being the poster boy of the big economies in 2015 when it was the world’s fastest-growing
big economy India is turning into a laggard, problem child whose fundamental deficiencies are
coming into the spotlight. These deficiencies have been made worse by the economic disruption
caused by the chaotic demonetisation exercise last November and the near standstill resulting
from the GST, a poorly planned and implemented national tax system. If one needed a strong
pointer to the consequences one has to look…Modi’s home state Gujarat where entrepreneurs are
pulling the shutters on industry and putting their money into speculative finance…The growth
rate of 5.7 pc in the second quarter of the 2017 financial year is not a bad thing as Modi claims,
but as Yashwant Sinha, a former BJP finance minister, reminded Modi uncomfortably in a recent
newspaper article, the current figures of growth are all based on statistical fudge by changing the
methodology for calculating the GDP. If the earlier method was used, the actual growth rate in
the last quarter would be a mere 3.7pc!










It further pointed out, “Sinha’s article encapsulates what economists have been pointing out over
the past year. “Private investment,” he says, “has shrunk as never before in two decades,
industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big
employer of the work force, is in the doldrums, exports have dwindled, sector after sector of the
economy is in distress.…So who is sleeping well in India?…Admittedly, there are deep structure
problems in the economy which have resulted in the economic mess. But what is also undeniable
is that Modi’s capricious economic policies, such as the pointless demonetisation exercise,
coupled with his government’s inability to implement the long planned GST—it has been in the
making for 16 years—have come as severe blows to the economy and the hopes of a
demographically young country. Joblessness is looming large over India keeping awake millions
of desperate young people who are finding jobs disappearing at an alarming rate. In industry
after industry, from banking to capital goods, in premium sectors such as IT, the job losses are of
staggering proportions….For much of this year, farmers have been kept awake by policies that
are positively inimical to their well-being, forcing them to agitate continuously, regardless of the
bullets and indifference they have met with. So while economists, industry experts and
government official slug it over the figures of economic decline and job losses, academics,
parents of the young and society in general are losing sleep over the fallout: the strains on the
social fabric of India which has been rent by Hindutva politics. As violent young men,
presumably of no fixed occupation, roam the streets looking for soft targets to vent their rage,
cattle traders of the minority community and the untouchables of Hindu society have already
seen their livelihood disappear in the name of religion. The official crackdown on abattoirs has
had a serious impact on the economy with export of leather goods, an important foreign
exchange earner, taking a beating.”
It is notable that Indian defence expenditures have no bounds. In the past decade, India has spent
billions of dollars on purchases of arms, planes, radars and ships from the US, Russia, Britain,
Germany, Israel and France including other western countries.
In the recent past, in its report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
disclosed that India is the world’s largest recipient of arms.
It is mentionable that India test-fired its longest range surface-to- surface nuclear ballistic missile
Agni-5 on December 26, this year, which is capable of striking a target of more than 5,000 km
away. The missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tone. It can target almost all of
Asia including Pakistan and China and Europe, while, the Agni-6 is reported to be in early stages
of development, with a strike-range of 8,000-10,000 km.
Nevertheless, New Delhi has initiated a deadly arms race and also compelled Islamabad and
Beijing to follow the suit.
While, an estimated 30 major armed insurgency movements are sweeping across India, reflecting
an acute sense of alienation on the part of the people involved. Broadly, these can be divided into
three broad categories; movements for political rights i.e. Assam, Kashmir, South India and
Khalistan, movements for social and economic justice i.e. Maoist (Naxalite) and North-Eastern
states and movements based upon religious grounds like that of Laddakh. Tamil Nadu is another
area where separatist movements are haunting federation of India.

And, illiteracy, poverty and lack of economic opportunities have fueled the natives’ demand for
autonomy and independence.
Notably, Indian Minister of External affairs Jaswant Singh who served the BJP for 30 years was
expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan) and echoing
the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence.” While
pointing out the BJP’s attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote: “Every Muslim that lives in
India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his
book, if such a policy continued, “India could have third partition.”
Nonetheless, poor economic policies, heavy defence spending, neglected social development,
growing serpent of radical Hinduism and pressure politics are just few triggers of these
secessionist movements, while Modi’s flawed policies have culminated into intensive economic
crisis which threatens India’s federal union. Consequently, like the former Soviet Union, these
policies will culminate into disintegration of the Indian union.


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