Modi is an honest man

Modi is an honest man
By
Faraz Ahmad
Modi is an honest man. He is incorruptible. He writes off customs duty on gold diamonds and jewellery, showering a bonanza on the poor diamond and jewellery traders who deal in gold, diamond and other precious stones and metals. Who all are in the gems and jewellery business? It includes Reliance, Tanishq, Gitanjali. But these apart the industry mainly consists of Gujarati family owned businesses such as the KARP owners who bought Modi’s suit for Rs 4.3 crore, Hare Krishna Diamonds and such others.
These poor starving traders comprising the majority of those who stashed away their ill-gotten wealth in HSBC surely qualify for Modi’s succor to survive in this big bad vicious world of grasshoppers. There is this Sanghi friend of mine who often relates the tale of the ant and the grasshopper. How throughout the working season the ant makes a back breaking effort to collect the food for the hard winter while the grasshopper just whiles away time. Come winter and the grasshopper goes begging to the ant to give him some and then the friend concludes, “Does the grasshopper deserve even a morsel?”
That’s it the grasshoppers here are the Dalits, the OBCs, the Muslims, the farm labour and farmers and most of all those toiling and collecting some wages (not the guaranteed 100 days) thanks to MNREGA. These grasshoppers deserve nothing. That’s the general feeling of the Modi fan club and therefore that is what Modi’s Man Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has done in the latest budget. He loftily claimed that contrary to the popular perception that his Government was going to effect a cut in the MNREGA allocation he has in fact increased it to Rs 34,699 crore. No mention of the fact that it includes the Rs 6000 crore left over of unpaid wages which the Centre held back in releasing to the states. And Jaitley is an embodiment of truth. But, first things first.
Modi’s poor Richie rich friends, the Adanis, the Ambanis, the Tatas, the Mehtas and who be it have been given the goodies worth “Rs 42 trillion or US $ 678 billion” (P Sainath in the Outlook). And these poor rich of our country are those whose names the Indian Express published recently from the list of those who have stashed away their wealth abroad in Swiss banks. The Non Performing Assets of the nationalized banks have gone up to Rs 2 trillion said Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha in Parliament. (P Sainath). These are not the unpaid loans of the poor farmers committing suicides in Vidarbha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere. The defaulters are those fat cats of the corporate world. Modi is freely giving away our heard earned wealth to his rich friends as a return favour for financing his most expensive ever election campaign. But No we should not raise a finger at Modi for Modi is an honest man.
These diamond traders, corporate honchos, Ambanis, Adanis, Tatas, Birlas and Mittals were the ones who financed the huge advertising campaign of Modi right from the day he won his third term as Gujarat chief minister in December 2012 right upto May, 2014 when he cherry picked the Adani plane to fly down to Delhi. But Modi is an honest man.
Modi is a poor Chaiwala, who knows poverty and his heart bleeds for the poor, the farmer, the underdog. He has repeatedly expressed his love for farmers. But the agriculture budget allocation has come down by Rs 5000 crore compared to last year. The sugarcane farmers of Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, and Saharanpur who rooted for Modi and even drove off the poor Muslim neigbours, raping their women, killing the men and children and burning down their houses, apprehending that these Mullas may not vote for Modi have got the worst of it. In a rally in Baghpat Modi had promised to pay the farmers the dues for the sugarcane they supplied to the sugar mills and provide cheap credit. They stood aghast as Jaitley unveiled his finance plan for the year 2015-16. “Has Modiji forgotten us” remarked a sugar cane farmer of Muzaffarnagar. They got nothing not even an assurance. I think its time they pose this question to their sabre rattling MP Sanjeev Baliyan.
Never mind though. Soon as Modi succeeds in getting the Land Acquisition Bill passed, their farms will be acquired for the ulterior good of the country and they will get hefty packets enabling them to buy flats, jeeps and all the luxury stuff and live happily thereafter, stretching their legs and not a thing in the world to worry them. Actually the chasing away of those wretched Muslims was also a well thought out strategy of Amit Shah in the long term interest of these farmers. They won’t have to pay compensation out of any compassion for their long time serfs. How considerate of Modi! How concerned he is about the welfare of farmers! And why not? He is a poor Chaiwala.
Reetika Khera pointed out in the Outlook that India’s social spending is among the lowest in the world. Already in 2012 India was spending only 7.4 per cent of its GDP on health and education. In contrast poorer countries like Nepal spent 10.2 per on health and education and Afghanistan 8 per cent. But now it has come down to only 4 per cent of the GDP. And Modi says we are already a world power. We have the gumption to call ourselves an emerging super power but the US spends 23.3 per cent of its GDP on these sectors.
This year’s expenditure on social sector has come down to the level attained three years ago. Health has come down from Rs 22,000 crore last year to Rs 18,000 crore in the present budget.
The price of food articles has shot up like nobody’s business. This is the end of winter season and by this time last year green peas were selling at Rs 20 a kilo. Today’s price at Safal is Rs 46. Lite Milk, lighter than double toned is for Rs 30 a litre. Half a loaf of bread is for Rs 15 as against Rs 10 last year. Mutton has gone up from Rs 380 when Modi assumed office to Rs 440 today at my neighbourhood meat shop who gives me at a lower rate than the market. The other day I bought some 50 grams of pepper powder and paid Rs 97 for it.
Modi promised Achche Din and we can see ache din have come but for diamond merchants and corporate honchos. But Modi is an honest man.

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