The galloping number of coronavirus infections, the disastrous performance of the economy and the worrying developments on the border call for a national consensus so that India can take them on effectively.
And a lasting consensus can be built only on facts. The onus is on the government to feed the people with them.
Unfortunately, the government seems to have little plan to brief the people about the tough challenges the nation faces. The spite with which the ruling party replies to the legitimate questions posed to it is both unheard of and uncalled for.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, MP, has been asking the government on how it plans to mend the economy, which, he says, tanked because of the wrong policies of the government, including demonetisation and what he calls the faulty implementation of GST.
The government can very well explain to him, and the nation, how those measures helped the economy. Instead, they have resorted to ad hominem attacks on Gandhi.
When told that the new tax regime systematically killed the small scale sector, the BJP’s response was that
Gandhi had to apologise to the Supreme Court in the past for “one of his lies”. This is unacceptable.
The nation is witnessing a strange economic phenomenon where the people find it difficult to make ends meet; it’s day-to-day subsistence for them, while a handful of corporate honchos go on accumulating wealth. The loss of more than two crore jobs during the pandemic is sure to exacerbate the situation.
It’s not just Gandhi who has expressed disappointment at the way the government responds to the crisis; eminent economists such as Dr Raghuram Rajan have demanded course correction. The BJP and the ruling dispensation cannot go on evading the tough questions; shooting the messenger does not kill the message.