Politics in India, Class Struggle and Public Response

by Amit Bhushan on Monday 8 January 2018, 1:25 PM | Category: Politics| View: 231 views

Politics in India, Class Struggle and Public Response

                                             By:Amit Bhushan                             Date: 8th Jan. 2018


The challenge for ‘Class Struggle' based politics is also around what the Netas refuse to appreciate and understand and that continues even when there are numerous examples. Basic challenge of the ‘poor' is around ‘income assurance'. This shows up when there is ‘honest efforts (there aren't many)'. For example, there have been government schemes around ‘homes for the poor' being distributed free or at very low/subsidized costs. The beneficiaries took the properties and put it on rent and took their ‘shacks' elsewhere. Clear pointer that for them ‘assured income' is probably of much more value than ‘protection from weather' afforded by the house. In fact ‘corruption or perception of corruption' around such schemes ensures that there are few takers of these ‘political mantras'. A case in point is also the ‘Swacchh Bharat' mission where the Netas of the ruling party itself do not even rate the scheme and its deliveries of ‘Toilets to households' or even ‘supply of cooking gas' of being any value towards their political success. The commercial news media which ‘notes' that a newbie party scored lesser votes than NOTA in the recent election, ‘fails' to take ‘note' of the ‘digression' in ‘political themes' and low perception/reliance of the ruling parties Netas around the same as an electoral gambit. These schemes seem to have been relegated to advertorials alone nowadays. Also, the ‘past party' in power in its first term did sing its way back to power on the ‘income assurance' mantra in the form of NREGA, however its ‘supply assurance' (under NFS act) for cheap grains supply in its second term) had few takers (there may be some difference regards supply of cheap medicines ‘Jan Aushadhi' though. Corruption as well as perception of corruption also had a role to be fair to the party's assessment but the quality of program which gets response from people also needs to be understood including its political implications and policies/proposals drafted in line.

Now, looking at the above argument one (the readers of these articles) may be disturbed that these are sudden turn towards the ‘left'. In fact these are not, but these articles do want to set the direction of the policy towards achievement of the public goals and responses. The government's Netas must be a bit more circumspect in the way they address ‘need for populism' while they distribute out doles and rebates. For example, the government faced political challenges and the immediate response was to cut the tax rates in GST, and subsequently bureaucrats are being pushed to ‘balance the budgets'. There are no tax rebates for entrepreneurs who respond to the ‘need of the public' say to create an improved ‘delta growth in employment/payroll within their firms (say 10% or more or an ‘x' number and/or a high absolute number & above for the larger firms over their previous year payroll numbers)'. While the firms which succeed in qualifiers could be taking the rebate in final year end returns, and those that do not will plan to get these in subsequent year and the ‘political need' to deliver ‘income assurance' would have higher chance to ‘get delivered' on account of entrepreneurial efforts and companies may shift from ‘recruit less' to ‘recruit more' mantra. A one percent or (0.5% may be) concession in GST rate for such firms would not alter competition drastically or impact government coffers, but would change orientation in line with public needs. Such schemes may get entrepreneurs to think about employment creation and improving services rather than ‘cost controls' which are generally about minimizing employment. A benefit in the forms of ‘GST rebate' which encompasses ‘all business' could help change some orientations and could prove to be a booster for ‘employment', ‘consumption' and ‘business growth' as well due to public response to the same. It should be noted that the ‘left view' which created some schemes around ‘income assurance' be it in form of ‘land reforms' or ‘employment regulations' etc. did help the Netas in these parties, however they went on to ‘plan' for the ‘supplies' as well often in ‘cohorts with select businessmen', frequently leading to failures.

So what we have in the commercial news media is a ‘awakened' left wing propaganda full of ideas on protection of ‘individual rights (including rights of individual workers)' with lack of any ideas about ‘protection of payroll (total staffing numbers)'. The ‘idea' has ‘served the country' for ‘years', even if struggling ‘somewhat' to ‘convince the public ‘once again'. And a weak right wing ‘arguments' around entrepreneurial freedoms often in support of ‘profiteering' as a way of life even at the cost of ‘law and order' and with total disregard for solutions to the ‘social needs (especially ones highlighted in these articles)'. This path may be rather ‘new'. No wonder ‘economic arguments' have seldom ‘won' Netas any elections (based on their own merits rather than ‘other factors') to consider the same with any seriousness, so far. Response of public to economics is a rather new phenomenon otherwise the political parties and the Netas would happily discuss Caste and Religion and this would be propagated by the commercial news media as ‘core political concerns' of the ‘public/s'. It should be noted that these articles are not arguing against ‘individual freedoms' either that is proposed by the left or right, but for a level of ‘collective' responsibilities as well, where the ideas seem to be distorted, but still propagated in rampant manner. However the policy making still much ‘slower' to pick up and respond to these needs in an ‘imaginative manner' to ‘hold public interests' and this still seems to be the reason for ‘continued failure' of the ‘arguments'. In the absence of realization of the needs to which public is responsive, we will continue to see political stunts dutifully broadcasted by the commercial news media as high value ideas of ‘our' Netas with their supporters ‘ruling the roost'.   

We are witness to the rise of the ‘commercial news media' once again in its attempt to ‘define' electoral agendas while it goes with gusto to promote ‘political storylines'. The ‘late' realization by ‘political parties and Netas' that it is economic arguments that are more popular with the ‘supporter base' to ‘swing elections' in ‘their favour', seems to have pushed ‘electoral machinery' a bit early for ‘the coming rounds'. The ‘interests' of the commercial news media to continue with the ‘role of agenda setting' ensures that they would push the ‘news' around the speeches and appropriate side line discussions to their readers/ viewership, even if the Netas themselves have understood the falling levels of interest of the publics in the agendas being dished out, a case of ‘supply creating its own demand'. There is also a tendency to bring newer faces with the ‘same old agenda' being vigorously pushed, but without any comment by the commercial news media making any ‘apt quote' on the same. However the new tax filing systems or bank accounts being put to better use alongside technology for ‘social needs' is something left out by the vested interests in the commercial news media. The whole concentration might be around ‘old themes' like income tax rate for the ‘individuals' and ‘rail passenger freight for example for the budget and the ‘game changer' finance minister being exhorted to ‘do more' on these lines. It should however be noted that many more policy decisions rather than just the one in ‘example' might be required for any serious electoral implications though. And the political churn continues in India in the meanwhile. Let's see the ‘Game' evolve…..

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