RAWALPINDI: India has seen numerous slogans during the 16 general elections it has witnessed in the past 72 years since its independence. Nehru’s slogan of ‘aaraam haraam hai’ (rest is forbidden for us), Lal Bahadur Shastri’s ‘jai jawan jai kisan’ (long live the farmer, long live the soldier), Indira Gandhi’s ‘garibi hatao’ (eradicate poverty), post-1977 echo of ‘Indira hatao, desh bachao’ (remove Indira, save the country), BJP’s slogan of 1996 ‘sabko dekha baari-baari, abki baari Atal Bihari’ (we have seen all, now it’s Bihari’s turn), BJP’s 2014 slogan ‘achchhe din aane waale hain’ (good days are coming), and BJP’s 2019 slogan of ‘Modi hai tou mumkin hai’ (with Modi, it’s possible), are the few most prominent lines used by the politicians to gain office.
A bitter truth is that Pakistan’s political parties have deviated from their promised slogans time and again. In contrast, Modi’s government 1.0 and 2.0 stayed true to its course by fulfilling its promised slogan. In its very first cabinet meeting, Modi enhanced educational scholarships, and extended the scope of his income support programme to farmers. Now 145 million farmers that own two hectares or less of land will receive financial support of Rs6,000 every year. This step has caused the total cost of the PM Kisan Scheme to be more than Rs870,000 million. Besides this, ministries such as those of Water Resources and Drinking Water and Sanitation have been merged to form the Jal Shakti Ministry to provide piped water supply to every Indian by year 2024. Such initiatives for the betterment of the people need to be appreciated. Our governments also need to take such initiatives and provide relief to the poor, along with planning for the provision of basic necessities.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2019.