Justice Markandey Katju-
It was a dictum of the Nazi Propaganda Minister Dr. Goebbels that the bigger the lie, the more easily it will be swallowed.
To say everything is fine in India ( and that too in several languages ), when the Indian economy is sinking, with steep manufacturing decline and record and mounting unemployment, is like Goebbels saying that Germany was winning the war when everyone knew it was losing, or like the Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf ( known as Baghdad Bob or Comical Ali ) saying that Saddam was winning the war even when the American forces were closing in on Baghdad.
Some political leaders really do believe Indians are fools who will swallow every lie dished out to them.
And not one of the 50,000 buffoons gathered there had the guts to stand up and say ‘ Mr. Prime Minister, that is not true .’
Shame on Houston NRIs.
From that viewpoint, Howdy, Modi! is to my mind just another gimmick, like Yoga Day, Swatchata Abhiyan, MNREGA, cow protection, building Ram Mandir, Ghar Wapasi, abolition of Article 370 of the Constitution etc, and is another desperate effort to divert public attention from the terrible economic crisis India is going through, dipping of GDP growth to 5%, with record unemployment, steep decline in the manufacturing sector ( growth down to 0.6% ), energy, agriculture ( growth down to 2% ) etc.
But it will hardly have any effect on the lives of the Indian masses. Over 300,000 jobs have been already lost in the auto sector ( and this figure may go upto a million by some predictions ), 100,000 jobs have been lost in the IT sector, etc. Child malnutrition continues as before, with every second Indian child malnourished ( as reported by Global Hunger Index, UNICEF, etc ), farmers suicides ( which are well over 300,000 ) will continue unabated, and the Indian masses will remain deprived of proper healthcare and good education.
Recently corporate taxes have been cut, ostensibly to revive the economy. The present Indian Govt believes in the ‘ trickle down theory ‘, according to which if benefits in the form of tax cuts/exemptions, subsidies etc are granted to big business, the move will trickle down and also benefit the poor masses, because the businessmen will then have more money which they will utilise in setting up new industries and businesses, which in turn will provide more employment and give more revenues to the government.
The flaw in this theory is that businessmen will set up new industries if they are reasonably sure that the goods produced by these new industries will be sold. But the position today in India is that there is little demand, and so if such industries are set up the goods they produce will remain unsold, like in the auto sector. So, businessmen will not invest the extra money they get in setting up new industries in India, but will set up such industries abroad, or take the extra money surreptitiously to tax havens abroad.
Also, the tax cuts will increase the deficit in the budget, which will have to be covered by either printing notes ( which leads to inflation ) or by borrowing from somewhere, which increases the national debt, which will have to be serviced by taking more loans, and lead to a vicious cycle, as it happened in France before the French Revolution of 1789 ( the French monarchy borrowing more and more money from Dutch bankers to cover the deficit, until a time came when the bankers refused to loan any more money realizing they will never recover it ).
Howdy Modi will not in any way benefit the Indian masses by giving them better lives. So,I don’t see why there is such a hullabaloo and hoopla about it.
As for the NRI Houston crowd, they behaved like the stupid mice which willingly and happily followed the crafty Pied Piper of Hamelin to their doom.
I have composed a short poem for them (Kabir ko mazarat ke saath ):
Kabira Houston ke NRI
Ketey gaye gadant
Ketey abahu jaat hain
Narak hasant hasant
The above poem (a parody on a poem of Kabir) means :
[Kabir says, O you Houston NRIs
Many of you who are already buried
Many of you are going to your burial in hell
Laughing incessantly with glee].
[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own]