No short cuts to improve imagetext_fields
With only days remaining for India to complete 75 years of independence, the country's ranking in 10 out of 18 global indices has gone down sharply, as per the figures shown in Parliament on Monday. But Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation Rao Inderjit Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that the analysis by international agencies who bring out such rankings do not reflect the reality. What he cites as basis for this claim is the poor quality of data released by various agencies. At the same time, the government does not reveal real data either. Isn't it a primary failure of the government that it does not have any mechanism to gather accurate data and inform the people? The global agencies do not fail to reveal the factors they use as basis and criteria of their data. And if there are issues of quality and factual errors or exaggerations, governments can very well point them out, provided they have a dedicated and efficient machinery. But without making any effort for such exercises, who are the government fooling by shooting in the dark?
The government has informed the Rajya Sabha that India has gone down in the global indices regarding hunger, awareness about corruption, gender equality and media freedom. In the figures for 2021-22, India's place among 116 countries is 101. In other words, only 15 poorest of the poor countries stand below India. On the other hand, if we take the figures of the world's 100 richest tycoons, several including Adani and Ambani are in the richest bracket. The cause for the abject poverty of India, which is among the highest in natural wealth and resources, is the high concentration of wealth and the failure of governments in eradicating poverty of the population, as is clear in first glance. Minister for Women and Child Welfare Smriti Iran who blames that the indices are based on factors like under-nutrition, infant morality rate, stunted growth and weight loss, does not however specify what the parameters. should be. The Minister complains about the figures which have come out - from a German non-profit agency working on global basis - that they are not representative of poverty in the country or an accurate evaluation. If that were so, the same agency should be showing partiality about the other countries which have found a place in the table of 116 countries. Or else, it should have been prejudiced against India, which claims to be growing financially fast. But it is reasonable to reject in toto those statistics which do not leave room for such allegations.
That India's place in hunger index is below that of Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh has been pointed out in the Global Hunger Index, which makes every Indian bow his head in shame. And the world will not fail to see that the reason for the repeated stalling of parliamentary proceedings and the number of suspended MPs is increasing every day is the protest of people's representatives against unchecked rise in prices of essential commodities and food items. In the irresistible growth of information technology, the ostrich policy of the government will only turn ridiculous. And the latest figures of Reporters Without Borders is an illustration of the miserable failure to cover up the real picture of the country by shutting down, or drastically controlling, all forms of media including social media. In media freedom, India's rank is 151st. And in the World Press Freedom Index too, the country stands way behind. India that was shifted from the classification of countries with free media to those with partially free media, there is one place classified as not free, i.e. Jammu-Kashmir. As for the attempt to gain acceptance as a world military power, surpassing all others, that is also facing a setback after the Ladakh incident of 2020. And Lowy Institute Asia Power Index points out that India has lost its position as a big power. In short, the current picture and prospect of India are no good indications. Beyond the attempt to improve the image by spending crores of rupees, Modi government has to regain the trust of the world and the people through realistic acts of revival. The style of suppressing democratic dissent is modelled on Myanmar - which is not a good model for India to copy.