Podcast: Yamini Aiyar on the Hits and Misses of Modi’s Welfare Agenda
This week on the Grand Tamasha podcast, Milan Vaishnav (Director of the South Asia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) sits down with Yamini Aiyar (President and CEO of the Centre for Policy Research) to discuss the Modi government’s approach to welfare, the role of technology in augmenting state capacity, and the unfinished business of the past.
When Narendra Modi campaigned for India’s top job in 2014, he contrasted the incumbent Congress Party’s “politics of welfare” with the BJP’s preferred approach, which emphasized the “politics of growth.” Modi and the BJP famously dismissed the Congress government’s emphasis on entitlements - arguing that if brought to power - it would prioritize empowerment.
Five years later, the BJP has won its second consecutive single-party majority. While political scientists are debating the precise factors that led to the BJP’s triumph, the consensus view is that the ruling party’s roll-out of popular welfare schemes - from healthcare to gas connections to toilets - was an important contributing factor.
Grand Tamasha is a co-production of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Hindustan Times.